FORT KENT, Maine — One of Fort Kent’s leading businesswomen and a notable contributor to community organizations, Kathryn (Paradis) Roy, died on Tuesday, July 5, after fighting breast cancer for the last five years.
“Kathy helped guide a successful third-generation extended family business that has been an integral part of our community for decades. She did it with class and without fanfare,” former Fort Kent town manager Don Guimond said.
Roy was a co-owner of the family business Paradis Shop ’n Save, a chain of grocery stores throughout northern and central Maine, including in the St. John Valley towns of Fort Kent and Madawaska and the Penobscot County city of Brewer. Paradis Shop ’n Save will celebrate 75 years in business this August.
Roy was awarded the 2009 Fort Kent Woman of the Year award by the Fort Kent Business & Professional Women’s organization.
She was a humble person who had a strong work ethic and led by example, according to her cousin and Shop ’n Save co-owner Denis Paradis.
“She was a diligent person,” Denis Paradis said. “She was fair to all associates. She loved her work and the people throughout the community.”
Roy volunteered for many community organizations, including 17 years for the Acadia Federal Credit Union board of directors, on which she served with Guimond.
“You could count on her dedication to the organization in service to the community,” Guimond said. “Her timely words and foresight concerning issues the board was tasked with always contributed to appropriate decisions being made.”
Roy also served on the University of Maine at Fort Kent Board of Visitors and Northern Maine Medical Center Board of Trustees.
An avid golfer, she also was director/secretary at the Fort Kent Golf Club.
“Kathy had a very great athletic ability and competed in a lot of sports,” Paradis said.
There was nothing Roy loved more than her family though, Paradis said. Roy and her husband of 42 years, Bertrand Roy, shared two adult children — Jason Roy and Katelyn Roy Dubois, as well as four grandchildren.
“Of course every recollection has Bert Roy beside her throughout thick and thin; they’ve always been best buds,” Paradis said.
Paradis has some special childhood memories of his cousin.
The tight-knit Paradis clan enjoyed time spent throughout the years at family campsites on land that Roy’s and Paradis’ grandfather Shop ’n Save founder Louis Paradis purchased for $150 and a cow.
“My early recollection of Kathy is hanging out at family functions at our beloved Eagle Lake,” Denis Paradis said.
Guimond said the loss of Kathy Roy is a blow to the community.
“We were blessed to have had her share her knowledge with us for the betterment of the entire region,” Guimond said.
Roy’s memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 9. Her family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Edgar J. Paradis Cancer Fund.