CAPE ELIZABETH — Rose Arlene (Gilbert) Bouchard, whose joyful piano playing and sparkling personality captured the hearts of those she met, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Dec. 21, in Cape Elizabeth, at the age of 93.

A lifelong Maine resident, she was born to Harry Jewett Gilbert and Clara Conant Gilbert in the family home in Turner, the youngest of six children. She was adopted as an infant by her aunt and uncle, Ada and Albion Conant, and was raised in Auburn. The Conants also adopted two other children, Dorothy and Arthur.

As a child, Rose helped collect eggs from the chicken coop and grew up with many family pets, including the dogs her aunt and uncle raised. She developed her talent as a pianist at a young age and played for a dancing school and performed with local bands.

Her long life was marked by her independent spirit, vitality and ability to survive the challenges that were presented to her.

She is survived by her daughter, Kathy Bouchard and her husband, Daniel O’Leary, of Scarborough; and her stepdaughter, Charlotte Haskell, of Auburn. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Cindy Vachon and her husband, Jeffrey Vachon, of Saco and Vicky Haley and her husband, Jonathan Haley, of Palm Coast, Fla. She is also survived by her great-grandchildren, Brandi Swanson and her husband, Erik Swanson, of Kailua, Hawaii; Kyle Vachon of the U.S. Army, Fort Riley, Kan.; Devyn Cote of Palm Coast, Fla.; Keagan Cote of Lewiston; Jagger Haley of Palm Coast, Fla.; and Lovie Haley of Palm Coast, Fla. Rose recently had the pleasure of meeting her great-great-grandchild, Sophia Swanson, of Kailua, Hawaii. She is also survived by many beloved nieces, nephews and step-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by two husbands, William Colburn and Ernest Bouchard; as well as her companion of many years, Richard Walker. She was also predeceased by her children, Karen Spencer and Kenneth Colburn; and her son-in-law, Donald Spencer.

Rose’s family wishes to express their deep appreciation to the incredible, loving staff at Cape Memory Care for the excellent attention and kindness shown to Rose during her final years. Many thanks also to the staff at Life Choice Hospice Services during her final days.

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