Obituary for Gayla Cassidy
"Give to the world the best you have, and the best will come back to you."
Bangor- On January 28th, the gates of Heaven welcomed a beautiful soul after sixty graceful years of life following a long battle with breast cancer, at home surrounded by her loving sisters and family.
Gayla Lynn Cassidy was born on August 6th, 1956, the youngest daughter of the late Cathryn and Mahlon Kittredge of Winslow. Gayla was raised in Winslow and graduated from Winslow High School in 1974. Gayla was a member of the Glee Club, Fashion Shows, Chorus, the Senior play, and achieved the Honor Roll. Following high school, she attended the Barbizon School for Modeling of Boston and graduated in 1975. She pursued a career at Central Maine Power in Augusta for eight years where she worked in the financial department. Gayla was so proud of her 1976 Camaro that helped her get to work on time on her drive from Winslow.
Gayla began her walk of life at St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church on May 27th, 1983, when she married her high school sweetheart and best friend, Michael Cassidy. After their honeymoon to Bermuda, Gayla and Mike resided in Golden, Colorado in the same year.
Following Colorado, Gayla and Mike moved to sunny California where "Auntie" got a visit from her niece, Shelley Kay, which required a prerequisite trip to Disney Land. Mike's career path put Gayla in the front seat on a road trip passing thru eight states to reach Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. After getting settled in their house on the beach, not far from Mike's recent Marriott Hotel project, Gayla began her path into motherhood when her son Matthew was born in 1985. So began their first memories together that included many walks along the beach and many stories read aloud in their favorite rocking chair. Gayla's love for her son during this time forged a bond within him, even before their traveling experiences solidified that bond, which lasted for thirty-one years.
In 1990, after living in South Carolina for two years and another two in Georgia, Gayla and Mike moved back to their home state of Maine, where they opened a wallpaper business in Bangor. Gayla accomplished not only being an amazing wife to a loving husband and being a nurturing mother to a growing son but also contributed heavily to the management of the business.
Soon after the big move to Maine, Gayla was blessed again in 1993 when Mariah Cathryn Cassidy came into the world on a beautiful Mother's Day. Gayla felt complete after the birth of her beautiful daughter. Gayla loved watching her daughter take after her fearlessly wading for shells and swimming in the cold ocean in Moose Point Park, Castine and many southern Maine beaches. Gayla continued to love watching her baby daughter grow into an amazing woman, whose love for animals has kept Gayla's legacy alive and well.
Gayla's career path eventually took her to Eastern Maine Medical Center, where not only did she work in the auxiliary gift shop as a retail specialist, but she volunteered in many different departments within the hospital. Gayla would always comment that when the chimes went off for a baby being born, an angel was also obtaining their wings. Gayla was a natural at retail and she had a knack for customer service. The employees of the hospital who frequented the gift shop all remembered Gayla for her bright smile and positive attitude.
Gayla loved her mother more than life itself, she truly was her mother's daughter. She loved catching up with her sisters whether that be on the phone or at lunches out to their favorite restaurants. Gayla's love of lighthouses was a metaphor for how she treated other people, she served as a guiding light for those closest to her to help keep them away from the rocky shores of life. Gayla loved to have her son and daughter pose on a special rock at camp on Sandy Cove in Belgrade. Gayla's camera was never too far away from her to capture all the moments that are now cherished by so many. Gayla's capacity for the love of her friends and family knew no bounds.
In addition to her parents Mahlon and Cathryn (Bell) Kittredge, Gayla was predeceased by her loving Aunt Carolyn, her mother's twin. Gayla was also predeceased by her heroic brother-in-law Lt. Col. John T. Story, who helped give her strength through tired days on the drive to treatments. Gayla was also predeceased by her Uncle Marshall Bell, Aunt Shirley and Uncle Ken Gordon, her Aunt Barbara and Uncle Sam Baker, and her Aunt Joyce Baillargeon
Gayla is survived by her loving husband of 34 years, Michael and their two children Matthew and Mariah; her strong and supportive older sisters: Colleen Story, Kathy Drouin and Kimberly Quirion; her loving brother-in-laws: Paul Drouin and Dan Quirion; her devoted cousins Brian O'Connor, who she thought of as a brother, Renee O'Connor, who loved each other as sisters, Karen Bell, whose thoughtful correspondence guided her on her journey, Laurie Gordon Locke, whose invites to the lake gave her peace, Laurie Fenalson whose smile and hugs helped her, and husband Glen, Patty Slattery and husband Bruce.
Gayla's affectionate nieces and nephews, Shelley Kay Swett, her husband Jeff and son Tyler Foster, Mariann L. Willey, her husband Robert, their children Maddison and Emily, Angela Drouin Andrade, her husband Josh and daughters Caitlyn and Shelby, Amie Lyn Hasham, her husband Muneer, their children Savannah and Malik, Nathan Quirion, his wife Nicole and their children Dean and Brynn, Ryan O'Connor, Melissa G. Emmons, her husband Gregory,their children Hunter and Paige, Erica G. Hunter, her husband Tom, their children Grace and Cole, Kimberly Steinhagen, her husband John, Michael Dupras, his children Alden and Teague and Stephanie Dupras Osekoski, her children Olivia and Jacob.
Throughout the years Gayla came into the life of many loyal and loving friends who showered her with the support she deserved. Gayla's friend's meant the world to her and she would always say how blessed she was to not only have one best friend but two ladies who impacted her life in a powerful way. Laurie Boulanger and Terri Underwood gave my mother the love that is reserved only for sisters. Lifelong friends that Gayla cherished for a lifetime. Gayla's friend Debbie Cross, whose unconditional support led to many breakfasts together out to their favorite places and many road trips to Lamoine or just for the sake of good conversation. Gayla had a special relationship with Piper Mountain owner Norma Corliss, where Gayla kept the tradition alive for 26 years of taking the family to cut down the Cassidy Christmas tree. They also worked together at the auxiliary gift shop where Norma's daughter, Ann Corliss, also became close with Gayla. Gayla would always comment on how beautiful Ann's smile and hugs were.
A celebration of Gayla’s life will be held 1-3 PM, Sunday, February 5, 2017, at the Family Reception Center of Brookings-Smith, 163 Center St., Bangor. Those who wish to remember Gayla in a special way may make gifts in her memory to the Lafayette Family Cancer Center, c/o EMHS Foundation, PO Box 931, Bangor, ME 04401-0931. Condolences to the family may be expressed at Brookings-Smith.com.