Mark Gaudet

PORTLAND – Mark Gaudet passed away peacefully on March 12, 2020.His life was strengthened by the love and dedication of his mother, Helen Gaudet. As a tiny infant born with Down Syndrome, Mark refused a bottle, prompting doctors to tell his mother that he likely would not survive. She disagreed, and kept him alive by feeding him with a dropper. From then on, she made it her mission to advocate for Mark, and to ensure he would experience a full life and everything it had to offer, just like his 12 other siblings.In his sparkling eyes, she saw a child whose future would include school, friends, work, hobbies, sports, worship, laughter, and love. For 58 straight years, Mark has proven her right. Not only did he live a full life, he showed his siblings and friends just how much joy life has to offer. Mark was one of the first five students to attend and graduate from Woodfords School for Trainable Children, which became Woodfords Family Services. He attended Camp Waban, landed a job at the Westbrook College (now University of New England), and saved enough money to buy his own condo, where he lived independently for many years, learning to navigate the Metro system to get back and forth to work. With encouragement and support from his sister Helene and her daughters, Mark proudly participated in the Special Olympics, and was the recipient of many medals and ribbons over the years.To see life through Mark’s eyes was to appreciate its simple pleasures – to look in wonderment of the beautiful creation of seashells, to revel in the deep satisfaction of a good cup of coffee, and to sing along with the radio, pouring all your heart into it.More than anything, Mark loved music (especially the Beatles and the Doors), and could name almost any classic rock tune just from the opening chords. He also loved dancing (especially STRIVE dance-a-thons), coffee (especially from Dunkin’ Donuts, where he was an honorary employee), good food, and pretty girls (especially his longtime girlfriend, Kathleen Maria). Mark welcomed any invitation to get out and have some fun, including many family gatherings in Jackman, boating on Casco Bay (where he earned the title Captain Mark), and seeing the Red Sox at Fenway. He also attended concerts with much excitement, including the Beach Boys and the Monkees. Every week, he looked forward to his Saturday breakfast outing with the boys, a tradition his father started and his brothers continued. He was included in all family events, and his family wouldn’t have it any other way, as he was a joy to be around. He was a lifelong parishioner of Saint Pius X Church, and made his mother especially proud with his deep and sincere worship at Mass. When Mark prayed, mountains moved.And when Mark hugged you, he hugged you completely, enveloping you in love. One of Mark’s favorite lines was “Don’t worry, be happy.” He was one of the happiest people you could be around, and his mood was contagious. He leaves a legacy of perseverance, strength, happiness, and most importantly, love.When his father passed away, Mark lifted the mood for everyone by reminding us that his dad was now in heaven, like Jim Morrison, John Lennon, and Mark’s nephew, Peter. While we wish we had more time with Mark here on earth, it brings us comfort to know that Mark will be singing and dancing in Heaven with all the people he has been praying he would meet there one day.Mark was predeceased by his father, Arnold Gaudet and mother, Helen Gaudet. He is survived by his 12 siblings, including John Gaudet, who with his wife Susan served as Mark’s guardians and loving advocates, Norma (Everett) Conlogue, Anne (John) Colucci, Claire (Larry) Garvey, Arleen (Ken) Burke, Arnold (Donna) Gaudet, Leo (Pam) Gaudet, Claude (Shirley) Gaudet, Paul (Janice) Gaudet, James (Justine) Gaudet, Marie (Tim) Flaherty, and Helene (John) Porter, as well as many nieces and nephews who gave him lots of attention. Family and friends are invited to attend a time of visitation on Friday, June 5, 2020 from 4-6 p.m., at Jones, Rich & Barnes Funeral Home, 199 Woodford St., Portland. Those attending are asked to practice social distancing and to wear a facemask. A private family Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m., at St. Pius X Church, 492 Ocean Ave. Portland. Interment will be private at Brooklawn Memorial Park, 2002 Congress St. Portland. The services will be livestreamed for those that cannot attend due to the limited number allowed on Jones, Rich & Barnes Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/jonesrichbarnes/ Please visit http://www.jonesrichandbarned.com to view Marks tribute page and to sign his online guestbook. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donating in Marks memory toMaine Special Olympics125 John Roberts Rd., #19South Portland, ME 04106or online at somaine.org

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