Joan M. Gilbert, 85: Devoted mother was 'mother' to others, too

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PORTLAND — Joan Mary (McCullum) Gilbert, 85, died peacefully on June 23, surrounded by her family.

The daughter of Mary Neuner and John D. McCullum, Gilbert was born in Portland on July 28, 1929.

In 1949, she married James R. Gilbert, who predeceased her.

Joan’s favorite activity was spending time with her large family, especially at holidays and special gatherings.

After raising her own children, she also helped nurture other children as a volunteer with the Foster Grandmother Program of Cumberland County. Through her work, she shared her love of family with others.

Gilbert also loved to sing, and was a member of many local choirs. She enjoyed playing her harmonica, and especially enjoyed Irish music and dancing. She was also known for the warm welcome she gave others, even strangers, and for her kindness to animals, especially her cats.

In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by two children, Sylvia Proctor and Paulie Gilbert.

Gilbert is survived by six children, Catherine Cronin, of Massachusetts, James Gilbert, of Maine, Christine Willette, of Connecticut, Jeanette Cronin, of Maine, Edward Gilbert, of Maine, and John Gilbert, of Maine; nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

A private celebration of Gilbert’s life and interment will be held with her immediate family in late July. Arrangements are under the direction of Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Home, in Portland.

Those who wish may make contributions in Gilbert’s memory to St. Joseph’s Rehabilitation and Residence, 1133 Washington Ave., Portland, ME 04103.

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