PORTLAND — Roger J. Gendron, 76, of Portland, Maine passed away on May 12, 2019 at the Gosnell Hospice House in Scarborough.

Roger was born in Biddeford, Maine on March 4, 1943 the son of Normand Jean Baptiste and Gertrude Eva Pooler.  After graduating from Biddeford High School, Roger went to Ohio State University for two years before he was drafted to serve his country in the U.S. Army from 1964 to 1967. Once returning home, he completed his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Maine in Gorham graduating in 1976.

Roger worked for 38 years at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard as the Business Manager. One of his primary responsibilities was to act as a consultant with Washington D.C. for BRAC closures. While there he worked with Senators Mitchell and Cohen to ensure that PNSY stayed open saving hundreds of jobs. Prior to his retirement in 2002 many people gave Roger credit for saving the shipyard in the latest round of closures. Although Roger loved his job at PNSY and his three years as a full-time consultant, his true passion was with the 18 years as a Professor of Astronomy at USM teaching night classes.

His love of astronomy was so strong that he would travel to his children and grandchildren’s classes to talk to their classmates about it.  Anyone that traveled to his home can talk about his passion as he built his very own full functional one of a kind Astronomical Dome in his backyard. He belonged to the Astronomical Society of Northern New England, traveled to many Stellafane meetings in Vermont where people came from all over the world to meet many prominent Astronomy scientists and hear them speak.

Roger had something that was even more special to him, however, and that was his grandchildren, children, and wife Donna. Together Donna and Roger traveled often; attending Red Sox games in Toronto and Baltimore, trips to Alaska and Hawaii, cruises, and even to Germany to watch an eclipse. They could frequently be found at Sebago Lake Campground camping with seven couples for over 20 years always making friends where they traveled. He loved his New England sport teams always rooting them on to victory and he could always hear the roar of “Go Buckeyes!” during college football season.

Roger was the rock of his family and recently stated his family was his biggest achievement. Being the best husband, father and Grampa for his family was what Roger did. His grandchildren loved and cherished their Grampa always wanting to be around him.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years (June 7, 1969) Donna (Bledsoe) Gendron; his son Bill and his wife Kim Gendron of Gorham, daughter Michelle and her husband Anthony DiPietrantonio of Gorham, grandchildren Katelyn, Ryan, Meghan, and Tyler Gendron, William and Bryce DiPietrantonio; sister Geraldine and her husband John Lambert of Alfred; brother Russell Gendron of St. Louis Missouri; his sister-in-law Sharon Rogers and her husband Dean Rogers and nephew Mark Rogers all of Westbrook; mother-in-law Virginia Vaillancourt of Portland.  He was predeceased by his parents and father-in-law William Vaillancourt.

The family invites you to a time of visitation on Friday May 17 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Jones, Rich & Barnes Funeral Home, 199 Woodford St, Portland. A Funeral Service will be celebrated on Saturday May 18 at 9:30 a.m. at Jones, Rich & Barnes Funeral Home, 199 Woodford St, Portland followed by a Committal Service at Brooklawn Memorial Park in Portland.

You may offer your condolences and share your memories at www.jonesrichandbarnes.com