Theresa Dentremont (center) died Aug. 21 at age 88 after she contracted COVID-19 from someone who had attended an Aug. 7 wedding in the Millinocket area. Her 97-year-old husband, Frank (left), was also infected but has since recovered, according to his son, Frank Dentremont Jr. (right). Credit: Courtesy of the Maine Monitor

Theresa Dentremont, who died from COVID-19 on Aug. 21 at the age of 88, always had a positive attitude, loved to stay creative and work with her hands, and was the anchor for her family.

That’s how family members of the East Millinocket resident remembered her in an obituary published in the Bangor Daily News.

Dentremont was the first of three people so far whose deaths have been linked to an outbreak of COVID-19 that stemmed from an Aug. 7 wedding in the Katahdin region. The other two victims are a man in his 70s and a woman in her 80s, both from neighboring Somerset Country.

The outbreak has since been linked to two other outbreaks in Maine — at the York County Jail in Alfred and a rehabilitation center in Madison — and the number of cases stemming from the wedding now numbers 147. Dentremont did not attend the Aug. 7 wedding, nor did her husband, Franklin, who also contracted COVID-19 and was hospitalized but has since recovered.

Public health officials haven’t detailed how the Dentremonts became infected other than to say that Theresa Dentremont interacted with someone who attended the wedding. Family members declined to comment beyond the obituary. The son of Franklin Dentremont, 97, told the Boston Globe that the couple spent the evening of the wedding at their cabin on Cedar Lake and said they weren’t taking any chances with their health during the pandemic because their ages put them at high risk for complications from the coronavirus.

Theresa Dentremont was born on March 4, 1932, in East Millinocket, and grew up in the town, attending Schenck High School, from which she graduated in 1949, according to her obituary. She later attended Husson College in Bangor. Early in her career, she worked as an executive secretary for the managers at the Great Northern Paper Company, which ran the paper mills in Millinocket and East Millinocket. Later in life, she worked as a town clerk and tax collector for the towns of East Millinocket and Medway.

For the past 26 years, she was married to Franklin Dentremont. She raised six children — Valerie, Julie, Nancy, John, Christine and Thomas — and was a lifelong communicant at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in East Millinocket.

She was an avid and talented quilter, sewer, knitter and crocheter, and she spent the past 50 summers at her family’s cabin on Cedar Lake, south of Millinocket, according to the obituary.

Correction: An earlier version of this story had a photo caption that included the incorrect age for Theresa Dentremont.

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Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.