Carmen Nidia (Perez-Maldonado) Gilday loved loving and being loved. She loved food and flowers and conversations. She loved and cared for her mother Flor. She loved her children and grandchildren and cousins and friends. But most of all she loved her husband Paul. She went to join him on Thursday, March 18th, nine and a half years after he moved on.
Born in 1944 in the Dominican Republic, Carmen Perez moved to the U.S. when she was 18 years old to escape political turmoil and find a new life. She fought and thrived for many years before settling in Massachusetts with her mother and her two young children Fernando and Anita. A chance encounter led to her finding the love of her life, Paul Gilday. After marrying, she welcomed the rest of his 5 older children (Bruce, Glenn, Nancy, Diane & Wendy) into her family while bringing in a new child Michael as the last of eight.
She made an amazing home for many years in Andover. She loved to cook and was famous for her turkey dinners. In her spare time she volunteered at Holy Family Hospital and at the Lawrence Senior Center where she was loved by many. But Carmen never grew to like the cold one bit. After 37 years in the U.S., she moved with Paul back to the DR to Playa Juan Dolio for 15 great years. Eventually they moved to Hawaii and spent some of their best years together in an altogether different yet still familiar paradise. Unfortunately, medical issues brought them back to Boston in 2011. Paul succumbed to cancer eight months later. Though Carmen still had great adventures with her children in MA, GA, Argentina, and Spain, she never escaped the loss of her soul mate. They are in peace together now.
Everyone who was touched by Carmen Gilday never forgot it. She was a unique character and was larger than life. She loved to dance and had an infectious laugh and warm smile that was always accompanied by her favorite lipstick. She retained a touch of youth until the very end and remained the definition of dignity throughout her long life. She is dearly missed by her eight children, 15 grandchildren and countless cousins and friends around the world.
ARRANGEMENTS: A memorial service will be held on Sunday, March 28, from 12-2 p.m. at Farrah Funeral Home, 133 Lawrence St, Lawrence, MA 01841. In lieu of flowers, donations in Carmen’s memory may be made to the High Pointe Hospice House, 360 North Ave, Haverhill MA 01830.
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High Pointe Hospice House c/o Home Health Foundation
360 Merrimack Street, Building 9, Lawrence MA 01843