Jo-Ann Gorham

5 entries
  • "I remember Jo-Ann fondly from our days at Holy Cross..."
    - Bill Wiles
  • "So very sorry to hear of the death of Jo-Ann.I knew her..."
    - Geri (Downs) Merrill
  • " So sorry for your loss"
    - Janet Gildard
  • "Dear Mary-Beth, Larry and Family, I am so sorry to learn of..."
    - Mary Murphy
  • "So sorry to hear of Jo-Anns passing . She was in the..."
    - Dianne "Whitney" Bridges
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Service Information
Memorial Mass
Friday, May 17, 2019
9:30 AM
Holy Cross Church
124 Cottage Road
South Portland, ME
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Celebration of Life
Following Services
Purpoodock Club
Cape Elizabeth, ME
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FREEPORT - Jo-Ann Gorham, loving sister, auntie and dear friend passed away Monday, May 13, 2019 after a brief battle with cancer. She was 70.

She was born in Portland, the fourth of seven children to the late John S. and Helen F. (Honan) Gorham.

She was a 1968 graduate of St. Joseph's Academy in Portland and later graduated from the Maine School of Practical Nursing.

She looked fondly upon her years at The Academy and had recently rekindled her relationships with several of her high school classmates.

"We were a group of 'high spirited' young women who developed close bonds during our time at SJA and were so fortunate to have reconnected later in life," said her dear friend, Roberta Loring Donnini.

"Our class of 18 was the smallest and one of the last classes to graduate from St. Joseph's Academy. Jo-Ann was always in the mix with her kind heart, unique sense of humor, and who could forget that dimpled smile?"

After graduating in 1972, Miss Gorham began her career at Maine Medical Center in Portland, where she worked on the orthopedic and pediatric floors for many years. From there she went on to work in private practice offices in Falmouth and Yarmouth until her retirement in 2016.

"A dear, sweet, funny, and all-around larger-than-life personality Jo-Ann, with a hyphen (inside joke!)," said nursing colleague, Tina Broomhall-Snow. "I will always remember her teaching me the St. Anthony prayer to find our wayward charts, faxes and anything else we lost in the office. St. Anthony, please come around, something is lost and cannot be found!"

Nursing was her cherished career, but her greatest enjoyment and source of pride came from the interaction with, and love of her 15 nieces and nephews, who often referred to her simply as Auntie.

Whether celebrating the holidays, graduations or weddings, or just sitting on the porch of the family's favorite gathering spot at Higgins Beach, Miss Gorham was most at home surrounded by them, individually or as a clan.

"We always loved having our spirited Auntie, Jo-Ann, with us," said niece, Kate McCabe O'Halloran. "We have great memories of our times with her at Higgins Beach, over the holidays and on so many other occasions. She was fun-loving, pulled no punches and always had us laughing with her stories (and opinions) and singing. I will always remember her rendition of "Sisters" from the iconic holiday film White Christmas and how she twirled us around the kitchen singing it, completely off-key, of course. She was a real classic!"

In June of last year, Miss Gorham had the honor and privilege of caring for her younger brother Paul, who had decided to spend his remaining time with family in their Connecticut home after a long and courageous battle with lung disease. Those few weeks together were immensely important to both of them.

"The sibling cajoling was set aside," said Noreen Gorham, Paul's wife and Miss Gorham's sister-in-law. "She tended to her brother with the utmost kindness and respect and he responded with implicit trust in her direction. It was very special."

Miss Gorham is survived by her sister, Margaret E. McCabe of Dedham, Mass., brother John S. Gorham, of Dedham, Mass., sister Mary Beth and her husband, Larry Benoit, of Cape Elizabeth, sister, Kathryn and her husband, Paul Connelly, of Scituate, Mass., and sister-in-law, Noreen Gorham of Cheshire, Conn.; and dozens of much-loved nieces, nephews and cousins. She is predeceased by brothers, Robert G. and Paul K. and brother-in-law, Dr. William J. McCabe. She is also predeceased by her very dear friend, Sandy Johnson.

A memorial Mass will be held on Friday, May 17, at 9:30 a.m. at Holy Cross Church, 124 Cottage Road, South Portland, to be followed by a celebration of life at the Purpoodock Club in Cape Elizabeth. All are welcome. To Miss Gorham's memorial page, or to share an online condolence, please visit

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the

Northern New England Region

1 Bowdoin Mill Island

Suite 300

Topsham, ME 04086-1240

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Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on May 15, 2019
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