Westbrook\n\nSimone M. Blanchette, 86, formerly of South Portland, passed away Friday, December 1, 2023 while under hospice care at Gorham House in Gorham. Simone was the daughter of the late George D. and Phebienne Blanchette, born on May 31,1937 in Eagle Lake surrounded by the warmth of her family and community. \n\nShe graduated from Fort Kent High School in 1955 and attended The Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in Portland, graduating in 1959. She lived in San Francisco for a couple of years while working at a VA Hospital before returning to Maine. She attended the University of Maine in Orono graduating in 1970 after completing her bachelor’s degree in nursing.\n\nSimone’s professional career lasted over 30 years at Maine Medical Center specializing in nephrology and dialysis. She was instrumental in bringing the first outpatient dialysis services to Portland as a Nurse Manager, later retiring in 2001. She was highly respected and beloved by those under her leadership and maintained many friendships until her recent passing. Colleagues describe her as a compassionate and empathetic nurse who was a fierce advocate of her nursing staff, who always “had our backs”. \n\nSimone was a devout Catholic and a dedicated volunteer who served as a Eucharistic Ministry, Parish Nurse for the homebound, and countless other activities as a member of Holy Cross Church. She was known in her family as everyone’s favorite aunt and became an inspiration to many family members to pursue careers related to the care of others. She enjoyed attending gatherings with family and friends and, was usually the life of the party with a witty sense of humor. She cherished moments visiting at Peabody Pond, Sebago Lake, and in her hometown of Eagle Lake. She spent years of intensive genealogy research dating back to the 1500s in France where the Blanchette family originated. Simone loved reading, especially the local daily paper, and creating lovely gardens at her home in South Portland. Her beloved cat, Daisy Mae, was a constant companion to her and is now in the loving care of a thoughtful caregiver.\n\nIn addition to her parents, Simone was predeceased by 9 siblings and her dear friend Patricia Peasley, with whom she shared a home in South Portland. She is survived by numerous nieces and nephews, and great-nieces and nephews. Simone was loved and respected by all who had the privilege to know her. \n\nVisiting hours in celebration of Simone's life will be held from 2-5pm on Sunday, December 10, 2023 at Conroy-Tully Walker South Portland Chapel. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11am on Monday, December 11, 2023 at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 124 Cottage Rd. South Portland. Simone will be laid to rest at Calvary Cemetery, a reception will follow. \n\nIn lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter, located in Scarborough and the South Portland Food Pantry.