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Baillargeon announced as Pea Soup grand marshal

Maurice Baillargeon, 91, was named the grand marshal of the 2010 Pea Soup Days parade, set for 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 12. He has been active in the Somerset community as a farmer, carpenter, deacon and with the Knights of Columbus.

Maurice Baillargeon has been selected as the Somerset Pea Soup Days 2010 grand marshal.

Baillargeon, 91, was selected by the Somerset Chamber of Commerce and Somerset Lions. Both organizations are sponsoring the parade.

"He's been involved with Somerset for a long time," said Casey Goessl, Somerset Chamber of Commerce president. "We brainstormed with the Lions and felt he would be a good candidate."

Baillargeon was born Nov. 27, 1919. He graduated from high school in 1939 before joining the Army in 1942. During World War II he served in Africa and Italy, where he was able to get an audience with then-Pope Pius XII.

He married Lorraine Cullen on June 18, 1945. They rented the family farm for dairy cows and had 10 children: Gerald, born August 1946; Judy, born January 1948; Maureen, born February 1949; Joe, born February 1950; Ray, born January 1952; Tony, born January 1954; Mary, born December 1954; Lee, born August 1956; Maurice Joseph, born August 1958 (deceased August 1958); and Rita, born September 1960.

As far as his community involvement, he joined the Catholic Order of Foresters in 1946 and later the Knights of Columbus. He also served on the finance committee at St. Anne's and was chairman of the building and grounds committee.

He sold the cattle in 1964 and started working as a carpenter. He retired in Dec. 1, 1981 and started doing volunteer carpentry work.

Baillargeon also entered the Deconate program and was ordained as deacon on July 27, 1991. He was also chaplin of the American Legion for a while. As deacon, he married a number of his grandchildren and other couples, and assisted at funerals and vigil services.

He and Lorraine moved to The Deerfield in New Richmond in March 2008. On Nov. 2, 2008, Lorraine passed away after suffering a major stroke. Maurice still lives at The Deerfield and is active in the St. Anne's community.

As grand marshal he will ride in the Pea Soup Days parade on Saturday, June 12, at 11 a.m. The parade will start at the Somerset School campus.

The proceeds from the parade will go toward sending one to three people to Camp Needlepoint in Hudson. The camp is for people with diabetes.

In conjunction with the parade, Holiday Gas Station is hosting a brat and soda stand with all proceeds donated to the Camp Needlepoint recipients.

David Bracht, Somerset Lions board member, said that Baillargeon was a good representative for the parade.

"I brought up his name because he's done so many nice things," Bracht said. "Everyone unanimously agreed."