ST. ALBANS — Gail Ellen (Tierney, Seymour) MacCallum passed away peacefully at her home on May 28, 2020 surrounded by her family after a brief battle with cancer. Gail was born on September 21, 1945 in Oakland, Calif., to Lieut. Cmdr. John T. and Anita (Murphy) Tierney who predeceased her. After her father’s death she briefly lived in New York, N.Y. with her mother and maternal grandparents before moving to her true home: Vermont.
Gail’s wit and compassion warmed many hearts. She was the first woman in her family to have the opportunity to attend college, graduating from UVM magna cum laude. She always saw education as a gift. Serving many years as an elementary educator, Gail took joy in seeing her students grow and the paths they took in life. She began her career teaching in St. Albans Town where she met her husband of 50 years. After staying home to help raise her family, she worked briefly for the Maple School and Head Start before retiring from Fletcher Elementary School. She developed many friendships along the way. Gail was always quick to encourage and support all those who needed it with the right words, food, or hug. Even in her illness, she shared one of her favorite quotes with her family and doctors to comfort them: “Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened.”
Throughout her life Gail volunteered for various committees and organizations including the St. Albans Recreation Committee that built the first public pool, the Aldis Hill Board of Trustees, the Stranahan Memorial Fund, and the Board of Directors for the St. Albans Museum. She was always content to be cozy with a good book, baking something to share, and supporting her family in their endeavors as a quiet force behind the scenes. She was proud of her Irish immigrant roots and discovering more about family origins in her retirement. Gail loved her time with friends and family the most and relished her role as “Nana” to her grandchildren. She was always there to support and nurture them and took joy in all they did.
Gail was predeceased by her mother, father, and step-father Richard Seymour. Besides her husband David, Gail is also survived by her children and their families; daughter Sarah Hadd and husband Eric and their children Ella and Duncan, and son John MacCallum and wife Kathleen and their son Aidan. Also surviving Gail are her sister Janet Seymour and many cherished in-laws, nieces, nephews, and dear friends.
Heald’s Funeral Home will facilitate private services. Messages of condolence can be made online via a guestbook at www.healdfuneralhome.com. A celebration of her life will be planned for family and friends at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider honoring Gail with an act of kindness such as reading to a child, giving blood, volunteering or contributing to the St. Albans Recreation Department, PO Box 867, St. Albans, VT 05478 or the charity of your choice.