In her cherished little home, while cradled in devoted, loving arms, Mommy “Gemma Gallina” put on her angel wings October 18, 2016, just two days before her 96th birthday.
Her wishes for a private farewell at home were fulfilled. As if by design, from October 7, until the evening of her passing she enjoyed visits and phone conversations full of love, laughter, gratitude, stories, songs, music and lots of hugs and kisses from those most dear.
She gathered all her strength to communicate her love and appreciation with her beautiful smile, quick wit and sense of humor intact.
A heartfelt thank you to Father Angelo Santa Maria for giving a private Memorial Service in her very own home.
Gemma was devoted to her family above all else. She was a loving, protective and supportive Mother to her cherished daughters Susan and Judy. Very proud and much loved Nonnee to Brent, Todd, Richard, Sherry and Allan. Delighted and loving Great Nonnee to Carter, Georgia, Richard Jr. and infant Lucius.
Gemma was born October 20, 1920, the 12th of 13 children and is the last to be reunited with her parents Susanna and Primo Joseph Gallina and siblings; infants, Fausto, Amelia and Fausto, Maria, Lena, Ben, James, Allan, Ada, Columba, Amy and Elsie.
She kept 4 generations of nieces and nephews along with a multitude of friends connected with her gifts of phone conversations and endless cards and letters stuffed with jokes.
Thank you to all those who kept in touch. It made her so very happy. Gemma is remembered as loving, kind, joyful, generous, humorous, hardworking, inspirational and feisty.
Gemma was passionate about having fun, sport, dancing, cooking, her garden and flowers. She was a skilled powerful skater, gliding like the wind on both the ice and roller rinks. During the 40’s she was captain of the St. Veronica’s women’s softball team and she won numerous jitter bug contests. She hung up her skates and ball glove in her late 70’s and she danced with her hands until the end of her time.
Her home was always welcoming and requests from her kitchen were for apple cake, tie plates, rice pudding, meatballs and sauce, pumpkin flowers and dandelion salad to name a few. Her abundant vegetable garden fed her family year round and she did not hesitate to share with others. She was renowned for her love of flowers (one particular favorite she called her own) and like Johnny Appleseed she spread them far and wide.
With her head held high and a twinkle in her eyes she triumphed over all forms of adversity without compliant, making difficult things look effortless. She honed her endless capacity for hard work to provide for her family and all those she gathered under her wing.
She touched the lives of hundreds of young “baby boomers” as custodian at Korah Road Park and as a caretaker and a painter with the Separate School Board. Her mode of transportation was her trusty bicycle.
The name Gemma means “precious stone” and precious she was to all those whose lives have been enhanced for having known her. She was a remarkable dynamic light that will forever shine in our memories. She would invite all to live joyfully and to show compassion and kindness to one another.
A heartfelt thank you to all those who contributed to her care, both spiritually and physically. Gemma will be remembered in prayers during Mass at St. Veronica’s Church on both November 19, 2016 and November 26th at 4:00pm.
Donations in Gemma’s memory may be made to a charity of your choice.
Arrangements entrusted to O’Sullivan Funeral Home and Cremation Centre, 215 St. James St, 705-759-8456. Expressions of sympathy and condolences available on-line at; www.osullivanfuneralhome.com