VASSALBORO – Kitty Irene Gillum, of Waterville and Vassalboro, Maine, died at home in Vassalboro on Dec. 12, 2020. Irene was born on Dec. 19, 1923 at Trara in Fredrikstad, Norway, the first of three children and only daughter of Finn and Judith Nilsen. She was predeceased by her two brothers, Arnulf and Arvid, and by her husband, Kemp Frederick Gillum. Irene came to the United States in 1925, returned to Norway in 1928, then in 1934 came back to live permanently in the U.S.

The BSN program in nursing at Northwestern University prepared Irene for a career in nursing at Kenosha Hospital in Kenosha, Wisconsin and then at Thayer Hospital, later Maine General Medical Center, in Waterville, Maine for 25 years. After retirement, Irene took part in the early development of the Hospice Volunteers of Waterville Area, serving as an organizer, volunteer, and teacher of volunteers for close to 20 years.

Irene is survived by two daughters, Karen Judith Gillum and Mae Elizabeth Simmons, and by son-in-law, Dennis Simmons, sister-in-law, Arlene Edquist Nilsen, five nieces and five nephews and their families.

A family ceremony was held on December 12, at home in Vassalboro. A memorial will be scheduled at some time next year.

Arrangements are under the direction and care of Gallant Funeral Home, 10 Elm Street, Waterville. An online guestbook may be signed, condolences and memories shared at

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:

Hospice Volunteers of Waterville Area

304 Main Street

Waterville, ME 04901

or to:

Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter

19 Colby Street

Waterville, ME 04901

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