Gallant, Michael Stanley – Age 71 of White Rock/Bedford. It is with great sadness that our family announces the passing of Michael Stanley Gallant. Mike passed away peacefully in Saint Vincent’s Nursing Home on Saturday, February 23, 2019, after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s.
Mike is survived by his wife of 48 years, Margo Gallant (Forsythe), Bedford; daughter, Kimberely (Paul) Wills, Sackville; son, Nick (Trish Gagliardi) Gallant, Ottawa; beloved grandchildren, Henry and Kate Gallant; his sisters, Hope Davidson, New Minas; Joyce (Terry) Karges, Ontario; brother, Orville Levy, Berwick; and many nieces, nephews and extended family.
Mike was born in Black River, and spent most of his life in White Rock, where he raised his family. He worked as a journeyman plumber, and like so many other dads, he had many talents and could make anything he put his mind to. Carpentry was a great love of his, and he spent many evenings and weekends out in his workshop with the wood stove blazing, listening to CBC Radio, while he meticulously built furniture and created folk art from recycled metals. His motto was, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well”, and he instilled those values in his children.
Mike loved nature and was at his happiest when he was outside, breathing in the fresh air. He shared this love with his family and would take them fishing in the spring at Porcupine Brook, as he had done as a kid. He would put the worms on the hook and we’d cast the lines, staying as long as the black flies would allow. In March, we’d take the dog and walk the woods path behind the house, searching for the older maple trees to tap, along the brook, and boil down the sap on the wood stove.
Mike’s greatest love was his family, and that love grew even bigger when he became a Grampy. He enjoyed reading books to Henry and Kate, and entertaining them with funny sounds that made them laugh. He looked forward to spending time in Ottawa, visiting Nick and his family, and walking around the grounds on Parliament Hill. One of his favourite spots was to sit in the gazebo that overlooked the Ottawa River, then head to the local pub for a pint of raspberry wheat.
Mike had plans to spend his retirement puttering around in his workshop, enjoying time with his family, and being a part of his grandchildren’s lives. Those plans changed when Mike was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 11 years ago. The disease robbed him of his future plans and his memories, but it did not rob the family’s memories of him.
Mike always had a smile on his face and put the needs of others ahead of his own. He’d comfort people with a hug or an arm around their shoulder and say, “How are you, dear?” When his Alzheimer’s became advanced, and he first moved to Saint Vincent’s Nursing Home, he would go around smiling and shaking people’s hands, introducing himself, “Hello, I’m Mike Gallant”. He was so happy to be surrounded by his new family, and enjoyed helping the staff and residents.
In keeping with Mike’s wishes, cremation has taken place. His family will celebrate his life with a private ceremony in Ottawa at a later date. Donations in Mike’s memory may be made to Saint Vincent’s Nursing Home Foundation.
A special thank you to Dad’s second family, the loving staff and residents of Saint Vincent’s Nursing Home. They always found ways to accommodate Mike’s various stages of Alzheimer’s in a respectful and loving way.
Arrangements are under the direction of Arimathea Funeral Cooperative, Upper Musquodoboit.
“You have to let people go. Everyone who’s in your life is meant to be in your journey, but not all of them are meant to stay ‘till the end.”
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