AUGUSTA — Cecile (LeClair) Pare recently celebrated her 100th birthday with a gathering of family and friends at her home in Augusta.

She was born Cecile Claudia LeClair on Jan. 23, 1914, in Augusta, the daughter of Polycarp LeClair and Virginia Parquette. At the age of 5, she and her sister went to live with their father in St. Ephrem de Beauce, Quebec. She was raised by her father and grandparents until the age of 18. She loved music and was an avid piano and violin player. On a weekly basis, neighbors and friends would gather at individual homes to play, sing and dance. These were extremely memorable years for her.

Pare’s father was a carpenter, painter, barber, church sexton and all-around jack-of-all-trades, all while running the family farm. He managed all this with the help of his beloved daughter, who was always by her father’s side to lend a hand. Her younger sister, Madora, died at age 8 because of diphtheria.

At age 18, Pare returned to Augusta. She worked as a nanny and a chamber maid in private homes, local hotels and motels and a hospital. She saved everything she could an put it in a Hope Chest for the future.

On Dec. 27, 1937, she married Wilfred E. Pare Sr. They bought a home on Lafayette Street. They had six children: Gerard Pare of West Gardiner, Wilfred Pare Jr. of Augusta, Rita Avery, of Lisbon Falls, Theresa O’Clair, of Augusta, and Richard Stewart, of Oxford, and the late Arthur “Albert” Pare, formerly of Bath. She has 13 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and 22 great-great-grandchildren.

Pare has enjoyed telling jokes and stories from her youth. On trips to Connecticut with senior groups, participants would be entertained on the bus when tour guides would turn the microphone over the her to entertain the audience.

Pare still lives by herself in the apartment she has been in for more than 20 years. She enjoys relatively good health and gets around her building with the help of a walker. Several times a month she dines with her children at Olive Garden, Applebee’s, Ruby Tuesday, Ninety Nine Restaurant, Governor’s in Waterville and other restaurants. She loves being around family and friends.

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