Salem, MA — The family of Jean Marie Gastonguay is sad to announce her passing after a lengthy battle with cancer. She leaves a brother, Joel Gastonguay and his wife, Janine; a sister, Dale Bowden; a nephew, Michael Gastonguay and his wife, Heather; two nieces, Jessica Bowden and Jennifer Potter; and several cousins.
Jean Marie was a active volunteer in the City of Salem, working at the St. Josephs food pantry and the Mary Jane Lee Park. She loved teaching arts and crafts to the children at the park and she was honored with a service award from the City of Salem for her volunteer work. She also was a nurse at the Hogan Regional Center in Danvers for 25 years, caring for mentally challenged adults. She was devoted to the clients in her care and she carried that care and devotion into her personal life as well. After she retired, she became a guardian to many of the clients that touched her heart. She was closest to Paul Sargent, a client at Hogan who attends the Bass River Day Program in Beverly. Jean Marie was very artistically talented and she made many crafts and Christmas decorations which she donated to the St. Anne's Christmas fair in Salem. All of her friends and family either have a quilt, pin or painting she had made. Anyone who knew Jean Marie will remember her enthusiastic telling of stories and jokes. She will be sorely missed by her many friends and family.
ARRANGEMENTS: A memorial Mass for Jean Marie will be on Saturday, Sept. 14, at 11 a.m. at the St. Annes Church, 290 Jefferson Ave., Salem, followed by a gathering at the school. She wished this gathering to be a celebration of her life so we plan to have photo albums available to look at and if anyone wishes to share their pictures or stories of Jean Marie, they are welcome to do so. Because of her lifelong love and devotion to the mentally challenged adult community in our area, if desired, Memorial Contributions in her name may be made to Bass River Inc., 437 Essex St., Beverly, MA 01915.