Rosario “Rosy” J. Santerre

GARDINER – Rosario “Rosy” J. Santerre, 100, passed away peacefully at Woodlands Memory Care in Hallowell, Maine on Friday, Dec. 3, 2021.

Rosy was born on Nov. 2, 1921, in North Connor, Maine, the son of Albert and Mattie Santerre. The family later moved to Waterville. Rosy graduated from Waterville High School where he played football and hockey, sparking a lifelong love of the sport.

Rosy married Iva Wing in May of 1941. Their love spanned 44 years, endured two wars, welcomed three children and was always rooted in family.

Shortly after they were married, Rosy joined the U.S. Navy, serving aboard ship during World War II until he was discharged in 1945. After returning home, he worked at Bath Iron Works for a short time before joining the staff at the Veteran’s Administration in Togus, Maine as an electrician. He soon began building a home for his family in Gardiner – a labor of love that would have to wait as he was called upon again to serve in the Navy during the Korean War, at which time he was stationed in Norfolk, Virginia. He picked up his hammer after returning, completing construction of the home he started and in which he and his family would live many happy years. He lived there until becoming a resident of Woodlands in March of 2021 at the age of 99.

Rosy and Iva purchased property on Tacoma Lake in Litchfield in 1954, where he built a family camp. The first winter after the camp was complete, his vision of summers on the water and his passion for building lead to his next project: a boat that he built in the cellar of his home with bulkhead doors smaller than the boat was wide. Undeterred, Rosy found a way and the boat set sail the summer of 1955. The lake was a special gathering place for family and friends for several years especially for his daughter, Gail, who summered there for many years.

The game of hockey was a large part of Rosy’s life. He played on many outdoor rinks for years until Kennebec Ice Arena was built in 1973. He was part of a group that brought hockey and skating to our area. There he played in the men’s league, coached youth hockey and as a staff member, was often seen driving the Zamboni. When Camden Ice Vault replaced the former arena, the fireplace paid tribute to him with the words “Rosy’s Rink of Dreams”.

Rosy also spent time on the slopes, driving the family to Sugarloaf nearly every weekend for a couple of years before building a camp there in the early 1960s. Once the arena opened, he sold the camp at Sugarloaf but still made his way to the mountain a few times each winter.

Rosy’s full life also included the love of golf. He took to the greens, playing local courses as well as traveling with golf buddies out of state for enjoyable games on various courses. He played in several leagues over the years and was fortunate to play a few holes at a time to the hospitality of Sheepscott Links in Whitefield. He last played in the summer of 2019 at the age of 98 years old.

To add to Rosy’s life of activities, he became a crew member on the race team of his grandson, Steven Prescott. From Legends cars, they moved into the PRO Truck Series and then graduated to NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. He enjoyed being with the team and their many adventures from 1990 – 2000. He also made some memorable road trips with son-in-law, Peter, in a 1940 Ford. They logged miles across Route 66 and adventures to other states always returning home with happy tales to share.

Throughout his century of living, Rosy always took pride and found joy in his family and friends. He will be sadly missed by many. May he rest in peace knowing his legacy lives on. He was predeceased by his year-old son, Elmer Kenneth in November of 1947; wife, Iva Marie in March of 1985; and daughter, Gail Ann in November of 2018. He leaves behind his daughter Sandra and husband Peter Prescott; granddaughter, Stacy Prescott and husband Michael Zerangue; grandson, Steven Prescott and wife Tracey and their children, Peter & Patrick Prescott, Tyler, Tanner, Tucker and Talia Nussinow.

The family sends their heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Woodlands Memory Care Staff and Hospice staff, as well as the caregivers who served him previously at home.

A celebration of Rosy’s amazing life will be held at the Camden National Bank Ice Vault at a later date to be announced.

Arrangements are entrusted with Staples Funeral Home and Cremation Care, 53 Brunswick Avenue, Gardiner, Maine. Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the Staples Funeral Home website:

Those wishing to remember Rosy in a special way may make gifts in his memory to:

Rosy’s Youth Hockey Scholarship Fund

c/o Camden National Bank Ice Vault

P O Box 216

Hallowell, ME 04347

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