Dianne O. Gilligan died Thursday surrounded by her loving family.
Born to Merald and Helen Orth in Newburgh, NY, Dianne graduated from Newburgh Free Academy and received a bachelor’s degree in education from SUNY New Paltz. She married her high school sweetheart, Michael Francis Gilligan, in 1954 and the two shared a wonderful life filled with family and faith until Michael’s passing, nine years ago this week. In 1975, Dianne and Michael moved to Cape Cod and always lived within walking distance of Gray’s Beach, affectionately known as Bass Hole, in Yarmouthport. Their home served as a gathering place for family and friends with whom they shared their love of Cape Cod. While raising her family, Dianne owned and operated the Carriage Shop gift store in Yarmouthport during the 1980’s. Dianne also worked as a teachers’ assistant in Hyannis East Elementary school for many years where she made many friends she was close to for the rest of her life. Dianne and Michael were members of Our Lady of Victory parish in Centerville. In 2002, she co-founded a grandmother’s prayer group at the church that continues to meet in prayer and fellowship every Friday.
Dianne is survived by her brother, Donald Orth (Kitty) of La Crescenta, CA; her daughter and five sons, Michael F., Jr. and his wife Anne Helgen of Belmont, MA; Dennis and his wife Maureen of Franklin, MA; Patrick and his wife Lee Ann of Acton, MA; Kathryn Ryan and her husband Edwin of Walpole, MA; Daniel and his wife Jennifer Ganem of Silver Spring, MD; and Terence and his wife Kimberly of Dublin, NH; as well as her pride and joy - 19 grandchildren, Lauren, Conor, Kerin, Michelle, Christopher, Patrick, Jack, Jennifer, Caitlin, Molly, Matthew, Mae, Ella, Liam, Edwin, Colin, Grace, Ruby and Durham, each of whom believe themselves to be her favorite. They will all miss their Nanna dearly. Dianne was also blessed with one great grandchild, Thomas Jonathan, and an abundance of nieces and nephews.
Visiting hours will be held at Morris, O’Connor and Blute funeral home, 58 Long Pond Drive, So. Yarmouth, MA. from 3-6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 7. The mass of Christian burial will be Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Victory Church, 230 So. Main St., Centerville, MA.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to St. Clare’s Catholic Social Services, 949 Pitchers Way, Hyannis, MA 02601. St. Clare’s provides transitional housing for women just released from prison.