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Bertha Demers

compiled by Rev. Susan Murphy

Bertha Dugre-Demers, 85, of Sanford, passed away peacefully on Monday, May 20, 2024, in her home with her beloved family at her side. Bertha was born on February 16, 1939, in Sanford, the daughter of Ernest and Margaret (Huard) Boulet. She grew up in Sanford and attended local schools, graduating from St. Ignatius High School in 1957. Bertha met her first husband Richard “Duke” Dugre and in July of 1959, they married spending 54 memorable years together until his death in 2013. Together they built their roots in Sanford and raised their three children. Once her children were all in school, she began her 20-year career at Raymond Beaudoin Dental in town. She greeted all the patients with a warm and welcoming smile. Upon her retirement, Bertha enjoyed traveling and spent many winters in Myrtle Beach, SC. In the summer of 2016, one of Bertha’s dear friends arranged a small coffee date for her in hopes of bringing her joy back after Duke’s passing three years before. There she met Wayne Demers. They were happily married in the coming year and adored each other’s company. She will always be remembered as a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Her family and dear friends will greatly miss her. Bertha was preceded in death by both her parents, her brother Richard Boulet, her sister Lorraine Porter, her daughter Susan Masse, and her beloved first husband Richard “Duke” Dugre. Surviving is her husband, Wayne Demers of Sanford; two children Stephen Dugre and girlfriend Tracy Lupo, and Michelle (Richard) Sherman, her son-in-law, Michael Masse and his wife, Rebecca; six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 pm on Friday, June 7 at the Carll-Heald & Black Funeral Home, located at 580 Main Street in Springvale. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 am on Saturday, June 8 at St. Thérèse of Lisieux Parish, Holy Family Church, in Sanford. Interment will follow at Oakdale Cemetery.

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Rita L. Legere

Rita L. Legere, 84, of Sanford, passed away peacefully with her family by her side on May 22, 2024, in Scarborough. She was born on September 12, 1939 and raised in East Lebanon, Maine, one of thirteen children of John Baptiste. and Alice (Blanchette) Dion. She met and married the love of her life Paul “Chi Chi” Legere and they were happily married for 64 years. They joyfully welcomed four beautiful children, Michael, Susan, Thomas and Cynthia into their lives and lived a wonderful life full of adventures including camping at Wells Beach, Sand Pond and Square Pond. Rita graduated from the University of Maine with a teaching degree when her children were very young. She taught elementary school in the Sanford public schools and was revered as a gifted elementary school teacher until she retired. She enjoyed spending time with her family, going to the Sanford Mainers and Seadogs baseball games. She housed Sanford Mainer’s baseball players and soccer players at her home for several years. She was a member of the Sanford Elks Lodge and was a volunteer raising money for the Maine Children’s Cancer Program for several years. In her retirement years she spent time in her St. Petersburg, Florida home, enjoying the sunshine and warm weather in the winter. Rita was predeceased by her siblings, Jeanette Guillemette, Maurice Dion, Rev. Roland Dion, Cecile Manning, Jean Dion, Pauline Bourque, Donald Dion, Mary Ann Edrington, Lucille Laflamme, Albert Dion, Florence Dion and Therese Couture and her daughter, Susan Pepin. She is survived by her husband, Paul Legere; her children, Michael (Sandra) Legere of Sanford, Thomas (Tammy) Legere, Cindy (Doug); her son-in-law, Ron Pepin; her ten grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Thérèse of Lisieux Parish, Holy Family Church on Thursday, May 30 with burial at the Southern Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

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Howard C. Soule

Howard C. Soule, 88, of Sanford, passed away peacefully on Monday, May 20, 2024. Howard was born in Sanford on March 19, 1936, to Frank and Helen (Seavey) Soule. He grew up in Sanford and attended local Catholic schools, graduating from Sanford High School in 1955. After high school, Howard enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, proudly serving for four years. Upon completing his enlistment, he returned to Sanford and began his career at Tenneford Weaving before joining Sprague Electric for a 40-year career retiring as a General Foreman. A lifelong sports enthusiast, Howard was a talented athlete during his school years. He loved watching college sports and was a fervent Notre Dame fan. He was a hardworking man who took pride in providing for his family, always putting them first. Howard is survived by his loving wife, Bette Soule of Sanford; seven children, Janet Louise Soule, Michael Howard Soule, Jeffrey Soule, Thomas Soule, Janice (Mark) Petrin, Sharon (Francis) LaRoche and Lynn (Ernie) Legere; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; his half-sister, Marjorie Janella Seavey; and many nieces and nephews. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at a date to be announced at St. Thérèse of Lisieux Parish, Holy Family Church. Interment with Military Honors will follow at the Southern Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Springvale. Read his full obituary at

Ralph Harold Sprague

Ralph Harold Sprague, 88, passed away peacefully on May 17, 2024, at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House. He was born on March 6, 1936, to Robert and Bernice Sprague, in Effingham, New Hampshire. After graduating in 1955 from Sanford High School, he enlisted in the Navy and served his country for four years before returning to Maine, where he spent a few years working for local oil companies delivering oil and repairing furnaces. He then went to work for a local plumber and learned the trade, eventually starting his own part-time plumbing business while working full-time as a pipefitter at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. He left the shipyard in 1984 and started working as a plumber full-time, serving Sanford and surrounding communities. Known as a good, hardworking man, his business was very successful and kept him busy until he was 86, when he finally decided to retire. He loved the outdoors, and in his free time enjoyed “headin’ north” usually to the Millinocket area, to hunt, fish, and snowmobile with his son and grandsons. Ralph was predeceased by his son Michael and step-grandson Michael Whitten. He was also predeceased by his parents, his brother Robert and his sister Muriel. He is survived by his wife, Irene Sprague, of Lyman; his three children: son Steven (Sandy) Sprague, son Gary (Michelle) Sprague, daughter Cyndi (Jeff) Zinderman, his stepdaughter Lisa Ross, and sisters Lois Hayford and Louise Bouchard, eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. A graveside service with military honors will be held at noon on Friday, June 21 at the Southern Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Springvale.

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