Our father, Robert J. Bartlett lost his beloved wife and best friend of 70 years and we lost our wonderful mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend at the age of 98.
She was born in Frenchville, Maine and grew up in Madawaska, Maine. The people in her small hometown were mostly French or French Canadian and spoke only French. They grew potatoes on her family farm. They also grew and canned all their own fruits and vegetables. They only bought flour and sugar. They had horses, pigs, chickens and cows. The horses helped plow the potato fields. Our mother always loved talking about growing up on a farm with her father Edwin Collin, mother Marie Ann Guimond Collin, her sisters, Loretta Martin and Rolland Dufour and brother Lester.
She answered an ad for free training with pay in the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps. Upon graduation the nurses would have to enlist in the Army or Navy and serve as a nurse. Upon graduation, her rank would have been a Lieutenant. She attended St. Mary’s General Hospital School of Nursing in Lewiston, Maine. She also went for further training at a psychiatric hospital in Boston. WWII ended before she graduated so she did not have to enlist.
Her sister, Rolland Dufour, moved to Ontario, CA and convinced our mom to move to CA. Our mother worked at San Antonio Regional Hospital and joined a Catholic group for singles. The first time she met our dad was through a mutual friend. They met at a bar in Laguna Beach. Our mom said that is the guy I want to marry. Our dad was busy starting his own furniture store, so their paths didn’t cross again for almost two years later at a Catholic singles club. They knew then that they were meant to be together. Our dad proposed to her after dating just a few months. He proposed to her in St. George Catholic Church in Ontario and were married there on December 30th, 1950.
Shortly after they married, they moved to Orange, CA and started a family. They raised their six children, Patrick, Michael, Vicki, Colette, Susanne and Mark, for the most part in Orange, CA. Our mother continued working as a nurse at Palm Harbor Hospital in Garden Grove in pediatrics.
The family continued to grow. Pat and his deceased wife Euridice and daughter Paulette. Pat and his current wife April and daughter Scarlet and son Maverick. Vicki and her deceased husband Gerry and daughters Hailey and Lauren. Mark and his wife Ana Karina. Colette and her deceased husband Thad and sons Nicholas, Christian, Avery and Conner. A few new additions include two great grandchildren, Paulette and Mike’s daughter Lotus and Conner and Stefani’s son Mason. Family and faith were especially important to our mother. She loved and adored her grandchildren and great grandchildren. And they all feel the same way. They all adore their GMA and are heartbroken she is no longer with us.
They loved spending time together. They loved sailing. They would take off in their sailboat to Catalina, just the two of them, in their 60’s and 70’s. They were expert sailors. They also loved to travel the country and loved cruises. They did everything together. Our 99-year-old father is at a loss. He has lost his beloved wife, companion, best friend, his everything.
We will all miss you dearly. We know that you wanted to stay but your body said no. We love you and will cherish you in our hearts forever.
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