Maurice Laurendeau, 67: Beloved professor with a hearty laugh

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BRUNSWICK — Maurice Laurendeau, 67, died on May 20 at his home after a nine-month battle with leukemia.

He was born Aug. 16, 1944, to Maurice and Lydia Laurendea of Lewiston. He graduated from Lewiston High School in 1962, from Notre Dame University in 1966, from Princeton University in 1968 and received his doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of California Berkeley in 1972.

In 1972, he married Marlene Carlos of California. About three months later they moved to Lafayette, Ind., so that he could join the faculty at Purdue University, fulfilling his dream of becoming a professor. While teaching at Purdue, he achieved the Ralph and Bettye Bailey Professor Emeritus of Combustion, wrote a textbook, “Statistical Thermodynamics: Fundamentals and Applications,” and wrote several other articles. He retired in 2007.

Laurendeau’s academic interests were in energy and the environment, with a focus on laser-based diagnostics, pollutant formation and the energy-religion dialogue. He was co-chair of a conference, “The Energy Transition: Religious and Cultural Perspectives,” and was a continuing visiting scholar at the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences. He was also a research associate at Bowdoin College in Brunswick.

He was a fellow of the Optical Society of America and of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He was also a member of the Combustion Institute of the American Chemical Society.

He was an avid reader, enjoyed swimming at his family camp in Buttermilk Cove, loved watching his favorite sports teams and being with his family in Maine and California. He was a self-professed Lay Dominican and served as a sacristan at All Saints parish in Brunswick.

His family and friends will remember him for his hearty laugh and his ability to teach and mentor.

He was predeceased by his mother, Lydia; son Andre; father, Maurice; father-in-law, Luiz Carlos; and stepmother, Sheila Laurendeau.

Laurendea is survived by his wife of 40 years, Marlene Carlos Laurendau; son Jules Laurendau; brother, Phil Laurendeau and his wife, Carol; sister, Lorraine Laurendeau Pandolfe and her husband, Tom; sister-in-law, Lidia Carlos Reynes and her husband, Charles; mother-in-law, Odette Carlos; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Visiting hours wil be held May 24 at Stetson’s Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at noon Friday, May 25, at St. Charles Borromeo Church-All Saints Parish, Brunswick.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Laurendeau’s name to the Hospice House Development Fund at CHANS Hospice Care, 60 Baribeau Drive, Brunswick, ME 04011.