Mary Elizabeth (Halliwell) Gilbert

SOUTH PORTLAND – On Jan. 6, 2022, in her 91st year, our mother, Mary Elizabeth (Halliwell) Gilbert joined her beloved parents, her adored aunt, Patricia Welch, and siblings.

Born Sept. 20, 1930 in Revere, Mass., Mom was the eldest child of Joseph Leo Halliwell Sr. and Mary Elizabeth (Reardon) Gilbert. She was “big sister” to twins Joseph Leo Halliwell Jr., “Bud” and Joan (Halliwell) Morley, and “adopted brother”, Bobby Mitchell, also loving cousin to retired Father Joe of Massachusetts.

Mom enjoyed telling tales of the mischief Bobby and the twins created, especially her sister Joan, who was a woman before her time, and how much she loved growing up in Revere, Mass., spending time at Revere Beach and attending dances at the Copley-Plaza ballroom in Boston.

She worked as a billing clerk for an oil company in the Boston area until her marriage to Frederick V. Gilbert Sr., also deceased, in December 1951. They brought five children into the world. Dad was a career U.S. Navy Radar Specialist ETC, and as such, our family traveled extensively. We were stationed in wonderful places such as California, Virginia, Bermuda and Italy.

Our family retired to Maine in 1969 and began a new chapter in life. Mom, as well as being a homemaker, worked as a switchboard operator for downtown Portland’s Porteous, Mitchell and Braun department store. When Porteous closed, she worked as a receptionist/office clerk at a local dentist office until she retired.

Mom was a devout Catholic and for many years served as a Eucharistic Minister at St. John’s Catholic Church in South Portland, various facilities and hospitals.

All her life she furiously followed politics and was always up for a lively discussion of current affairs, stories about her vast travel experiences, often spent with sister-in-law, Rita Gilbert, and sharing exploits of we five kids. She loved beach walks alone or with her grandchildren, combing the beach for sea-glass and seashells, and, would oft times say, should the scales go up while dieting, “Well, I’ve never met a piece of bread or cookie I don’t love!”

Mom is survived by five children, Joseph L. Gilbert and wife, Donna, Mary Ellen Himes and husband Charles “Chuck”, Frederick V. Gilbert Jr. “Fred” and wife Helen, Patricia A. Robichaud and husband Patrick, Leo F. Gilbert and wife Cathy; five wonderful grandchildren, Marissa A. Lyons and husband Joel, Kristine P. Watson and husband Eric, Mariah Gilbert, Alissa Gilbert and Sgt. Cameron Gilbert, U.S. Army, stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas. She was friends with Rose Ann Robichaud, mother of Mariah, Alissa and Cameron, also Richard Milan, father of Marissa and Kristine. Mom was the proud great-grandmother of four fantastic children, Hunter Lyons, Michella Lyons, Harvey Watson and Emma Watson. She will be fondly remembered by Francis “Frank” and Deirdre “Dee” Lyons; various cousins; nieces, nephews; and many friends.

Mom, as Bob Hope sung …”thanks for the memories.”

The families of Mary E. Gilbert wish to thank the wonderful staff of Market Square Health Care Center for their loving care of her and for the support provided to us over the past year.

A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 9 at Holy Cross Catholic Church, South Portland followed by burial at Calvary Cemetery in South Portland.

Arrangements entrusted to Hobbs Funeral Home, South Portland. Online condolences may be expressed at

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