Gallant, Donald L., Saginaw, Michigan


Beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather passed away Sunday, August 19, 2012 at Cartwright Care Center with his loving family at his side. Age 88 years. The son of the late John and Agnes (Michalski) Gallant, Don was born in Saginaw on February 18, 1924. A World War II veteran with the 8th Air Force in Europe, Don served with the 445th Heavy Bombardment Group. He continued service in the Air Force Reserve until retirement with the rank of Lt. Colonel. Don married Elizabeth (Bette) Szwed on November 3, 1944 at the Gowen Army Air Field in Boise, Idaho. The joy of that union blessed them with five daughters: Cheryl Klonoski and children Jason and Jessica; Paula Opperman (Jack Jr.) and children Todd and Kelly Carmpton and Nicholas; Susan Meyers (Jerry) and children Ashley and Stephen; Cindy Sebek (Mike) and children Joshua and Jacob; Lisa Rapin (David) and children Elizabeth, Rebeccah, Jahred and Taehlor. Bette predeceased Don on January 19, 1979. Of these five daughters Don is blessed with 14 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson. Don was preceded in death by son-in-law, Jerry Meyers, one brother and three sisters, Jerome Gallant, Angela Hensler, Rita Gallant and Isabel Gallant. Don was proud of his 30 years service at Saginaw Steering Gear Division GMC and retired March 1, 1982, as divisional administrator of manufacturing facilities. In Don’s next phase of life, he married Barbara “Janet” Breen on February 26, 1983 at St. Stephen’s Church in Saginaw. With this union he was blessed with six step-children: Kathy Gibson (Craig), Margaret Jackson (Roger), John Breen II (Sue), Colleen Goggin (Walt), Barbara Champagne (Bobby), Julie Beezhold (Phil) and 12 more grandchildren. Over the years Don sang in church choirs, sang solo at funerals and weddings, was a member of parish councils, a church lector-reader, a school board member, past president of the Saginaw Chapter Reserve Officers Association, charter member of St. Stephen Arch Club, and he even counted bingo cards for many years. In his prime, he was an avid bowler, golfer and poker player. Don served on the Catholic Federal Credit Union Board of Directors from November 7, 1969 until his death. He served as President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary. The Board Room was dedicated to him in 2005. Don’s most recent honor was the 2012 induction into the Saginaw Catholic Schools Hall of Fame. His entire life Don contributed his time and talent unselfishly. Don loved being Catholic because like a batting average it gave him standards of which to measure himself by. Don could often be found in the stands cheering on his grandchildren. Funeral Liturgy will take place on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Stephen Catholic Church. Rev. Fr. Thomas J. McNamara will officiate with military honors presented by V.F.W. Post #1859. Honoring Mr. Gallant’s wishes, cremation will follow. There will be no visiting hours at the funeral home. Friends may call at St. Stephen Catholic Church where the family will be present on Thursday from 2:00-8:00 p.m. and on Friday from 10:00 a.m. until time of Mass. A Celebration of Don’s life will take place at 7:00 p.m. Thursday in the church. In lieu of flowers, those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider contributions to St. Stephen Catholic Church or Saginaw Area Catholic Schools. Arrangements entrusted to The Snow Funeral Home, 3775 N. Center Road. www.snowfuneralhome.net