Home Somerset business Obituary: Kathleen “Katie” Vallière Denis Ouilette

Obituary: Kathleen “Katie” Vallière Denis Ouilette


Kathleen “Katie” Valliere Denis Ouilette

SKOWHEGAN — Kathleen “Katie” Valliere Denis Ouilette breathed her last in the early morning of January 17, 2022 with her daughter by her side. She was born July 8, 1930 at 29 Chestnut St. in Skowhegan to Henry and Roxie (Russell) Valliere. She graduated from Skowhegan High School in 1948 and graduated from Colby-Sawyer College in 1950 with a degree in medical secretarial science. She continued her education throughout her life with various courses until 2000. She held several certificates and licenses to perform the various jobs she performed throughout her life. At a very young age, Katie was blessed with a beautiful soprano voice. She sang on stage at the Strand Theatre. She also sang in choirs in the schools she attended, as well as in the churches she attended. She has sung at many weddings over the years and it was recently shared that one of those weddings was longtime friends George and Elaine Cannell. Three days before her own wedding, Katie declined an invitation to join the New York Opera. She didn’t join opera but her minister and close friend Larry Kalp from New Jersey remembers teaching a 70-member children’s choir. His first job was to help his father at “Henry’s Hardware”. Other early work experiences include working as an after-school dental assistant for Dr. Dumont and Dr. Gower, switchboard operator at the Lakewood Summer Theater, and personal secretary for attorney Thomas Weeks. While working in Lakewood, she met her first husband Joseph Denis. They married in January 1953 and began their life together in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. They had three children together. From 1953 to 1969, they lived in Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New Jersey due to her husband’s job. In 1969 they returned to Maine with their three children to start their new business ZD Wire Products. In 1972, they became owners of the Lakewood Resort. Katie was known to sing every night at the hostel closing the bar with “Climb Every Mountain”. One of her proudest memories was the opportunity to sing with Jack Cassidy. For several years Katie continued to work in the hospitality industry at the Red Coach Inn and the Holiday Inn. Then, in 1977, she took up a totally different job and worked for CN Flagg when building Scott Paper Company in Hinkley. In 1976, she met her second husband Lewis Ouilette. They married in February 1977. She became stepmother to two sons. She and Lew lived a wonderful and eventful life together until his passing in July 2018. From 1977 Katie continued to work in various jobs as an office manager and sales and marketing in various places of business. She has also served as Activities Director at Maplecrest Nursing Home as well as 234 Madison Avenue. In 2009, she became very active with Madison Community Access TV channel 11. So many people loved watching her on “Now You Know” and “Keeping Pace”. She also wrote a column for the weekly newspapers “If the walls could talk”. She enjoyed being a member of several area heritage boards, but especially enjoyed working with Bob Washburn on the Abner Coburn Days. Katie was an active person. Nothing stopped her. At 90, she called Governor Mills and offered to work for her. She even survived Covid at the age of 90. She is also one of the first survivors of Lyme disease which she contracted in the early 80s. Unfortunately, it was then that she lost her voice and suffered severe pain in her arms and legs. For this reason, she donated her body to science in hopes that they might learn more about Lyme disease and the effects it has on individuals and a possible cure. She and Lew are remembered for their volunteer hours across Madison and Skowhegan. Katie was the traveling historian of this region. Much of the story left this area when Katie passed away. In 2006, she received the Alton Whittemore Award from the Skowhegan Chamber of Commerce. In 2014, she received the Senate Sentiment Award from Senator Agnes King. In 2019, the Senate and House of Representatives joined the City of Madison and dedicated the City of Madison Report to Lew and Katie. Also in 2019, she and Lew were recognized by Somerset County Commissioners for their endless hours of volunteerism. Katie loved to entertain and be the center of attention. She always had people over for dinner. She opened her home to so many people from everywhere. She was sometimes known for her feistiness and her never-give-up attitude. She had a huge impact on so many lives and will be missed by so many. Katie was predeceased by her parents Henry and Roxie; her husband Lew; his son Russell, his son-in-law Ray; cousins ​​Ernald, Sherwood and his wife Nancy. Katie is survived by her children, Craig and his wife Laurie, Lynn, Nick and his wife Loan, Dean and his wife Donna; grandchildren, Daniel, Angela and her husband Tim, Andrea and her husband Jeremy, Michelle and her husband Jason, Matthew and his wife Heather, Brittani, Danielle and her husband Kevin, Paul and his wife Bryanna, Marc and his wife Diana, Roxie, Leigh and his wife Samantha; great-grandchildren, Landen, Sydney, Kinley, Caden, Kyler, Rylie, Cody, Reese, Owen, Bella, Olive, Francis and Sawyer; cousins, Ray, Mimi and Mal; special friends, Chuck, Jordan and Celine, Drew and Susanne, Chris and Claire, Larry and Duane, Debbie, David and Joyce, Tiger and Linda and so many others. She was called Maman and Nana by many. We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the amazing staff at Maplecrest for the love and care they extended to our mother during her stay there. A celebration of Katie’s life will be announced at a later date. Arrangements are in the care and control of Smart and Edwards Funeral Home 183 Madison Ave. Skowhegan Maine. http://www.SmartandEdwardsfh.comIn lieu of flowers, please donate to:St. Jude’s Hospital or a location of your choice

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