Donald O. Lagace Sr.
Donald O. Lagace Sr. 1933 - 2016 AUGUSTA - Donald O. Lagace Sr., 83, died Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016, at Bedside Manor in Oakland, following a long struggle with Alzheimer's. He was born in Augusta on April 24, 1933, the son of the late Leon J. and Alida G. (Patenaude) Lagace. Mr. Lagace was a graduate of Cony High School and was a communicant of St. Augustine Catholic Church. Mr. Lagace was employed by the Maine Army National Guard for 16 years as an automotive technician. He then pursued a career as a Maytag regional sales director, during which time he built multiple laundromat facilities throughout the state. Don then started an enduring family business developing residential, office, and retail properties in Augusta, Fayette, Rangeley, and Florida under the ownership of Lagace Realty, Capitol City Associates and Lagace Properties. Don retired from the Maine Army National Guard as a chief warrant officer 4 (CW4) with over 36 years of distinguished service to his state and nation. Don's passion was flying planes. From his first solo flight to his commercial pilot with multi-engine, instrument and instructor ratings, he took great pride in continuous challenges and always learning and expanding his flight skills. Don truly enjoyed his float planes and was the seaplane director for the State of Maine. He also was a proud member of the Civil Air Patrol. Undoubtedly, his lifetime notable achievement was his focus and dedication to continuously improving the life of his daughter Roxanne, who was born with cerebral palsy. Ignoring recommendations to institutionalize Roxanne after birth, Don and his wife Jeannette initiated numerous grass-roots programs, including Mid-State Cerebral Palsy and others, with a focus of normalization and integration of the disabled into mainstream society. Don developed two group homes dedicated to improving the lives of many disabled young adults, including Roxanne. Roxanne lives in her own supervised apartment today, a feat none thought imaginable during Roxanne's childhood years. Despite his Alzheimer's, Don's dreams culminated in 2014 when the non-profit organization that he developed (Summer Street Associates) donated the Summer Street group home to Uplift Inc. of Gardiner, whose mission is to provide residential, integration, and employment services to adults with disabilities. Don's legacy of improving the quality of life for his daughter Roxanne and many others continues today. He was a member of the Calumet Club and the Augusta Elks Lodge. Mr. Lagace is survived by his wife of 60 years, Jeannette A. (Ouellette) Lagace, of Augusta; a very special daughter (and the light of his life), Roxanne L. Lagace, of Augusta; two sons: Donald O. Lagace Jr. and his wife Melissa, of Sidney, and Peter R. Lagace and his wife Julie, of Augusta; a brother, Rev. Raymond Lagace, OFM, of Augusta; a sister, Lorraine Philbrick, of Augusta; four grandchildren: Olivia, Emily, Betsy and Elliot; as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins. A heartfelt thank you from the Lagaces goes to the staff and owners of Bedside Manor in Oakland. The atmosphere, warmth, care, and love Dad received was truly outstanding. At his request, there will be no public visiting hours. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, Oct. 15, at 11 a.m. at St. Augustine Catholic Church, Northern Ave., Augusta. Burial with military honors will take place at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, in the new Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Mt. Vernon Road, Augusta. Arrangements are under the care of Plummer Funeral Home, 16 Pleasant St., Augusta. Condolences, photos and stories may be shared at: www.plummerfh.com . Those who desire may make donations in Don's memory to: Alzheimer's Association Maine Chapter 383 U.S. Route One, Suite 2C Scarborough, ME 04074
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