Martin Roger Parente
CARIBOU, Maine – Martin Roger Parente, 71, passed away at home on May 6, 2018, following many years of declining health. His beloved wife, Renée (Freiman) Parente, and pet family were beside him. Martin was born in the Bronx, New York on December 6, 1946, the son of Jack and Rose (Rieger) Parente, and lived there until January 1977, when relocating to Maine to support Renée in her first job.
He was a 1968 graduate of Hunter College with a B.A. Degree in Sociology. He worked first as a social worker for the New York City Department of Social Services, and later on had a 24 year career in the Child Protective Services division of the Maine Department of Human Services, based here in Caribou. There was always praise from his colleagues and clients alike for his professionalism and compassion.
Martin was a man of sharp wit and strong determination. He could tell a good story, enjoyed a hearty laugh, and had many varied interests. Back in New York, he had beautiful fresh water aquariums, which grew in size and number and types of fish families, and this hobby continued in Maine. He was also an indoor gardener in New York, with many of his apartment plants relocating with him. The landscape of Maine was perfect for advancing his gardening skills and soon Renée’s vegetable garden was overtaken by Martin’s flowers. Now, many gorgeous perennial flower beds that they worked on together cover the property and will be a lasting memory of better times.
Dogs, man’s best friends, were another important part of Martin’s life. He was a German Shepherd guy, initially with Duke in New York and Shadow in Maine. Later on he became a fan of English Bulldogs and Dozer, who turned 13 on the day of Martin’s death, and Maddie, age 7, survive him. Martin needed a bird too, and acquired a quite noisy, but beautiful, sun conure parrot, Mango, 15 years ago.
Martin loved the great outdoors and he and Renée enjoyed many hours of fishing, especially at Square Lake. Cross-country skiing filled much of their winter weekend time. Perhaps his favorite outdoor activity was golf, playing first at the Caribou Country Club and then for many years at the Aroostook Valley Country Club, where he had the good fortune to get a hole-in-one on the 8th hole. Martin was instrumental in organizing a fund raising golf tournament for boys with behavioral difficulties who were living at the Christopher Home here in Caribou. This was something he was very proud of and gave him great pleasure.
Martin was very meticulous and exceeded at hands-on work. Woodworking was a favorite pastime and later in life he created a remarkable model train layout, dealing with zillions of tiny pieces and tons of wiring.
Lastly, Martin loved vehicles. He was the proud owner of one of the first BMWs ever delivered to the United States. He always looked forward to a good snowstorm so he could use his Ford Bronco to plow. For a number of years, he rode a 750 Honda motorcycle, then changing over to what he called a motorcycle with 4 wheels and a roof, if you needed it, a Saab convertible. His last car gift to himself was a 2007 Corvette convertible, which he looked forward to riding in again.
Martin is survived by his wife Renée, having become “officially” married on January 9, 1986, and she lovingly cared for him over a number of years. Martin endured cancer, two strokes and respiratory arrest, and had more medical challenges ahead. He had always been Renée’s rock and she eventually became his. Martin is also survived by his older sister, Anita Gypin of South Carolina; Aunt Minerva Rieger of Florida; and brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Lowell and Joan Freiman of Maine. Martin will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by special friends, Al Bouchard and Dave Stairs.
There will be no services held. Friends are welcome to call or visit with Renée and pets at her home. To honor Martin’s memory, just do something special for someone in need. Arrangements are by Mockler Funeral Home.
Rest in peace Martin. Forever Loved. You fought a good fight!