A Final Farewell to Dr. Gertrude Galloway

Silver Spring, MD, July 18, 2014 – A quote by John Donne paraphrased fits this situation well:

“Ask not for whom the bell tolls for – for it tolls for you.”

Dr. Gertrude Galloway Today, the deaf community lost someone very dear to it. Dr. Gertrude “Gertie” Galloway passed away yesterday on July 17th after a long battle with leukemia.

Dr. Galloway accomplished many feats as part of her legacy. She was the first woman to be elected the president of the National Association of the Deaf, first female president of the Conference of the Educational Administrators of the Schools and Programs for the Deaf, and first deaf woman superintendent of the Katzenbach School for the Deaf in New Jersey. Prior to becoming superintendent, she was the assistant principal for Maryland School for the Deaf. She was actively involved with many organizations including the World Federation of the Deaf, Gallaudet University Alumni Association, and the National Association of the Deaf. She was also an impressive educator.

When Gallaudet celebrated Dr. Galloway as a visionary leader in March 2014, Gallaudet brought up one of her many achievements:

“After becoming president of the NAD in 1980, Galloway focused on establishing wider political support for equal communication access to television for deaf people. By that time, major networks such as NBC, PBS, and ABC had started providing closed captioning to their programs, but CBS had not joined the movement. Galloway planned a nationwide rally to protest CBS’ continued exclusion of deaf audiences, which resulted in the network giant changing its position and adding captions to some of its programs in 1982.”

Claude Stout, TDI executive director, after being told the news of Dr. Galloway’s passing fell into stunned silence. After a long moment of thought, Stout wanted to share a message:

“We are saddened to hear about Dr. Galloway’s passing today. She was a wonderful advocate for the deaf. Even after she aged into the 70’s and 80’s, she was a very good advocate – especially for her local community in Austin, Texas. She contacted me last year wanting to make sure her community could benefit from good captioning on the local news. I provided her with information as to how she could make it happen, and she rolled up her sleeves and worked with her contacts in the local news agencies. Again, we deeply mourn by her passing and salute her contributions to the deaf. We’d also like to pass on our condolences to her surviving family members. We won’t just mourn her passing, but we also will celebrate her legacy that she gave us. Thank you, Gertie!”

*Image of Dr. Gertrude Galloway obtained from Global Deaf Women.