AUBURN – Francis J. Gallant, 78, of Auburn, died unexpectedly on Tuesday, July 20, at his home.

Mr. Gallant was born in Skowhegan, Feb. 13, 1926, to Mary and Emanuel (Eddie) Gallant. He attended local schools and graduated from Skowhegan High School in 1943. He served in the U.S. Navy Construction Battalion in the Aleutian Islands and in the Philippines through the end of World War II.

He was briefly married to Rita Poulin of Skowhegan and subsequently married A. Marita Courtney of Norridgewock, who preceded him in death in 1975. For several years, they owned a funeral home in the South Paris area.

He was founding director in the Oxford Bank, where he served for several years. After his retirement from the funeral business, he and his wife, Barbara (Fletcher), were involved in a retail jewelry business while living in Sebago Lake. Their marriage ended in divorce. He later married Janet Harris of Norway, with whom he ran a convenience store in Casco. After their divorce, he retired to Auburn.

Mr. Gallant was active in the South Paris Masonic Lodge, where he was past master and subsequently a member of Kora Temple Shrine in Lewiston. He and Marita were active members of the Order of the Eastern Star, Norway Chapter. He was also a member of the Odd Fellows, Jaycees, Kiwanis and Lions Club in South Paris.

“Cap” enjoyed participating in community service activities in South Paris, including glaucoma screening with the Lions, fund-raising for Stephens Memorial Hospital and serving on the work committee of the Bean Hole Bean Festival for several years in the 1960s.

Survivors include a son, Thomas E. Gallant, M.D. (Suzanne Tuszka), of Marshfield, Wisc.; a daughter, Mary (William) Bley, of Pearland, Texas; five grandchildren, Nathan Gallant, of Providence, R.I., Jennifer Bley, of Austin, Texas, Andrew Gallant, of Liverpool, England, Lara Gallant, of Charlotte, N.C., and Matthew Bley, of Pearland, Texas; and several cousins in Tignish, Prince Edward Island, Canada and Norwood, Mass.

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