Pat Vaillancourt, 56
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SACO -- Pat Vaillancourt, 56, of Saco, passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, July 14, 2011, surrounded by her family. Pat had been diagnosed with a rare form of non-smoker's lung cancer that eventually took her body but not her spirit.
Pat was born in Millbury, Mass., one of six daughters to Arthur and H. Pat Norton. Following her graduation from Boston College she served with the Peace Corps in El Salvador.
She married Guy Vaillancourt in 1979 and lived in Wyoming for many years before coming to Maine and settling in Saco. She was the proud mother of her three children: Anna Hall of Cohoes, N.Y., Daniel Vaillancourt of Portland, and Maura Vaillancourt of Allston, Mass.
Pat received her teaching degree and a master's degree in Literacy at the University of Southern Maine. Pat loved children and loved to read and combined these passions as a Literacy Specialist in the Saco School system, most recently teaching at Young School. A gifted teacher, mentor and friend, Pat gave tirelessly to her students and peers, developing new programs, helping to re-establish the library, and sponsoring children's authors to come in and present their work to the students.
Nature was one of her greatest passions and she was an accomplished backpacker, having hiked on the Appalachian Trail, and in the mountains of Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Thailand and the Kingdom of Bhutan.
She was predeceased by her father, mother; and her sister, Katherine. She is survived by her husband Guy; her three children; her son-in-law, Nick Hall; and her granddaughter, Madeline. She is also survived by her sisters, Mary of Oakland, Calif., Christine of South Portland, Martha of Lynchburg, Va., and Karen of Providence, R.I. She is also survived by a large extended family including aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews with whom she was always close.
The family would like to extend their thanks and respect to the staff at Hospice of Southern Maine for their loving care through the last month of her life.
At Pat's request, their will be no calling hours, but there will be a memorial service to celebrate her life on Wednesday, July 20, at 2 p.m., at the First Parish Congregational Church on Beach Street in Saco. Online condolences may be offered to the family at www.directcremationofmaine.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to the Young School Early Intervention Reading Program, which she was
instrumental in founding.
Please make checks payable to Young School Early Intervention Program. Checks may be sent to:
451 Ferry Rd.
Saco, Maine 04072
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on July 16, 2011