Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 14 October 2011 00:00
A native of Brooklyn, Ms. Galano had lived in the Roslyn area since the 1950s. She was a graduate of Hunter College and for many years, taught French on the high school level.
After being active in the affairs of the Roslyn area for decades, Ms. Galano, earlier this year had moved to Granville along with her oldest son.
Upon her relocation, Ms. Galano was cited by both the Roslyn School District and the Village of East Hills for her longtime dedication to civic affairs. At an April 14, 2001 BOE meeting, Superintendent Dr. Dan Brenner thanked Mrs. Galano “for her unending support and contributions she has made to the district and to the community as a whole,” adding how much she would be missed by BOE members and all of those involved in the school district.
“She was an effective and dedicated community leader who we will all sorely miss,” Mayor Michael R. Koblenz said while presenting Mrs. Galano with the plaque. At the ceremony, the mayor lauded her many achievements by stressing, “no matter what the need of Fairfield Park or Our Village, Marguerite would keep us informed, in the nicest way, and with the greatest aplomb. She is truly a special and wonderful person.”
The inscription praised for her lifelong devotion to community service; her active participation in the Roslyn Interfaith Group, and her invaluable contributions to the Fairfield Park Civic Association as well as United Civics Association. The official commendation on the plaque went also thanked her for the “time and devotion, efforts and energies to further the best interests of East Hills” through the Budget Advisory Committee of the Roslyn Board of Education and through her many valuable “suggestions, recommendations and ideas for reform” she contributed at the Board of Trustees’ meetings over the years.
Earlier, in 2003, Mrs. Galano had received the village’s Achievement Awards, the highest honor any East Hills resident can receive from village government. She was cited for serving as the chair of the village’s hospitality committee and as past president of the Fairfield Park Civic Association.
Several Roslyn area residents fondly remembered Mrs. Galano and her contributions to the community she called home.
Lee Parker is a longtime Roslyn Estates resident who helped Mrs. Galano set up the Interfaith Group.
“She was upfront about so many important issues in the village,” Ms. Parker said. “She was informed and knowledgeable in a way that made people listen to what she had to say.”
Mrs. Galano, Ms. Parker said, was especially involved in the school district, where she had once worked as a deputy clerk.
“She was always there [at BOE meetings], and always very effective,” Ms. Parker added. “She wanted to do the right thing by most people. She was always careful about the school district budget and how the school board allocated funds.”
Ms. Parker also recalled how her friend was “always networking” in the everyday life of the Roslyn area, for instance, helping senior citizens who needed rides to meetings and events, such as the Martin Luther King Scholarship Dinner.
“It is sad that her voice has been silenced,” Ms. Parker said.
Another longtime friend was East Hills resident Hilda Yohalem, who recalled that her friendship with Mrs. Galano went back to the early 1950s.
“She always had good ideas,” Ms. Yohalem told The Roslyn News, also citing Mrs. Galano’s work with the Fairfield Park Civic Association, an Advisory Committee to the Roslyn School District and her regular attendance at both East Hills BOT and Roslyn School District meetings.
Jeanette Sterling worked with her at The Friends of the Library, an organization of the Bryant Library. “She was active and busy, and driving well into her nineties,” Ms. Sterling recalled. “She was a valuable member of our organization.”
In East Hills, Mrs. Galano was a member of St, Mary’s Roman Catholic Church. She was also a lifetime member of Our Lady of Lebonon Church in Brooklyn.
Surviving are her sons, Joseph Charles Galano of Granville and Robert Anthony Galano of Orlando, FL; grandchildren, Lisa Marie, Joseph Charles II, and Olivia Marie; and one brother, Michel Mossallem.
In addition to her parents, Marguerite was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, Joseph Galano, who died November 4, 2007; and one sister, Helene Duchardt.