Romeo J. Charron, 92: A life-long entrepreneur

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PORTLAND — Romeo J. “Romie” Charron, 92, of Yarmouth and Sebring, Fla., died Dec. 10 after a period of declining health.

The youngest of four children, he was born Sept. 6, 1919 to Thomas and Marie-Louise (Fortin) Charron in Barnston, Quebec, Canada. When he was only 16 months old his mother died and he was raised by his godparents until his father remarried.

An entrepreneur from a young age, he would gather scrap lead from the dumps, melt it down and resell it. As a teenager he worked at a movie theater, and would often let his family sneak in and enjoy a show. During his youth, he and his step-brother, “LaRose,” headed west across Canada, working in the logging industry, later moving south to work on the Hoover Dam, finally returning to work on the family farm.

After moving to the U.S., Charron bought land in Fryeburg and built a small one-room home while working for NT Fox Lumber. In June of 1942, he joined the U.S. Army and rose through the ranks to Technician 5 as a gun crewman with the 253rd Engineer Combat Battalion. In April 1946, he separated from the U.S. Army and began working at the American Can Company and retired in 1971.

In 1950, he began to acquire apartment buildings in Yarmouth and Portland, and greatly enjoyed working on improving and upgrading them, as well as painting and roofing for others.

In the late 1960s, Charron and his wife purchased a corner variety store, aptly named “Romie’s Variety.” Each year he and his son built a float to enter into the Clam Festival parade. The float always featured a member of the family and after the parade, friends and family would join Charron for a party at his house.

Charron was a communicant of Scared Heart Church in Yarmouth. In his spare time, he enjoyed playing cards, especially cribbage, and had an uncanny sense of luck. As a snowbird, he enjoyed spending his winters in Sebring, Fla., but was always back home in the spring, eager to start planting his garden and looking forward to canning and freezing his harvest. His family and friends will remember him as easy going and very giving, always with a story to tell anyone willing to listen.

Predeceased by his son, Thomas A. Charron, he is survived by his wife of 65 years, Theresa (Langlois); his daughters Ann Stowell and her husband Glenwood and their children Jason and Shelby of Yarmouth and Linda Ouillette and her husband John of Yarmouth and their children Lisa True and her husband Phillip of Mechanic Falls, Jaclyn Ouillette of Yarmouth and Leah Webber and her husband Nicholas of Durham; four great-grandchildren, Alyssa, Jonathan, Kiley and Brady.

Visiting hours were held on Dec. 14 at Lindquist Funeral Home, 1 Mayberry Lane, Yarmouth. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Dec. 15 at Sacred Heart Church, 326 Main St., Yarmouth, followed by burial in Holy Cross Cemetery in Yarmouth.

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