South Portland – Charles Boivin died Tuesday, July 12, 2022.
Charlie was born on May 28, 1931, the first of four children of Charles and Janet (Lachance) Boivin in St. Johnsbury, Vt. “Red”, as Charlie was known to his family and friends in St. Johnsbury, VT, and attended narrow-minded schools, before graduating from St. Johnsbury Academy, (1949).
As was true of many of his generation, Charlie went to work at the local grocery store and delivered customers’ orders before the age of ten. However, keeping a job while going to school, didn’t stop him from doing all the things a boy did in his days. Playing baseball, swimming, biking with friends, playing in the woods, or doodling in the railroad yard where his father was a mechanic.
Charlie took other part-time jobs during his teenage years while attending school but there was a job in 1948 that changed his life forever. Not in a professional sense, but while working at a Whalen drug store as an employee, he met the young woman of his dreams, Jeanine Boudreaux. The two were not kept separate for the next 73 years.
After graduating from the academy in 1949, Charlie became a full-time employee of the HP Hood and Sons dairy and ice cream plant in St Johnsbury, Vato. Soon, with the outbreak of an international conflict in Southeast Asia, Charlie joined the US Army where he served in Korea with many other brave soldiers, as a paratrooper in the 187th Infantry Regiment Combat Team, known as the Rakkasans.
Before disembarking from the United States for Korea, while on a short military vacation, Charlie and Janine were married on Memorial Day morning, May 30, 1951.
In 1956, a career opportunity from HP Hood transferred to an ice cream processing facility in Portland, Charlie and Janine, along with two young children, Michael and Sandra, moved to South Portland, specifically to a neighborhood known as Stanwood Park, which is be their home for life. Soon after settling in, the family was blessed with their second of three daughters, Cathy, the first of the Miner family.
The family tradition of the 1950s and 1960s was with Charlie going out to work every day before sunrise and Jenin taking over the homework, prioritizing the upbringing and education of their children. Evenings and weekends were always centered around family and community activities.
Charlie’s only non-family passion was deer hunting. Every Saturday in November is dedicated to the elusive hunt. With an old friend, Charlie Maynard, they drove 60 miles north to the Buckfield/West Sumner area, where they tracked and hunted whitetail. Most seasons have not profited from a souvenir profit, but the quiet and serenity of the woods on a cool, crisp autumn day was often enough reward for these two friends.
Once the kids came of age and were out of the house in the ’80s, Charlie and Janine started biking through the countryside on their motorbike. For over a dozen years, the couple has been spending the winter months thinking about their travel itinerary based on the national park or scenic routes they’d like to visit and travel. However, the itinerary was secondary to a visit to their daughter Sandy and her granddaughters in California. Once there, everyone enjoyed trips to Disneyland and other adventure parks.
Before retirement, but after serving HP Hood for 35 years, the Portland ice cream factory closed. In short order, Deering Ice Cream moved their operation to the former Hood facility on Walton Street where Charlie worked until retirement.
Charlie and Janine enjoyed attending Maine Mariner hockey games at the Civic Center and – when they were Marlins – at Sea Dog games at Hadlock Field. Charlie always wore his New York Yankee ball cap everywhere he went and enjoyed talking about baseball with anyone who got close to him. During the baseball season, Charlie was a fan of two teams; Yankees and who used to play Bosox.
Once Janine and Charlie retired, I continued to enjoy local travel in the winter and gardening in the summer months. Jenin tended the flower gardens in her home while Charlie grew a large vegetable garden on a farm leased from Bob Feckett. The proceeds of the garden were shared with the extended family and neighbors, with the couple canning and surplus preservation.
Later in her life, Janine faced challenges related to health. Her comfort and wellness are becoming Charlie’s focus day by day. With God’s blessing, they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary days before her death in 2021. With a broken heart, the will to live has been more than Charlie’s ability to overcome the past thirteen months. His health rapidly deteriorated. The daughter, Cathy, oversaw Charlie’s care before and during this difficult time as well as nearly daily trips to Calvary Cemetery to sit with the love of his life, Janine.
Kathy and family would like to express their gratitude and good wishes to all the healthcare providers who have helped Charlie professionally but who have also befriended the two of them over the past few months.
Charlie died by his parents; Brother, Eugene and Sister Jane Boivin Cambridge.
He is survived by his brother, Victor, and his wife Cecil, his sister-in-law, Joan Garborault, and his brother-in-law, Leon Cambridge; son Michael, wife Jill, daughter Sandra Smith, daughter Kathy Hanlon, husband Brian, and daughter Deborah Hannigan; granddaughters of Jerry Stern, Betty Minnick, Karma Brubaker, and Malika Aziz, great-grandson of Nicholas Denison; And many great-grandchildren.
Visiting hours will be 3-6 p.m., Sunday, July 17 at Hobbs Funeral Home, 230 Cottage Rd. , South Portland. Christian burial service will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, July 18, at Holy Cross Church, south Portland, followed by a near-grave service with military honors at Calvary Cemetery, south of Portland.
Instead of flowers, please consider making a file
A random act of kindness.