MALONE — These days, Gayle Seymour is most happy to quietly help behind the scenes.
For her unwavering commitment and compassion for others, Seymour was the recent recipient of the prestigious Caritas Award from Catholic Charities.
“I’m extremely honored by it,” said Seymour, a Malone resident. “I’m a helper. I have moved past being president of the board of this (organization), the Franklin County United Way and being in charge of many things. I’m extremely honored by this because there are many people who help in our community. I consider myself very special to have received this award. It’s one of the greatest things that have happened to me.”
“Caritas” derives from the Latin word for caring or charity. The award is given to someone who is recognized for long, outstanding charitable contributions in his or her community.
“Gayle is invaluable,” Joelle Lamica, Catholic Charities area director for Franklin County, said in a press release. “She has incredible networking skills within the community. Gayle has helped to improve our data collection and computer skills in general. She is wonderful with people and adds life to our office.”
A Canadian native, Seymour was born in London, Ontario, the daughter of Bill and Mary Cavanagh. She has one brother, Tom.
From her parents, she learned respect and sharing with others.
She earned an associate degree in business. After school, she moved to Toronto, where she worked several years at a law firm.
More than 40 years ago, her life’s trajectory changed when she met her husband, Donald, while on holiday in Barbados.
They married in 1972 and moved to Malone, Donald’s hometown.
“My husband had two aunts (Sister James Seymour and Sister Cecilia Seymour), Ursuline sisters. They are both deceased. They were absolutely amazing women. They influenced me tremendously,” Seymour said.