Army Veteran Guided by Faith, Service

Author: MVH Bangor
Posted: September 19, 2019
Category: Maine Veterans of the Month

Conrad Beaulieu is a quiet man, but his life experiences could fill a book. From his time in the Army to studying to become a monk and teaching children in a foreign country how to read, one underlying theme in his life has always been service to others.

He was born in Caribou on Jan. 22, 1924, to Eddie and Agnes Beaulieu. Conrad was the baby of the family with two older sisters, Priscilla and Doris. Their father co-owned a barbershop and their mother worked as a schoolteacher.

Conrad attended Holy Rosary Elementary School and graduated a year early and then went on to Caribou High School. Always wanting to learn, he studied electrical engineering at the University of Maine. His education, however, was put on hold after two years when he enlisted in the Army.

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Conrad Becomes Diver for Army

Conrad completed diving school and was assigned as a diver in port construction in Okinawa where he was responsible for clearing Naha Harbor of debris. Conrad has vivid memories of being stationed in [blog-image]-maine-veterans-homes-veteran-of-month-army-conrad-beaulieu-uniformOkinawa, including having to take cover during a typhoon and losing a beloved diving buddy when the man’s air intake valve became compromised. He’ll also never forget where he was when it was announced that President Franklin D. Roosevelt died – he was beginning the journey of serving his country, sailing over the international dateline on his way to Okinawa.

After serving four years in the Army, Conrad returned to Maine to complete the engineering degree he had started six years before. Conrad’s career took him to New York City, but he found that he didn’t like it and he came home. He followed a calling to explore Monkhood, but upon further inspection, found it wasn’t for him. It was not, however, the end of his religious service. Conrad went to Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and pursued a career as a lay person in the church, first in Louisiana and then as an English teacher for children in Guatemala.

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Another Kind of Service - Community

Conrad returned to the states after the passing of his father. He cared for his mother in Florida while working as a high school math teacher. Conrad even volunteered to be assigned to one of the state’s first integrated high schools.

After he retired from teaching, Conrad didn’t stay idle. He worked at an area library, a home for disabled adults and the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Shop. The city of St. Petersburg even recognized him for his volunteer work cleaning up a local park while on his daily walks.

Conrad remained connected to his faith. He sang in a local choir, participated in a prison ministry and celebrated his birthday every year until he was 90 at the March for Life in Washington, D.C.

Conrad came back to Maine to live with his niece Linda and her husband Bruce. He’s the beloved uncle to six nieces and nephews, their spouses, children and grandchildren.

Conrad is a resident at Maine Veterans’ Homes - Bangor and our September Veteran of the Month. Thank you for your service, Conrad.

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