SCARBOROUGH — Ruth Elizabeth (Laufer) Gallant, 87, “Omi” to those who loved her, died Saturday, April 9, 2016, at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough lovingly surrounded by her four children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Ruth was born Dec. 17, 1928, in Germany, and was raised in southwestern Germany during the height of World War II. She experienced many of the horrors of war, and lost her own father during that time. Many are the accounts that she shared of encounters with Allied soldiers, bombing raids, blackouts, rationing and friends who went missing during local skirmishes.

She married an American soldier, Arthur T. Gallant, on May 3, 1958, and moved to Maine. Although she did not speak English, she managed to make friends in the Biddeford area while her husband attended college courses.

She was naturalized in 1965, and as a new United States citizen, she eagerly learned to speak the language, acquired a driver’s license and raised four children at the family home in Saco.

Proudly receiving her GED in 1973, she enjoyed serving as a substitute teacher at Thornton Academy for a number of years.

Omi later worked alongside her husband in the fuel oil business that they bought in 1984 until selling it in 1997.

She was an avid sports fan, and loved attending her grandchildren’s sporting events at Thornton Academy in her later years.

She was preceded in death by Arthur, her husband of 57 years, and Travis, her grandson.

Omi is survived by: four children, Thomas Gallant and his wife Kim of Arundel, Vera Kalagias and her husband Michael of Saco, Michael of Saco, and Peter and his wife Monique of Arundel.

In addition, she was beloved by her eight grandchildren, Mary (and husband Philip Berthiaume), Rebecca (and husband Adam Bermingham), Thomas, Peter, Katherine, Gregory, Collin and Kelly, and was just beginning to get to know her great-grandchildren, Liam and Nora.

At her request, cremation and arrangements will be by Dennett, Pate and Craig Funeral Home and Cremation, 365 Main St., Saco.

A memorial visitation has been scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, April 14, at the family plot at Laurel Hill, where she will be laid to rest next to her husband, Arthur. Father Robinson of Trinity Episcopal Church will officiate.

To make memorial contributions in her memory, please consider the Thornton Academy Athletic Fund, c/o Brittany Brown, 438 Main St., Saco, ME 04072.