Avis B.M. Gallant, 93: Loved written word, travel, family

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PORTLAND — Avis Butler Marston Gallant, 93, died Nov. 27 in her home at The Osher Inn in Portland.

She was born on July 10, 1921, in Falmouth, the daughter of Elmer and Louise (Cookson) Marston. She graduated from Falmouth High School in 1940, where she played trumpet in the All State Music Band, and was proud of the fact that she was one of the first female trumpet players to play live on the radio in New York City.

After high school, Gallant worked in Portland in the business office at Grant Knowles. During World War II, she was a top seller of war bonds.

In September 1943 Avis took the train across the country with her mother to wed Joseph H. Gallant Jr. in Portland, Oregon, before he went off to war. She had met Joe through their mutual love of music.

The couple raised their three daughters in Maine, where Gallant became involved with the Portland public school PTA. She was known for her caring heart, which she demonstrated through her cooking and entertaining. Her holiday spreads were always pleasing to the eye and the palette. She served as the secretary on the Maine Marine Alpine Club and an active participant of the Windham Historical Society. When her daughters were grown, she went back to work at Porteous, Mitchell and Braun, and at the Hallmark store on Congress Street.

Gallant was a lover of the written word, and would send beautiful cards and letters in elegant penmanship that were treasured by many. Later in life, she found an appreciation for football, she followed the game religiously never having been familiar with the sport before she discovered Tom Brady. Avis and Joe were always on the go, either attending live music or traveling to the U.K. or to the Caribbean for scuba diving. 

She was predeceased by her husband of 67 years, Joseph H. Gallant Jr.

She is survived by her three daughters, Linda Marie Palmer and her husband, Joel, of Limerick, Deborah Ann Gallant and her husband, Wil Gordon, of Searsmont, and Ann Marie Rosenfield, of Cape Elizabeth; grandchildren, Jonathan Palmer and his wife, Jennifer, of Minot, Amy Louise Hanson and her husband, Tony, of Limerick, Alexander “Jake” Rosenfield and Hannah “Zoe” Rosenfield, of Cape Elizabeth; and great-grandchildren, Jillian, Jocelyn, Nathan and Izabella.

Visitation was held Monday at Jones, Rich, and Hutchins Funeral Home, in Portland. A private graveside service will be held in the spring at Blanchard Cemetery, in Falmouth.

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