- October 5, 1941 - September 18, 2011
- Melrose, Massachusetts
of Ann 's Passing
- Support the "Big Annie" Team
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer
6 Perkins St.
Peabody, MA 01960
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Message from the Family
Thank you for your love, support, and prayers during this difficult time. Please feel free to enhance our tribute to Ann by adding your stories, memories and photos.
Memories & CandlesPrevious
“Denise,Dennis,Leanne,Dianne-I was so saddened by the news of your Mothers passing.I send my sincere condolences to all you and family.I am sorry...Read More »
1 of 33 | Posted by: John Sweezey - N. Fort Myers Fl., NE
“Dearest Denise, Dennis, Leanne, Deanne and family,
Ms Ann was such a lovely lady and though I only had the privilege of knowing her a short time,...Read More »
2 of 33 | Posted by: Cheryl Marie - Las Vegas, NV
“Hold tight to memories for comfort, lean on your friends for support
and your family for laughter and love. That's the way your mom would
have...Read More »
3 of 33 | Posted by: valerie waldrop - peabody, MA
“Denise and family,
My sincerest sympathy to you and your family on your Mom's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you in this difficult time....Read More »
4 of 33 | Posted by: Mary Corcoran - South Weymouth, MA
“Dear LeeAnne & Family,
I was so sorry to learn of your mother's passing. My thoughts & prayers are with you & your family.
Fondly, Ginny Seely
5 of 33 | Posted by: Ginny Seely - Newburyport, MA
“Dear Deanna & Family I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your mother, my thoughts are with you.
6 of 33 | Posted by: mike hamhoomis - melrose, MA
“Dear Dennis and family,
We are so saddened to hear about the loss of your mother. We think of your mom often, as she made our boys two cozy fleece...Read More »
7 of 33 | Posted by: Teri Kennedy - Tacoma, WA
“Dear Denise, Leanne, Dennis, Deanna and Family,I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of your mother. The photos and memories you shared...Read More »
8 of 33 | Posted by: Amy Donahue Schwartz - Westfield, NJ
“Dear Leanne & Family,
Our prayers our with you during this most difficult time. You were all truly blessed to have had her for a mom and she...Read More »
9 of 33 | Posted by: Charlie & Megan Richmond - Avon, CT
“Please accept my heartfelt sympathy for the loss of your Mom.
altho I did not know her personally, I do know 2 of her daughters
well enough to know...Read More »
10 of 33 | Posted by: Kathleen A. Conroy - Pawtucket, RI
“Leanne and Family,
My thoughts and prayers are with you during this very difficult time. I never knew your mom, but she sounds like a wonderful...Read More »
11 of 33 | Posted by: Linda Vasapolli - Saugus, MA
“Mrs. G was such a loving person to all who knew her. She would open her house and treat her kids friends like they were her own. She will be surely...Read More »
12 of 33 | Posted by: Scott Scribner - Nashua, NH
“I consider myself one of the lucky ones that had a chance to know and love her. She opened her heart to me and became my friend. The strength she...Read More »
13 of 33 | Posted by: Kyle McManus - Melrose, MA
“Please accept our condolences on the loss of your wonderful mother.
14 of 33 | Posted by: John & Sandy McNaught - Melrose, MA
“With all our love to you Ann, thank you for being such a wonderful friend to Gary, and our family.
15 of 33 | Posted by: Gary DeSousa, Frank , Virginia, and Lisa - MA
“LeeAnn and family , There is no way to explain why God chose to bring your mother home at such a young age. I know from our conversations that she...Read More »
16 of 33 | Posted by: Lori Cannon - Lynn, MA - coworker
“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die... Thomas CampellWe are all so blessed to have had your Mother in our lives.. she will remain in our...Read More »
17 of 33 | Posted by: Lynn - East Falmouth, MA - Niece
“Dear Leanne, Deanna and family,
There are no words to express my sadness for the loss of your loving mother, what a loving family you all are, i've...Read More »
18 of 33 | Posted by: Bridget Davis
“Dear Gignac Family,
I am so sorry to hear about Ann, I loved your mother, she always made me feel welcomed and loved. I can't remember how many...Read More »
19 of 33 | Posted by: Kerry Diehl - Dedham, MA - friend
“I had worked with Ann at Macys a few years back. We had many laughs and she talked with such love about her children and especially her grandchildren...Read More »
20 of 33 | Posted by: Kim Lyall - Melrose, MA
“Ann was such a good friend and co worker. We had alot of laughs and I looked up
to her. She will be missed.
21 of 33 | Posted by: Laura Serino - Peabody, MA
“An amazing heart and soul has descended into a special place to carry out her love forever. Her beautiful smile lit up the darkest room and her...Read More »
22 of 33 | Posted by: Michelle DeLuca - Saugus, MA
“Deanna and family,Please know you are all in my thoughts. May all the precious memories of your mom bring you comfort during this sad time. With love...Read More »
23 of 33 | Posted by: Alyssa Pesce - Melrose, MA
“Denise, Leann, Dennis and Deanna and family,
Your mom was an amazing woman. I have memories of both your mom and dad, when I was younger they were...Read More »
24 of 33 | Posted by: Judy Maguire
“Leanne and family, My thoughts and prayers are with you - your Mom is a light that will shine on forever in your hearts! The video is beautiful,...Read More »
25 of 33 | Posted by: Missy DellaRusso McSweeney - MA
“We will miss Ann so much. She was such a kind woman, devoted grandmother and mom. Always giving and thinking of others. Our thoughts and prayers are...Read More »
26 of 33 | Posted by: Jennifer Gentile - Melrose, MA
“LEANNE AND FAMILY- MY SINCERE SYMPATHY FOR YOUR LOSS. HOPE YOU ALL ARE ABLE TO CHERISH THE MEMORIES ! LOVE, TAMMY
27 of 33 | Posted by: TAMMY - PEABODY, MA - FRIEND
“Leanne & Family, My deepest sympathy to all of you. May your many memories of your Mom comfort you during this very difficult time.
28 of 33 | Posted by: Jill Birch - Hampton, NH - Friend
“Dearest Leanne and Family,
Your Mom will always be one of the most important people in your life. Remember all the wonderful times with her and...Read More »
29 of 33 | Posted by: Pearl Tilton - Dover, NH - Friend
“Deanna and family, I am so very sorry for your loss. I have very fond memories of your mother. She was always so kind to me and the NU girls when...Read More »
30 of 33 | Posted by: Stephanie Rooney - Danvers, MA
“Today we are mourning and missing her deeply. Ann was such a generous woman, had enormous love for her family and friends. I am blessed to have...Read More »
31 of 33 | Posted by: Jodie Watson - malden, MA
“I can remember from the time Ann was born on Pearl Street in Malden and the doctor came to check on her. My sister was a wonderful mother and...Read More »
32 of 33 | Posted by: John Forti - Tyngsboro, MA
“I still have the first letter that Anna and Martha sent to me in MI. I had not met either of them as yet but was dating their brother. They made me...Read More »
33 of 33 | Posted by: Dianne Forti - Tyngsboro, MA
Throughout her life, Ann "Anna" Christina Gignac was the thread that weaved through her cherished family as seamlessly as her handiwork and crafted designs. On Sunday, September 18, 2011, Ann died peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family after a long and courageous battle with breast cancer.
Born Ann Forti on October 5 1941, she was the daughter of the late Santo Forti and Ethel Bigney Forti of Malden. She graduated from Malden High School in 1959. She became a Melrose resident in 1971, where she remained throughout her life.
Ann was the devoted wife of the late Gerald D. Gignac, an ironworker and 25-year member of the Local 7, who passed away in 1991. She was the beloved mother of Denise A. Cirillo and her husband Anthony of Sagamore Beach, MA, Leanne E. Gignac of Melrose, Dennis S. Gignac and girlfriend Jennifer Kelly of Melrose, and Deanna G. Wolf and her husband Casey of Peabody. She was the cherished Nana of Devon Wolf, Louis Cirillo, Luke Cirillo, Shea Wolf, Anna Cirillo and Sofie Gignac. She leaves behind four siblings, John and Diane Forti of Tyngsboro, and Ralph and Martha Drinkwater, Nancy Forti, and Doris Forti, all of Malden. She was also the loving sister-in-law of Karen and Tony Zaffiro of Lynn, Earl and Barbara Meehan of Londonderry, NH, Debbie Langlois of Malden and the late Jack Langlois, and Jeff Gignac of Everett. She also leaves several nieces and nephews.
Ann displayed many talents in life, but she perfected domestic routines to an art form. A proficient seamstress, she took enormous pride in creating attire and home décor for her children, grandchildren and friends, all of whom cherished her unique and thoughtful designs. Her children recall that they never wanted for much because their mother's steady hands were always at work, thinking about how to provide and give, never expecting anything in return.
Ann was a widow for over twenty years and she lived life to her fullest, surrounded by her children, grandchildren, and lifelong friend Marie Lunn, whom she met years back in a bowling league. She worked in retail, transferring her gifts of design as a 27-year employee in the crafts department at Ames, and, more recently, at Macys where she worked in retail. She took enormous pride as a mother and grandmother, devoting her time as a dance mother and Girl Scout leader in her younger years.
If sewing was a great love, it was only surpassed by her love for her family. Ann would often remark how blessed she was to have four children that were constant sources of pride. The blessing multiplied when she welcomed her six grandchildren into the world, all of whom spent a large amount of time with her. She had a great love for traveling, be it at her summer home in New Hampshire or at family trips to the ocean. Ann was also an avid sports fan, never missing games of her children and grandchildren, even in recent months when her health turned.
Despite struggling with breast cancer, her tireless hands never stopped, because her passion for family and sewing blended so easily, and her heart never stopped loving. She leaves this world a less beautiful place but with lasting reminders of her artistic legacy and eternal devotion to her family.
Funeral Service in honor and remembrance of Anna's life at the First United Methodist Church, 645 Main St., Melrose, Thursday, September 22 at 10 AM. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. Visiting hours at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Wednesday from 4-8 PM. Interment in Wyoming Cemetery, Melrose.
In honor of their beloved mother, the Gignac's will be participating in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. To support the "Big Annie" team, gifts may be made to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, 6 Perkins St., Peabody, MA 01960.
*************************** Tribute Video **************************
Click on the link below to watch a video created in memory of Ann's life