SOUTH PORTLAND — Jules Louis Frenette, 83, died April 17 in Scarborough, with his family by his side.
He was born in Quebec City, Canada, on April 26, 1929, the son of Emile and Leda (Bolduc) Frenette.
Frenette grew up in St. George and St. Martin, Canada. As a teenager, he went to work as a migrant worker in the potato fields in Aroostook County, but he never picked a potato. The farmer and his wife quickly realized that Jules had talents that could be better used as a painter to paint their barn, instead of spending the day in the fields. He also worked in logging camps in the Stratton and Jackman areas. With his father, he went to work as a cook at a prisoner-of-war camp on Spencer Mountain, and arrived at the camp the day after the last German POW had left.
Living in St. Martin, as a young man, Frenette met his future wife, Leonie P. Nadeau, while playing baseball. He would always pick Leonie to be on his team, although she was not the best player. They were married on April 18, 1949, and together had three children. Frenette often took the family hunting, but those outings were used more as an excuse to spend time together than to hunt. In fact, he never killed a deer.
In 1957, Frenette and his family moved to the United States. A skilled carpenter and builder, Frenette worked for himself and retired in 1991 at the age of 62. From 1992 to 2000, he drove Leonie to Ormond Beach, Fla., where they would spend their winters.
Frenette loved to tell stories, and could keep listeners entertained for hours. He also enjoyed spending time in his garden growing tomatoes.
In addition to his parents, Jules was predeceased by his daughter, Rita Colucci, in 1992, and his brother, Lucien Frenette.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years and best friend, Leonie; two sons, Guy Frenette and wife Carole, of South Portland, and Benoit Frenette and wife Viola, of Buxton; seven grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; one step-great-grandchild; two brothers, Roger Frenette and wife Jacqueline, and Robert Frenette and wife Jacqueline, both of Quebec City; and sister-in-law Marguerite Frenette.
A Mass of Christian burial was held Sunday at St. John the Evangelist Church, in South Portland. Interment was private in Calvary Cemetery, South Portland.