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Francis Leonard Bilodeau

Modified: Monday, Aug 27th, 2012

Francis Bilodeau
Francis Leonard Bilodeau, 82, of Portland, Ore., died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) on Aug. 20, 2012 at his home.

He was born July 25, 1930 to Joseph and Valeda Bilodeau in Rice Lake, Wis. He was the youngest of six children. After high school, he got a degree as a meat cutter journeyman. He served in the U.S. Army in the Panama Canal and was discharged in 1951.

After his time in the military he returned to Wisconsin, and two years later, married Patricia Ann Zinsmaster. They came out to Oregon on their honeymoon and found that the Willamette Valley was easier on his asthma and decided to make it their permanent home.

Over the next 30 years, he worked for Archway Cookie Co. as a foreman, and he later worked for three small independent grocers along with Roth’s IGA, cutting meat. They lived on a 60-acre farm near the McMinnville airport. In 1979, they sold the farm and purchased a large parcel of land near Yaquina Lighthouse in Newport to live with a view of the coast, a dream they enjoyed living out.

In 1992, they retired and divided their time between Yuma, Ariz. and Newport. They were part-time managers and served on the board of directors at Kofa Koop in Yuma. After losing Pat in 2007, Fran continued to travel south until March 2011 when, due to his health, he sold his Arizona home and took up permanent residence in Oregon living with his children, split between Portland and the coast.

Francis was a devoted husband and loving father and grandfather. He enjoyed fishing and watching ball games.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia; son, Bruce; parents, Joseph and Valeda Bilodeau; two sisters; and two brothers.

He is survived by his children, Lawrence Bilodeau of Newport, Anne Schmidt of Portland, Elizabeth Young of Grand Prairie, Texas and Joe Bilodeau of Newport; sister Claire Berschnieder of Haugen, Wis; nine grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Horizon Community Church, c/o Cambodia Medical Outreach in Tualatin, Ore. An online memorial book is available at www.anewtradition.com. A service will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, at St. James Catholic parish in McMinnville. Interment will be the same day at 3 p.m. at Eureka Pioneer Cemetery in Newport, where he will be laid to rest beside his wife, Patricia.

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