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Obituary for Ernest J. Morneau

Portland - Ernest J. Morneau passed away on May 1, 2017, in Portland, Maine. He was born on the east side of the Androscoggin River in the mill town of Berlin, New Hampshire, on July 20, 1927, to Thomas O. Morneau and Yvonne Melanson Morneau. Ernie was the second oldest and first son of ten siblings in his Franco American family. It was at the Guardian Angel Church and parochial school in Berlin, taught by nuns, that Ernie’s devout Christian philosophy was developed. He would often tell us stories of helping the nuns with odd jobs around the school and running errands. Ernie was always helping his family, running errands, shoveling snow, dog-walking and bringing lunches to his relatives that worked in the Brown Paper Mill.

In 1943, at the age of sixteen, Ernie’s family moved to Maine. He quickly adjusted to his new home in Biddeford, Maine. As time passed he enjoyed going to the dancehalls, candlepin bowling, and the Old Orchard Beach Pier, where he listened to many of the great bands performing. It was at a dancehall in Scarborough, Maine, that he met his future wife, Mary Louise Mulkern.

He honorably served his country in the US Army, from September 26, 1950 to November 7, 1952. On September 1, 1951, while home on leave, he married Mary Louise Mulkern. The marriage ceremony was held at St. Dominic’s Church, Portland, Maine.

Upon his discharge from the Army, Ernie returned to Portland, Maine. It was in the St. Dominic’s Parish that he and Mary Lou chose to raise their family. Being part of St. Dominic’s Parish played a significant role in his life, as well as his family’s.

Prior to and for a short time after serving in the military, Ernie worked at Saco Lowell in Saco, Maine. After leaving Saco Lowell, his entire career was spent in the trucking industry in and around the Portland area. He started at Flaherty Trucking and retired in February 1992 from Yellow Freight. He was a proud member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local Union 340.

Candlepin bowling played a significant role in Ernie’s life. He started bowling as a teenager, and he continued bowling into his final days. He participated as a member of many teams and leagues primarily at the “Big 20” bowling lanes in Scarborough, Maine. On March 14, 1964, at the Bowl-O-Drome Lanes in Mexico, Maine, he bowled a world single string record, knocking down 211 pins. He accomplished this record while participating in a tournament to qualify for a position on the WGAN TV Bowling Show. He was acknowledged by “Sports Illustrated” in their “Faces in the Crowd” section. Throughout his life he enjoyed the competition that sporting activities provided, either as a participant or spectator. He particularly enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren participate.

In 1998, Ernie moved from the Gorham’s Corner area of Portland into Deering Pavilion, an apartment complex for senior citizens, located on Forest Avenue in Portland. He formed many close friendships while there. Ernie was a caregiver at heart. He often helped others with a ride to or from the doctor, hospital, shopping, as well as offering a hug or holding a hand.

Ernie liked going out to eat with friends or family. He enjoyed dancing, walking around town, a good road trip, playing Santa, the casino/horse racing, gatherings with friends/family, and all things that involved his grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, Ernest was predeceased by his wife, Mary Louise Mulkern Morneau; sisters, Doris Nelson, Lorraine Brochu, and Pauline Therrien; brothers, Donald Morneau, Paul Morneau, and Omer Morneau, an infant sibling; and many dearly loved in-laws.
He is survived by his sons, Gregory Morneau and wife Brenda, Scarborough, ME, Michael Morneau and wife Jeannine, Saco, ME, Thomas and wife Karyl, Portland, ME; his grandchildren, Sarah Morneau, Portland, ME, Peter Morneau and partner, Katelyn McDonough, Portland, ME, Ryan Morneau and wife Amanda, Steep Falls, ME, and Matthew Morneau, Portland, ME; two sisters, Cecile LeClerc and Helene Morneau of Lebanon, CT; brother, Joseph Morneault, Princeton, TX; his dear friend and companion, Eleanor Carver, Portland, ME; and many dearly loved in-laws.

Ernie’s family would like to extend their gratitude and thanks to Dr. Daniel Merson and his staff for their compassionate health care over the years. We also would like to thank all the wonderful individuals at VNA Home Health Hospice for their special care. Thank you and blessings to Pam Leo, a close friend of Ernie and his family, for all her thoughtful considerations bestowed on Dad over the years.

Visiting hours will be held from 5:00 to 8:00 PM on Thursday, May 4, at the Conroy-Tully Walker South Portland Chapel, 1024 Broadway, South Portland. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, May 5, at the Conroy-Tully Walker South Portland Chapel. Immediately after the service, interment will be at the New Calvary Cemetery, 1461 Broadway, South Portland, ME.

If you wish, in lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Maine Cancer Society, 1 Bowdoin Mill Island, Suite 300, Topsham, Maine 04086, or the Maine Irish Heritage Center, PO Box 7588, Portland, ME 04112


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Previous Events

Visiting Hours

Thursday

4

May

5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Conroy-Tully Walker Funeral Home - South Portland Chapel

1024 Broadway
South Portland, ME 04106

Memorial Service

Friday

5

May

11:00 AM
Conroy-Tully Walker Funeral Home - South Portland Chapel

1024 Broadway
South Portland, ME 04106

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