ORONO – Jacqueline R. Tuell, 84, died March 28, 2014, at her Orono residence, with family by her side. Jacque was born April 6, 1929, in Melrose, Mass., the eldest daughter of Dominic A. Travalini and Jeannette (Durpras) Travalini., who remained a powerful influence throughout her life.
She was joined by two loving sisters, Jeanne Travalini Rishell and Margaret Travalini Murphy in Everett, Mass., and eventually moved to Melrose, Mass., in 1940. Jacque graduated from Melrose High School in 1946 where she delivered her first of many public speeches, illustrating her capacity for holding an audience with her incredible oratory skills.
After working as an assistant to the Vice President of Commercial Filters in Melrose for 10 years, she met and married her husband, Sherwood J. Tuell, who passed away in 1993. Jacque left behind the familiarity of family and friends to forge a new life in Orono. She arrived knowing no one, but left a lasting impression on a community that allowed her to grow as a person. Throughout her life, Jacque participated in many local organizations, but her faith was foremost and ever present in her life. Jacque was an active member of the Catholic Church as a lecturer, but her greatest gift to the church was her musical talents. At one time in her life a person couldn’t be married, buried, or celebrated without Jacque at the organ. She generously shared her gift of music and used this talent to bring joy to the community.
She believed her greatest contribution to Orono was her dedication to children’s education as a school board member from 1978-1986, acting as board chair for several years. During this time, Jacque was at her best. She championed many causes, but children and families were always foremost in her heart.
Jacque was proud to have raised seven children, Michael, Peter, Phillip, Tony, Maria, Jeanna, and Annie, all of whom gave her great joy and a few gray hairs. This was a labor of love. Both Jacque and Sherwood sacrificed throughout their lives to provide a greater life for their children. They proudly watched as they went on to create happy and productive lives with their careers and families. Jacque celebrated the births and cherished each of her grandchildren, John, Rachael, Ben, Jillian, Gaby, Zeb, Jane, Elija, Hannah, and Luke. Recently her grandson, John and Lauren blessed her with her first great-grandchild, Annabel Ruth. She was blessed with great-daughters and sons-in law, Dana, Leslie, Kristy, Karl, and Daryl.
Jacque’s life was a simple mission. She loved her neighbor and welcomed the stranger. Jacque was the matriarch of the Tuell Family and will be greatly missed by her children. Her lessons of love, laughter, and good stories will forever be present in their family’s fabric and traditions.
The family would like to express gratitude to New Hope Hospice for their support. Jacque connected to the many caregivers over the past years. Special thanks to Roean, Kacey, and Joyce for their dedicated, loving care. Jean Sweetser was a rock to the Tuell family and a tireless supporter of Jacque’s needs.
Jacque was a voracious reader and lifelong learner. She loved a good book, a cup of coffee, and great conversation. Because of Jacque strong commitment to education and children, contributions in her name can be made to the RSU34 Children’s Fund, 56 Oak St., Old Town, ME 04468. Jacque could also be honored by doing a simple kind act for a neighbor, stranger, or friend.
Family and friends may call 4-8 p.m. Tuesday, at the Newman Center, College Avenue, Orono, where a Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated 10a.m. Wednesday. Notes of condolences and to view a life story through pictures please visit www.birminghamfuneralhome.com.