FORT KENT, Maine — Katherine (Paradis) Roy, one of Fort Kent’s leading businesswomen and notable worker for community organizations, died Tuesday, July 5, after battling breast cancer for the past five years.
“Cathy helped lead a successful third generation family business that has been an integral part of our community for decades. She did it with class and no fanfare,” said former Fort Kent manager Don Guimonde.
The Roys were co-owners of the family business Paradis Shop ‘n Save, a chain of grocery stores in north and central Maine, including the towns of Fort Kent and Madawaska in St. John’s Valley and the town of Brewer in Penobscot County. Paradis Shop ‘n Save celebrates its 75th anniversary this August.
Roy received the 2009 Fort Kent Woman of the Year Award from the Fort Kent Business and Professional Women Organization.
According to her cousin and Shop ‘n Save co-owner Denise Paradis, she was a humble person who had a strong work ethic and set an example.
“She was a hardworking person,” said Denise Paradis. “She was fair to all colleagues. She loved her job and the people in the entire community.”
Roy has volunteered with several community organizations, including 17 years on the board of directors of Acadia Federal Credit Union, where he worked with Guimond.
“You can count on their commitment to the organization by serving the community,” Guimonde said. “His timely words and vision have been entrusted with the task of always helping the board make the right decisions on matters affecting it.”
Roy has also served on the Fort Kent Board of Visitors and the Northern Maine Medical Center Board of Trustees at the University of Maine.
A keen golfer, she was also Director/Secretary at Fort Kent Golf Club.
“Cathy had great athletic ability and competed in many sports,” Paradis said.
Paradis said nothing loved Roy more than his family. Roy and her husband, Bertrand Roy, 42, share two adult children — Jason Roy and Kellyanne Roy Dubois — and four grandchildren.
“Of course Bert Roy is with him through thick and thin in every memory; They’ve always been best buddies,” Paradis said.
Paradis has some special childhood memories of his cousin.
The tidy Pardi clan enjoyed spending time year-round in family camps on land that Roy and Paradis’ grandfather, Shop ‘n Save founder Louis Paradis, bought for $150 and a cow.
Dennis Paradis said, “My earliest memories of Kathy are hanging out at family gatherings at our beloved Eagle Lake.”
Gimond said Kathy Roy’s death was a blow to the community.
“We were blessed to share our knowledge with us for the benefit of the entire region,” said Guimonde.
Roy’s memorial service will be held on Saturday July 9th. In exchange for flowers, his family presented an Edgar J. donation to the Paradis Cancer Fund.
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