Raymond David Gauvin

PORTLAND – With the quiet strength that he displayed throughout his life, Raymond David Gauvin, 91, of Portland, died peacefully on March 11, 2021 after a brief illness. Raymond was born on June 27, 1929 in Caribou, the eldest child of Romey and Anna (Blanchette) Gauvin. Raymond graduated from Caribou High School, attended St. Joseph’s Seminary for a year, and then completed a degree in chemical engineering at St. Francis Xavier in Nova Scotia.

When he was 21, Ray married Welena Parady, and during their 45 years of married life, they raised nine children in Caribou and then in Portland. Ray worked for a variety of construction companies, first at Loring Air Force Base, and then all over Maine. He was a project manager for many of the large construction projects in Maine, many of those while he was with Consolidated Constructors and Builders out of Portland. Ray eventually opened his own engineering consulting business, in part to allow him to spend more time with Welena. Two years after Welena’s death in 1995, Ray married Connie Jennings who shared his church and volunteer interests. Connie was widowed in 1983. They married in St. Joseph’s Church in 1997 and Ray welcomed Connie’s 11 children and their families into his heart. They both loved attending hundreds of sporting, school, theater and other events to support their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

In 1976, Ray began to volunteer at Project FEED, an emergency food depot housed at the Woodfords Church. He was still on the board of directors and served many years as the treasurer. In 1988, Ray became an important fixture at the Wayside Evening Soup Kitchen starting as a volunteer coordinator. He eventually became a member of Wayside’s Board of Directors and also served as the organization’s treasurer for many years. He helped Wayside evolve from a three-times-a-week church-based soup kitchen to the critical part of Portland’s safety net for hungry people that it is today.

Perhaps because of the need for blood that he saw during Welena’s battle against tuberculosis in the early 1950s, Ray was a life long donor for the American Red Cross. In 2008, he was inducted into the Red Cross’s Donation Hall of Fame. Ray donated through platelet pheresis 699 times, a Maine record, before his health forced him to stop just a few years ago.

Ray was a mentor for the Right of Christian Initiation for Adults at St. Joseph’s Church where he also served as a Lector, Eucharistic Minister, and President of the Parish Council. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus. Ray and Connie were active in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church when they lived in Windham after their marriage. They both were active in the St. Pius Parish when they moved back to Portland. Ray attended daily mass there until pandemic restrictions started last year.

Ray was predeceased by his wife, Welena Parady (1995), wife Connie (St.Onge) Jennings (2015); brothers, Roger (1964) and Rodney (2013).

Ray is survived by four daughters and five sons, Mary Gallar and husband Peter of Tampa, Fla., Royal Gauvin and wife Theresa of Windham, Ryan Gauvin and wife Carol of Pfluggerville, Texas, Russell Gauvin and wife Janet of Portland, Karen DeCarolis and husband Richard DeCarolis, D.O. of Bethel, Robin Gauvin and wife Theresa of Cumberland, Ronald Gauvin and wife Katie of Libertyville, Ill., Joan Hughes and husband Dan of Dunedin, Fla., Jean Picard and husband David Picard, M.D. of Concord, N.H.; 11 stepchildren, Patrick Jennings and wife Suzanne of Daniel Island, S.C., Joan Jones and husband Christian of Columbus, N.J., Carol Jennings and husband Mark Schussler of South Portland, Eileen Jennings and husband Anthony Garton of Falmouth, Thomas Jennings and wife Nancy of Mission Viejo, Calif., Diane Jennings of Portland, Donna Jennings and husband Troy Gerton of Manchester, N.H., Colleen DiPierro and husband Charles of South Portland and Collette Wain and husband John C. Wain, M.D. of Milton, Mass., Mary Anne McCaffery and husband Robert of So. Walpole, Mass., Shawn Jennings and wife Karen of South Portland; a sister; Doris Thibodeau of East Hartford, Conn.; 15 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren, 25 step-grandchildren; and 19 step-great-grandchildren.

Ray’s amazing love and kindness, and his life of volunteering and giving was inspiring to many, and his legacy will be carried onward.

Public visiting hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, April 16, at Jones, Rich and Barnes Funeral Home 199 Woodfords St., Portland. Private prayers will be recited at the funeral home on April 17, at 9:15 a.m. followed by a 10 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at St. Pius X Church, 492 Ocean Ave., Portland. The Mass will be for family and invited guests to help comply with pandemic restrictions, but will be live-streamed for everyone to view at https://www.facebook.com/jonesrichbarnes. Interment will follow in New Calvary Cemetery, South Portland. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at http://www.jonesrichandbarnes.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Ray’s memory may be made to:

Project FEED in Portland at projectfeed.org or to the

Wayside Food Programs,

P.O. Box 1278,

Portland, ME 04104.

Guest Book