Ramona J. Tessier

GRAY – Ramona J. Tessier passed away Dec. 4, 2021. She was born on May 30, 1935 in Rockwood, Maine. She grew up on the shores of Moose River where her father, Leo Tessier, owned and operated a general store. As a young teen, Ramona, along with her five siblings, worked in their father’s store part-time. This provided them an excellent experience that stood them well in years to come.

After graduation from Greenville High School, Ramona enrolled in beautician school in Lewiston. After finishing this training, she began working as a beautician in Portland. Eventually a friend, Mary Gaudet, made her aware of an account’s clerk position open in her company. Ramona was accepted to that position and worked there for over twenty years. When the company was sold, the new owners downsized employees and Ramona and her friend’s positions were eliminated.

In the interim years, Ramona and her friend had formed a business partnership and together they bought several apartment houses. Having lost their jobs, the two women decided it was time to work for their selves. They sold their apartment houses and bought a rambling farmhouse with ten rental cabins and a breakfast “tea room”. in Gray, Maine. One partner tended to the cabins, and Ramona operated and cooked for the breakfast room.

The businesses flourished. The “tea room” became a breakfast restaurant that had to be expanded twice due to customer’s demand. The cabins remained full. The businesses became the “Busy Bee Restaurant and Cabins” and was well known in the greater Gray area. Customers stood in line outside the restaurant waiting for a seat!

Upon retirement the partners sold the business but continued to live in Gray. Ramona was a communicant at St. Gregory’s Catholic Church in Gray.

Ramona never married and had no children of her own. However, through the years she cared for several children who needed a home on a temporary basis or semi-permanent basis in some cases.

Ramona was predeceased by her father, Leo Tessier, her mother Louise King Carey; three siblings, Leo Paul Jr., Cora Eighmey and Lorene Pratt. She leaves three siblings, Virginia Richards of Greenville and Vero Beach, Fla., Paul Tessier of Fairfield and Vero Beach, Fla., and Ronald Tessier of Lexington, S.C.; and many nephews and nieces.

The family wishes to express it appreciation to niece Lisa Marrache MD and her husband Ronnie Marrache MD for the care they gave Ramona in her last months.

Viewing will be Thursday, Dec. 9 from 8:30 a.m. at Gallant Funeral Home, 10 Elm Street, Waterville, Maine followed by a service at Notre Dame Catholic Church, 116 Silver Street, Waterville.

Burial will be in Calgary Cemetery, South Portland.

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