Raymond A. Paquin, a resident of Tewksbury MA, passed away peacefully at Palm Manor in Chelmsford MA on February 20th at the age of 87, surrounded by his family.
At the Deschambault "Back to our Roots" Paquin reunion of 2009, the Paquin Family Association developed a long lasting friendship with Raymond.
Several aspects of his personality and his resemblance to other members of our families indicated that he was one of us. A simple conversation led to the development of a long lasting friendship. Raymond projected a great kindness and a remarkable zest for life.
On many occasions during his journey he mentioned being happy to be at places where his ancestors lived. It was extremely important for him to be with other Paquin and to exchange with them on various topics.
Ray was born in Lowell in 1932, the son of the late Arthur E. Paquin and Alphonsine (Chenette) Paquin.
He was educated at Marist College, Northeastern University and the American Institution of Banking. He spent 30 years in the banking field and worked through four mergers starting with the Union National Bank, State Street Bank, Conifer Bank and Bank of New England. He was a Vice President and head of the money market division.
Ray was a faithful server, lector and singer at the St. Joseph Cemetery chapel, East Chelmsford MA, for every Saturday mass since January 1982. He was the cantor at the Tewksbury State Hospital as a volunteer for the patients' 10 o'clock Sunday Mass since September 2002.
A life member and Past President of the Tewksbury Lions Club, Past Treasurer 1987-2005, Lion of the Year 1992-93, and the recipient of the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award, the highest award given by Lions International. The position that he really enjoyed for many years was that of the tail twister where he razzed the members for a small fine as he sang around the tables.
He was a founding member and past president of the Franco-American Day Committee of Greater Lowell. Ray sang for the musical shows for the Franco-American Week for many years.
He was a life member of the Club des Citoyens Américains (CCA Club) of Lowell, and Past Vice-President and Financial Secretary.
He was a member of the Golden Age Club at the Tewksbury Senior Center.
He was the founder/director of the “L'Equipe du Bon Vieux Temps” (Troupe of the Good Old Days), a French-Canadian folklore musical group. Ray was named Franco-American of the Year in 1980 for bringing joy to the Franco-American communities of New England through his music. He was very proud of his Franco-American heritage and was fluent in French.
Ray was Past Assistant Treasurer of the Greater Lowell Boys Scout of America for over 13 years.
He was the past chairman of the St. William's Church Finance Committee under Father Joseph Blaney, OMI, Eucharistic Minister, Lector, singer, and director of the children's choir for 7 years for the Church of St. William, Tewksbury MA.
Ray was a contributor to the Guild of the Poor Clare, Ste. Jeanne D'Arc School, D'Youville Foundation, the Franco-American School and the restoration of the Grotto and Way of the Cross, St. Benedict's Abbey, Sacred Heart Monastery, Society of the Little Flower, National Shrine of St. Jude, and the Servants of Mary. He was a supporter to EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network), Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word, and Our Lady of the Angels Monastery (Mother Angelica).
Ray made lasting friendships easily. He had a great sense of humor and delighted his family and friends with his latest jokes that left them laughing. He enjoyed collecting jokes and had them all cataloged by category. His hobby was to collect porcelain nativity statues and exhibit them in his hand-made nativity scene. He was a daily bird feeder and watcher from his enclosed porch while using his computer. He loved to take care of the flowers around the house.
He is survived by his beloved wife Joan A. (Lacombe) Paquin, his son Kenneth A. and his wife Pamela (Carey) Paquin of North Tewksbury MA, his son Marc J. Paquin of Arlington MA, his daughter, DonnaMarie and her husband David Hamilton of Hudson NH; his three grandchildren Devon and Deanna Hamilton and Nicole Paquin; his cousin Colette Paquin of Lowell MA, and his cousin Joseph A. and his wife Donna Chenette of Orlando FL. He was the brother of the late Cecile A. Gagne and Lea I. Paquin.
The members of Ancêtres Famille Paquin recognize all his efforts to keep the French language alive among his people and his community, and we are proud of his contribution.
He will be long remembered and he has a special place in our hearts.
Salut Raymond !
Jean-Paul et Jean-Marie