SCARBOROUGH - Gail S. Kennett, 71, of Scarborough, passed away in her sleep on August 25, 2014, at a Bangor hospital, after a long illness. She was diagnosed with ALS in 2009 and put up a valiant fight against a truly devastating disease. Despite her declining health, Gail's spirits remained positive and she cherished every moment spent with family and close friends.
Gail was born in Biddeford, Maine on July 23, 1943, the daughter of Samuel and Audrey (Ostrander) Sewall. She grew up in Island Falls, Maine, a town founded by her great-great grandfather, Levi Sewall. Gail graduated from Island Falls High School in 1961 and Farmington State Teachers College in 1965. She taught science at Madison High School in Madison, Maine for two years where she met her husband, John F. Kennett, who taught history. A favorite family story is about Gail refusing John's first date proposal, as she mistook him for a student.
Gail and John were married on April 16, 1967 and lived for a short time in Saco before settling and raising their family in Scarborough. Gail was deeply committed to the community of Scarborough, volunteering in the local schools and as an active member of the First Congregational Church, where she served not only as a Sunday School teacher, but also for a time as Sunday School Superintendent. She became involved in Scarborough's annual Habitat for Humanity Walk, acting as Chairperson for a number of years. Gail also spent many years volunteering for the local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association and founded the first Memory Walk in Maine. She continued to serve as Chairperson of the Scarborough Memory Walk for several years and also helped to start Memory Walks in other areas of the state.
Gail enjoyed spending her summers at the family camp on Mattawamkeag Lake in Island Falls and with friends and family on the beach in Ocean Park. She was known for her exceptional cooking which many people enjoyed at community and church events throughout the years. Gail was especially devoted to her family and friends and will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing her.
Survivors, all of whom loved her dearly include her husband of 47 years, John, son John (Jay) Kennett and his wife Mairi, daughter Allison Conti and her husband Adam, and grandsons Nicholas and Patrick Kennett, all of Scarborough; sister Cheryl Connelly and her husband Peter, of Vero Beach, FL; and nephews James and Peter Connelly. Gail was predeceased by her parents, Samuel and Audrey Sewall, and beloved son Timothy in 1995.
The family would like to express their heartfelt gratitude for the loving and compassionate care that Gail received during her time at Maine Medical Center.
Visiting hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 28th at Hobbs Funeral Home, Cottage Road, South Portland. A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, August 29th at the First Congregational Church of Scarborough, followed by a graveside service at Black Point Cemetery. Afterward, all are welcome to attend in the church vestry.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made in Gail's memory to the ALS Association, Northern New England Chapter or to the charity of your choice.