Leo H. Lemieux, 88: Semi-pro hockey star was grandkids' biggest fan

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PORTLAND — Leo Hilaire Lemieux, 88, a longtime Portland resident, died Feb. 1 at the Maine Veterans’ Home in Scarborough, surrounded by family.

Lemieux was born June 28, 1926, the oldest son and the third child of eight born to Hilaire and Yvonne (Grondin) Lemieux in Berlin, New Hampshire. He attended Berlin High School, where he starred in hockey, football and baseball.

After graduating in 1944, Leo enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served during World War II on a patrol torpedo boat, PT-125, in the Pacific Ocean. Upon returning from the war, he met his future wife, Maria Adams. They were married on Aug. 23, 1947, and eventually settled at 15 Ninth St., Portland, where they raised four children.

Family was everything to the couple. For years, they hosted large Sunday dinners for their growing family, and would rarely miss any events in which their children or grandchildren participated. After Maria’s death 10 years ago, Leo continued as the “No. 1 fan” of his grandchildren.

As a young man, Lemieux played semi-professional hockey for the Berlin Maroons. He capped his hockey career in 1954, when the Maroons won the American Hockey Association National Championship.

He later worked as a papermaker at S.D. Warren in Westbrook for over 35 years, and proudly served as a steward for his union.

In addition to his wife, Lemieux was predeceased by his sisters, Pauline Lemieux, Jeannette Richer and Rita Abelli, and his brother, George Lemieux.

Lemieux is survived by his four children: daughter Pam Lemieux, of Portland, son Ron Lemieux and wife Carol, of Cumberland, son John Lemieux and partner Barbara Parker, of Portland, and son Jim Lemieux and wife Deb, of Raymond. He is also survived by nine grandchildren, Briana, Adam, Brent, Joe, Jared, Nick, Derek, Jon and Matt; and five great-grandchildren, Reese, Gabe, Jax, Owen and Charlie. His surviving siblings include Simonne Landry, of Windham, Marie Roy, of Berlin, New Hampshire, and Paul Lemieux, of Milan, New Hampshire.

The Lemieux family would like to express sincere thanks to the staff of both Osher Inn in Portland and the Maine Veterans’ Home in Scarborough, who provided outstanding care for him during his final years.

A memorial Mass was celebrated Feb. 6 at St. Joseph’s Church, in Portland.

In lieu of flowers, honorary donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org/maine.

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