Cecile Michaud, 96

Housekeeper for church rectory

February 19, 2007

Cecile Michaud, who cooked and cleaned for the priests of St. Ambrose Roman Catholic Church in Prince George's County until she was 89, died Tuesday of complications from dementia at the Household of Angels assisted-living facility in Crofton. She was 96.

Cecile Reny was the youngest of seven children raised on a small farm in Winslow, Maine. While accompanying her brother on milk deliveries, she met her future husband, Raoul Michaud, a baker. They were married in 1933. As a young woman she worked as a warper for a wool mill, loading fibers onto a machine that spun them into thread, said her daughter, Evelyn Leclerc of Gambrills.

After her husband died in 1964, Mrs. Michaud moved to Gambrills to be near her daughter. She attended Mass at St. Ambrose in Cheverly and accepted a job as a housekeeper in the rectory. She worked there for 29 years.

"Oh, they all loved her," Mrs. Leclerc said of the priests. "Of course, when they learned she was such a cook, they would invite all their friends over."

Her New England boiled dinner - brisket with potatoes and carrots - was a particular favorite, Mrs. Leclerc said.

Mrs. Michaud taught herself to play the piano and could play many songs by ear. "All they had to do was give her the name of the song, and she would play it," her daughter said, adding that her mother played well into her 90s.

A funeral Mass will be offered Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of the Fields Catholic Church, 1070 Cecil Ave., Millersville.

Survivors also include a son, Rene Michaud of Ypsilanti, Mich.; nine grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandchild. Another son, Reginald Michaud, died in 1995.

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