In Memoriam : Arthur Gallant

Arthur Gallant Arthur Gallant - age: 79
(December 15, 1935 to April 30, 2015 )
Resident of Saco, Maine

Visitation Information:
Family and friends may call from 5-8PM, Tuesday, May 5th at the Dennett, Craig and Pate Funeral Home, 365 Main St., Saco. A funeral mass will be held at 10AM, Wednesday, May 6th at Most Holy Trinity Church, Saco. Burial will follow with military honors at Laurel Hill Cemetery, Saco.

Donations may be made in Arthurís memory to the Thornton Academy Development Office, 438 Main Street, Saco, ME 04072-1565 or to
SolAmor Hospice of Southern Maine, 23 Spring Street - Suite C, Scarborough, ME 04074.

The family would like to thank the entire staff of Evergreen Manor for their excellent care and compassion.

One of nine children, Arthur was raised in Mexico, Maine. Showing strong academic aptitude, Arthur skipped fourth grade and won a full scholarship to attend the University of Sherbrooke High School in Canada. In 1955, after a year at St. Francis College, Arthur put his academics on hold to serve his country and enlisted in the Army. During four years of active duty, he traveled extensively throughout Europe.

He met his wife, Ruth, at the American Hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, where she worked as a short order cook and he was a psychiatric ward medic. They married twice-legally, on May 3, 1958 by the Burgermeister at city hall and then spiritually the very next day in the Army chapel at the hospital where they met. Arthur recalled that the evening of their first ceremony was spent apart - he at his bachelor party and she at her bridal party.

In August of 1958, he brought his wife home to the United States, where he completed his philosophy degree at St. Francis College in Biddeford. After a year teaching English on Fishers Island in New York, the Reverend Clarence LaPlante, then President of St. Francis College, called to offer a job. Arthur spent the next sixteen years teaching Psychology and Philosophy as well as serving in the roles of Director of Admissions and Registrar. He recalled spending two straight days at the college keeping peace among the student body during Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" civil rights symposium on campus in 1964.

After leaving St. Francis College (now the University of New England), he sold insurance, bought a fuel oil distribution business and convenience store, all while owning and operating an income tax preparation practice. He worked in the practice, begun in 1964, until transferring ownership to his eldest son in 1997. He continued to work there until his ultimate retirement in 2008. He met and made many long-time friends during this time.

Arthur made many contributions to the community. In 1965, he moved to Saco, ran for school board, and won city-wide. He served four years, elected for three and extended for one. He served on the zoning board of appeals for four years. In addition, he served as President of Saco Little League, then District 4, and eventually all of southern Maine from Kittery to Saco. While he and Ruth raised four children and now enjoy eight living grandchildren and one great-grandson, he played a role in the lives of countless children through his teaching and community involvement.

When asked about his favorite travels, several came to light starting with a visit to the Arc de Triomphe Paris, Rome, Milan, Venice, Genoa, the Netherlands, and six cruises. A few had special stories attached. In St. Lucia, he recalled riding a mule cart singing the banana song - an island tradition. Alaska stood out for its friendly people, visiting Klondike, walking on a glacier, and lading on a lake at the top of an unspoiled mountain in a pontoon plane. Over a lifetime of travel, two were unique because of Arthur's longstanding refusal to ever make reservations. At the 1958 World's Fair in Brussels, Belgium, he slept in the back seat and Ruth in the front because of no room availability within sixty miles. In contrast, their London, England honeymoon was spent in an extravagant hotel suite because that was the only room available upon their arrival. In recalling the expense, Arthur simply shrugged and said, "Hey, it was our honeymoon! With all the traveling that we did, if I had a chance to do it again tomorrow, I would!"

When asked the key to a happy life, Arthur confidently declared, "Don't sweat it! Lay back and take things as they come. If you want to do something, do it and if you're not crazy about something, don't do it. Do what makes you happy. Life is too short to not be happy.

He is predeceased by 1 grandchild, Travis.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Ruth Gallant of Saco, 3 sons, Thomas Gallant and his wife Kim of Arundel, Michael Gallant of Saco, Peter Gallant and his wife Monique of Arundel, 1 daughter, Vera Kalagias and her husband Michael of Saco, 8 grandchildren, Mary, Rebecca, Thomas, Peter, Katie, Gregory, Collin, Kelly, and 1 great grandchild, Liam.

Family and friends may call from 5-8PM, Tuesday, May 5th at the Dennett, Craig and Pate Funeral Home, 365 Main St., Saco. A funeral mass will be held at 10AM, Wednesday, May 6th at Most Holy Trinity Church, Saco. Burial will follow with military honors at Laurel Hill Cemetery, Saco.

Steve McInnis - April 30, 2015Contact this person Contact this person
World's Greatest Uncle! Rest in Peace

Brenda Couture - May 1, 2015Contact this person Contact this person
Ruth, were so sorry to hear of your loss. art was always right about life is too short not to be happy, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. love Steve,Brenda and Sam.

Nancy Chaves - May 1, 2015Contact this person Contact this person
Our deepest sympathies to the whole family. Thinking of you all during this time. Blessings....


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