GARDINER — Colette G. Rossi, a true matriarch, passed away on Thursday, March 2, after a brief illness. She was brave until the end, allowing her to spend more time with her family, and they were grateful for the time they had with her.

Colette was born in Rumford, on Sept. 20, 1936, to John and Emelia Gillis.

Colette was a graduate of the University of Maine. She married Paul Rossi on June 13, 1959. She was a homemaker for several years and raised her nine children alone after Paul passed away in 1975. She became a paralegal and worked for many years at Legal Services for the Elderly.

Colette was a hardworking, extremely thoughtful and giving teacher, mother and grandmother and a friend to all. She enjoyed reading, sewing, cooking, gardening, traveling and camping.

Her family loved her so much and will miss her greatly, but she will live on in their hearts and memories forever. She lived a great life. If there is a heaven, anyone that knew her, knows that she’s already there.

She is survived by her three sons, David Rossi of Rangeley Plantation, Jim Rossi and his wife, Dawn, of Litchfield, Tony Rossi and his partner, Heidi Donovan, of Colin Plantation; six daughters, Mary Buck and her husband, Blaine, of Camden, Sue Deane of Augusta, Jane Rossi of Randolph, Sandra Rossi and her husband, Erik Stewart, of Pittston, Ruth Braillard and her husband, Joel, of San Diego and Lynn McCormack and her husband, Patrick, of Brunswick; grandchildren, Jared, Greg, Leah, Lindsay, Macy, Capri, Renée, Gabriella, Delia, Celeste, Thomas, Quinn, Lilia and Lucas. She is also survived by her brother, Donald Gillis of Ridgefield, Wash. and Emelia Scott of St Albans, Vt.; and several cousins, nieces and nephews.

Colette was predeceased by her husband, Paul Rossi; her parents, John and Emilia Gillis; her brother, Richard Gillis; and her sister, Jaqueline Gillis.

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