Charles Edwin “Ed” Gallant

PORTLAND – Charles Edwin “Ed” Gallant, veteran and retired chief dispatcher for the Maine Central Railroad, passed away peacefully at home on Sept. 21, 2020 at the age of 93. He was a lifelong parishioner of St. Joseph Church and an active member of the Knights of Columbus.

Born on May 12, 1927 in Portland, Ed met, fell in love and married Gloria Hall in 1951. They embarked on a life together spanning nearly 70 years that centered around family, service to the community and living every day to the fullest. Family and faith were the core of his focus and the source of much joy throughout his life. His character was defined by honor and integrity and his word was his bond.

Together with his wife Gloria, he raised five children in the North Deering neighborhood of Portland where his easy-going manner and kind nature were always front and center. In the era when gender and family roles were tightly defined, Ed did not feel constrained by them. In addition to traditional “dad” responsibilities, he routinely rolled up his sleeves and pitched right in with the cooking, cleaning, ironing and sewing (all of which he was really good at).

Ed loved life and loved making others’ lives better. He believed that what you gave to others you would get back in dividends that could never be replaced by monetary gain. Ed was happiest helping others pursue their goals ? except when playing board games. Only then was he extremely competitive. Kings Cribbage, Rummikub and Dominoes were some of his favorites. Even at 93, Ed was hard to beat.

Excited to get up and get going every day, sometimes it was hard to keep up with Ed. An avid skier until the age of 85, Ed combined his love of the sport with community service as a 20-year volunteer with the Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation program at Sunday River.

Even after 90, Ed could be seen tooling around Portland in his Ford Fiesta. An average week had him at the gym at 8 a.m. three days a week (followed by a second breakfast and cup of coffee at his favorite Starbucks), league bowling Tuesdays and Thursdays, volunteering at Bingo on Wednesdays, preparing and serving meals at St. Vincent De Paul’s every Friday, all while fitting in a couple of hikes around Baxter Woods or Mackworth Island.

People who knew Ed knew he loved to eat. He had a voracious appetite and a sweet tooth to go along with it, but never gained a pound. A glass of rose with dinner and a Friday night green apple martini were his favorites. Nothing gave more pleasure than hosting a big family BBQ or lobster feed in the backyard.

Life-long resident of Maine, Ed always believed that travel was an essential part of an education, providing memories that would last a lifetime. He planned many travel adventures for the family over the years that took them from Prince Edward Island to California and many states in between. An epic five-week family camping trip across America and back was one of his favorites. Ed and his wife, Gloria, spent their retirement years visiting family, camping in Maine and traveling the world, reveling in the places visited and people they met.

Ed was predeceased by his wife, Gloria Corinne Gallant; and firstborn child, Michelle.

He is survived by five children, Mark, Denise, James, Lynne and Mary and their spouses; 13 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his siblings, Sister Muriel Gallant, Francis Gallant, Teresa Moreland and Dorothy Ellison and predeceased by his siblings, Gerald Gallant and Mary Regan.

A private Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Pius Catholic Church in Portland. Interment will take place in Calvary Cemetery. Please visit http://www.jonesrichandbarnes.com to access the link to join the live streaming of services and to sign Ed’s online line guestbook.

In lieu of flowers, consider a contribution to the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (Portland) or your preferred charity.

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