Irene Gallant
Irene Gallant
Irene Gallant
Irene Gallant

Obituary of Irene M. Gallant

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Irene Mary (Gauthier) Gallant, 92, left her family in the early evening hours of March 15th, 2024 after several years of declining health.  She retained her sense of humor, right to the final days; and even with her dementia, she recognized each and every family member that remained with her, until her Lord called her home. Irene was the daughter of Wilfred and Jeannette (Begin) Gauthier.

Irene was born in Boston on July 18th, 1931.  Irene's parents adopted her as an infant from St. Kevin's Parish in Dorchester Massachusetts.  Irene grew up in Livermore Falls, Maine as an only child.  Her dearest, and most cherished childhood friend, Claudette Castonguay came from a large family, and Irene was made to feel like one of the family.  She spoke fondly of her childhood, sharing so many happy memories spent with her friends, and living next door to her grandparents. When she was 16, she lost her beloved uncle, "Meddie" Begin, in a tragic car accident.  She never forgot him, forever missing him.  Irene soon met the man who would become the love of her life.  Leo Gallant arrived home one Christmas and proposed.  Leo and Irene were married on April 25th, 1955 in a small ceremony at St. Rose of Lima Parish.  They began their life living off base in Ft. Bragg, NC.  Within a year, they welcomed their first son.  After military life, Irene and Leo found themselves back in Maine, living in Springvale, Sanford, and Cape Elizabeth.  During this time, they welcomed another son and a daughter.  Irene's family was her world, and she loved them beyond measure.  She was a wonderful homemaker during her children's formative years. They soon moved to Milan, NH for a couple of years before moving to their home in Warren, Maine, where they would live for the next 53 years.  Irene continued to enjoy her family along with neighbors who became like family over the years.  Irene enjoyed cooking, always finding new recipes to try.  She adored animals, especially cats.  She always had at least two throughout her life.  She also enjoyed gardening and sharing this love of gardening with her dear friend and neighbor, Sally Witham.  Irene and Sally spent many wonderful years together, whether visiting over a cup of coffee in each other's homes; tending a huge vegetable garden, sharing flower cuttings, or hiking a nearby trail. 

Irene also enjoyed traveling. Irene and Leo would take many day trips on their Harley motorcycle with like-minded friends. She and Leo would take road trips and also flew to a few faraway places.  Most notable was a trip to Hawaii in the early 70's; and another to Europe to visit their son Brian, who was stationed in Germany. During this trip, they drove to Paris, and my mother was hooked on the thought of European travel.  They also took the family on a road trip to Washington DC in the late 60's.  In the early 80s, they took another road trip, meandering across the country on their way to California to visit their son, Dennis. Irene was anxious to return to Europe. So much so, that in 1985 she booked a two-week tour, and traveled on her own. Irene also traveled with her daughter in the late 90's to the UK.  However, Irene's trip of a lifetime was a three-week trip to Europe with her daughter Diane in the early 90s, with nothing more than a passport, a backpack, a Eurail pass, and no plans other than a reservation for their first night in the Netherlands.  It was quite an experience since neither of them had much experience with public transport or foreign languages.  Many wonderful, unique, and cherished memories were made during this trip; and Irene would say she would carry the memories of this trip to the end of her days.


Soon after the Thanksgiving holidays, Irene would begin her tradition of making several kinds of candies for Christmas. She loved to provide samples before packing it all up until the Christmas holiday. Irene's fudge was second to none, which would include chocolate, brown sugar, and divinity, just to name a few.  We all had our favorites, and she was sure to make certain we would each have our favorite to enjoy.


Irene loved to do little, thoughtful things for her loved ones.  A couple of notable examples of this were making a favorite salmon pie for her son Brian; an entire batch of Needham for her son-in-lawmaking Paul, and even made whoopie pies for her daughter to take to her colleague. 


Irene worked outside of the home once her children were old enough.  She worked in Rockland; for several years at Van Baalen, followed by a few years at the Navigator Motor Inn, and then as a deli clerk at Finast, where her daughter also worked. When Finast closed its doors, Irene worked for LaVerdiere's in Damariscotta.


Irene and her husband made more friends when they decided to winter in Zephyrhills, Florida until 2018, when her declining health kept them in Maine for her remaining years.


Irene was predeceased by her parents; her uncles, Bill, Roland, Victor and Meddie Begin, and several cousins. She was also predeceased by her longtime childhood friend Claudette (Castonguay) Lemlin, and her cherished friend Sally Witham.


Irene is survived by her husband Leo J Gallant, sharing nearly 69 years of marriage, son Dennis and his partner Sue, son Brian, and his wife Kathe and daughter Diane Marion and husband Paul; along with several nieces and nephews.  Irene is also survived by two very special young men that she thought the world of, Wayne and Kevin Witham.


Irene's family would like to thank the staff at Riverside Memory Care in Damariscotta, for their loving and compassionate care of Irene over the past year.  


Irene was compassionate towards those less fortunate. In lieu of flowers, please donate to a food pantry of your choice, or The Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County in Thomaston, Maine. 


A private service will be held at a later time. The interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery in Livermore Falls.


A Memorial Tree was planted for Irene
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Direct Cremation of Maine
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Irene Gallant

In Loving Memory

Irene Gallant

1931 - 2024

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