Jackie Gallant

SCARBOROUGH — Jackie Gallant, 72, of Portland, left us peacefully while surrounded by her loving family on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010. Her illness doesn’t deserve recognition, but her courageous struggles and will to live are an inspiration to all that knew her.

Jackie was born in West Newton, Mass., on Sept. 29, 1938, to Mary (Marcucci) and Anthony Tomasso. She moved to Portland in 1948 and grew up on Cotton Street. She attended Portland schools and graduated from Portland High School in 1957. She was the recipient of the PHS Preti Award acknowledging her athletic and academic achievements. Jackie continued to show her athletic abilities throughout her life. She enjoyed playing bocce ball and arm wrestling her grandchildren, often winning. She was one tough lady.

Shortly after graduating, Jackie and Robert Gallant were introduced by a close friend, Rosie. They fell in love and got married on May 16, 1959. Together, Jackie and Bob raised four children and by example, they taught them the importance of hard work, respect and accountability.

Jackie was employed by W.H. Shurtleff Company of Portland for 20 years until she retired to care for her mother-in-law. Several years later, she began a part-time job at Baker Newman and Noyes where she quickly fell in love with the job and her co-workers. She would often refer to them as her second family or her children. She boosted morale with her fun holiday parties and her signature meatball parties. During her last days she said, “I’m going to make meatballs up in the sky.” Her sense of humor remained strong until the end and we all love her for that.

Always holding her head high, Jackie never complained during her most difficult days. Instead, she often put others at ease with her positive attitude and her ability to find the silver lining in every situation. Jackie taught us how precious life and family is, to live in the moment and to always be thankful for what you have. She gave effortlessly and never wanted anything in return, often going without herself to help others.
She always brought people together with her warmth, humor and good cooking. She loved playing cribbage with friends and was especially lucky at the game. Jackie’s life was beautiful and filled with very special memories for all that knew her to share. Her endless collection of photos have captured these wonderful times.
Jackie was predeceased by her parents.
She is survived by her loving husband of 51 years, Robert; and their children Concetta Gallant Morse and Rob Belliveau; sons Anthony Gallant and Joseph Gallant; and daughter Jeannie Gallant; eight grandchildren including Jacqueline Morse of Sebago; her sister and best friend, Jean Thomas of Portland; and her brother, Richard Thomas of Denmark.

Jackie’s beautiful life was celebrated with a Mass of Christian Burial on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010, at St. Peters Roman Catholic Church, 72 Federal Street, Portland. Interment was in New Calvary Cemetery, South Portland. There was no visitation. Please visit www.jonesrichandhutchins.com for additional information and to sign Jackie’s guestbook. Arrangements are being handled by the Jones, Rich & Hutchins Funeral Home, 199 Woodford Street, Portland.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to: The Gosnell Memorial Hospice House, 11 Hunnewell Road, Scarborough, ME 04074 or www.hospiceofsouthernmaine.org

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