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Verna (Deschene) Ferland

Date of Death: January 26, 2020

Date of Birth: November 3, 1947


On January 26, 2020, Verna (Deschene) Ferland, 72 years old, passed away peacefully at her home in Sidney, ME surrounded by her family.

Verna was born in Grand Falls, New Brunswick, Canada, on November 3, 1947. She was one of 7 children born to Claude Deschene and Winnifred Levesque Deschene. At the age of 5 her family traveled from Grand Falls to East Millinocket, ME where she lived and graduated high school in 1967. The day she started school, she along with the rest of her family spoke and read only French, which was the case for many back at that time immigrating from Canada.  They joked later in life that they learned to speak English from watching TV.

On October 19, 1968, she married her husband James A. Ferland and they built a life together that lasted over 51 years. Verna gave birth to two children, Michelle, who was born at Loring Air Force Base in 1969 where Jim was stationed, and a son George who was born in Presque Isle, Maine, in 1973.

The family lived in Presque Isle for 26 years.  Verna made a wonderful home for her family, she loved both of her children immensely and did for them while going without for herself as they grew up.  She worked many a potato harvest for extra money at Christmas to make that morning special for her family.  That love of Christmas was with Verna her whole life and was passed on to her entire family. She always thought of others first and did as much for her family and friends as she could.

She was employed for many years in Presque Isle as a Crossing Guard at local schools and at the outdoor public pool for many summers.  She made sure the thousands of kids she crossed made it safely to their destination.

Verna was also an amazing seamstress and made many family members clothes as gifts.  Including prom dresses for her daughter Michelle and a tuxedo for husband Jim.  She would stay up nights to finish projects so her friends and family would have their items for their special day.  Her sewing machine could be heard cranking away many a Christmas Eve finishing gifts.

Verna had a great love for animals and her favorite pastime, gardening. The family had many pets over the years, but her favorite was Quincy, a bulldog. She spent many hours in her flower gardens in which she took great pride. She and her twin sister Velma had a sibling rivalry when it came to gardening and would often share bulbs and cuttings from their plants.  Both sisters helped Verna’s daughter in law, Kris Ferland establish her garden for which she has developed a passion.

Verna and Velma shared a special bond.  As children they did everything together and that continued throughout her life.  They spent hours together in their gardens, traveled back and forth from their homes continuously to help each other with everything.  They took care of each other’s pets when the other was away on vacations.  They came into this world right next to each other and Velma was there by her side when she passed.   

Verna was predeceased by her parents Claude and Winnifred Deschene.  She is survived by her husband James Ferland of Sidney, Me.  Daughter Michelle Warguleski and husband Chris of Syracuse, NY and her children Miranda Lombardo Hyzy and husband Christopher of Kenmore, NY and Chelsea Lombardo of Rochester, NY. Son George H. Ferland and wife Kris of Madawaska Lake, ME, and their children Kristopher Alfaro of Kingsville, TX, Nicolas Alfaro of Ankara, Turkey and George J. Ferland of Madawaska Lake.

Siblings Camille Deschene and wife Nancy of East Millinocket, ME, Claudette Green and husband Dennis of Brownville, ME, Velma Appleby and husband Bill of Millinocket, ME, Donald Deschene of Medway, ME, Bert Deschene of Lee, ME, and Linda Ambrose and husband Rick of Glenburn, ME. Verna is also survived by many special nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Verna’s life will be scheduled in the spring, a time she looked forward to so she could get back in her garden.

The family would like to express their gratitude and appreciation to the employees of Beacon Hospice for the excellent care they provided to Verna in her final days, as well as to Funeral Alternatives of Augusta, ME for their support during this difficult time.

Verna had a great love for the work of the Maine Children’s Cancer Program.  The family would appreciate that in lieu of flowers donations can be made in memory of Verna to the Maine Children’s Cancer Program, Maine Medical Center Development Office, 22 Bramhall St. Portland, ME 04102.

Condolences may be expressed at    

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