Mrs. Gladys Picanso
Prominent Community Leader
LOWELL -- Mrs. Gladys (Mendonca) Picanso, 95, a prominent leader and member of the Portuguese Community, died Monday, March 3, 2014, at Fairview Health Care in Hudson, NH with her family at her side after a brief illness. She was the widow of the late Lino Picanso who passed away in 1981.
Born July 18, 1918, in Lowell, she was a daughter of the late John Sousa and the late Maria (Bettencourt) Mendonca. She graduated from the Wilfred Academy of Hair Design in Boston. Mrs. Picanso was the proprietor of Ann Marie's Beauty Salon in Lowell for more than thirty years, retiring in 1968.
Gladys formerly resided in the Highlands section of Lowell, before moving to Dracut, and more recently Pelham, NH and then the Merrimack River Valley House.
The Portuguese community was a very important part of Gladys' life. As a past president of the Holy Ghost Society in Lowell, she helped many immigrant families transition from Portugal to the United States. Gladys also served as a board member for more than 50 years, and was a life charter member. In 1996, the Holy Ghost Society honored Gladys for her many years of service and dedication to the Portuguese Community. She was a member of Cursilhos De Cristandade and remained a devoted member of St. Anthony's Church in Lowell where she served on the Holy Rosary Sodality, Pastoral Council, Finance Committee and as a Eucharistic Minister.
Gladys was an outstanding role model for many people in her community and served as a source of strength and inspiration to countless others. She was one of the founding board members of the Portuguese American Youth Center, a member of the Ladies of Charity of St. John's Hospital, League of Catholic Women of Greater Lowell, a member of the Poor Clare Guild, a Life member of St John's Nursing Home and was involved with the Portuguese American Civic League. Gladys recently received an award for Outstanding Community Achievement from the Portuguese American Women's Association. In March of 2009, she received the Lowell Women's Week "Because of You" award for exhibiting leadership, kindness, generosity, activism, and commitment to the Lowell community.
She is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Lino J. and Mary Jane (Forma) Picanso of Bristol, NH; a daughter and son-in-law, Linda (Picanso) Daigle and her husband, Robert of Hudson, NH; grandchildren, Lino J. Picanso of Hudson, NH, Laurie A. (Picanso) Hogan and her husband, James of Pelham, NH, James L. Picanso of Pelham, Gregory C. Picanso of Hudson, NH, Lisa A. Daigle of Hudson, NH, and Melanie L. (Daigle) Jozokos and her husband, Jason of Litchfield, NH; 11 great-grandchildren, Jeremy Picanso, Victoria Hogan, Alexandria Hogan, Elizabeth Hogan, Orianna Picanso, Stephanie Picanso, Julianna Picanso, Maddison Daigle, Jaylyn Daigle, Jaxson Jozokos and Jynjer Jozokos; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
She was also the great grandmother of the late Alexander J. Picanso, and sister of the late Manuel Mendonca, Laura Gulbicki and Margaret Katibian.
PICANSO -- YOU ARE INVITED TO HER CALLING HOURS 3 UNTIL 5 AND 6 UNTIL 8 P.M. ON FRIDAY, MARCH 7. ON SATURDAY, HER FUNERAL WILL BEGIN AT 10 A.M. AT THE MCDONOUGH FUNERAL HOME, 14 HIGHLAND STREET, LOWELL, 978-458-6816. HER FUNERAL MASS WILL BE OFFERED AT ST. ANTHONY'S CHURCH, 893 CENTRAL ST., LOWELL AT 11 A.M. BURIAL IN ST. PATRICK CEMETERY. MEMORIALS IN HER NAME MAY BE MADE TO THE Merrimack River Valley House, 520 Fletcher Street, Lowell, MA 01854 or Fairview Health Care, Patient Activity Fund, 203 Lowell Road, Hudson, NH 03051. E-CONDOLENCE SITE WWW.MCDONOUGHFUNERALHOME.COM
McDonough Funeral Home
14 Highland Street Lowell, MA 01852-3359
Published in Lowell Sun on Mar. 6, 2014