Joan Gallo
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Obituary of Joan Klink Gallo

Joan Klink Gallo, former advocate for Cayuga County seniors, left this earth on Dec. 18, 2016, to join the company of angels. Born Joan Elizabeth Klink on April 11, 1931, in Auburn, she was the daughter of Mary Johnston Klink and Paul Leo Klink. As a child, she lived in Auburn and the Town of Owasco where she enjoyed close relationships with her grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Joan was the oldest of six children, and is survived by her sister, Paula (David) Hickey; brothers, Thomas and John (Suzanne) Klink, and sister-in-law, Regina Klink. She was predeceased by her brothers, Charles and Lawrence, and her sisters-in-law, Mary Ann Klink and Rosemary Klink. Joan graduated from St. Alphonsus Grammar School. “Klinker,” was a proud member of the class of ’49 at Holy Family High School where she met the love of her life and husband of 62 years, Bob “Bisc” Gallo. They started dating during rehearsals for a production of the Heart of Paddy Whack in their senior year, when Bob captured her heart with a fine bass solo. After hearing Bob sing, Joan’s grandmother was rumored to say, “Ain’t he grand!” And the rest, as they say, is history. After graduation, Joan attended Auburn Business School and worked as a customer service representative at the New York Telephone Company where she “loved dealing with the public in many capacities.” Marriage to Bob in 1954 was soon followed by four daughters: Mary Elizabeth (Clark) Tucker, Martha Joan Gallo (Charles Kerner), Margaret Mary Gallo (Fred DeWolf), and Maria (Bradley) Ashbrook, who survive her. Joan cared for her daughters at home, until she decided to pursue an associate’s degree at Auburn Community College in 1970 and a bachelor’s degree in communication arts at Cornell University in 1974. While the full-fledged women’s movement was still years away, Joan was an early role model for women and, especially, her young daughters. She was a loving wife and mother, as well as a successful student and public servant. After graduating from Cornell, Joan began a 20-year career as coordinator and then director of the Cayuga County Office for the Aging where she and her staff established core services for the elderly. She served on the boards of numerous organizations supporting seniors, including Boyle Senior Center (president), Mercy Foundation, Community Services Board, SCAT Van, Link to Life, Westminster Village, and Cayuga Health Association. She also served on many other boards and committees serving the citizens of Auburn, including the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union, Auburn Memorial Hospital and Cayuga Museum of History and Art. Joan was a volunteer with Hospice of the Finger Lakes. An avid reader from a young age, Joan enjoyed her membership in the Roundabout Club where she presented book reports on female trailblazers like Abigail Adams and Lucretia Mott Osborne. In her later years she actively participated in other reading clubs and enjoyed luncheons with the “Holy Family Girls.” Joan was a member of the Owasco Yacht Club and Skaneateles Country Club, and living near water was an important focal point in her life. Never a “toe dipper,” Joan would eagerly dive into the lake, no matter how early in the season. For more than 40 summers, Joan was also a fixture at Saratoga where she read the morning line, only to bet on horses with fanciful names. In the wintertime she was a vocal member of the “Lynah Faithful” at Cornell hockey games. Gramma and her signature hot fudge sundaes will be missed by grandchildren, Robert (Jessica Adnett) and Elizabeth Joan (Craig Patane) Tucker; Catherine and Annie Kerner; Ana DeWolf Gallo; Keenan and John Ashbrook. She also leaves behind more than 20 nieces, nephews, and cousins. Joan Gallo was a great woman because of her public service. She also was a good woman because she was great in the smaller, unseen corners of life where so many relied on her counsel and strength. A Mass to celebrate Joan’s life will be held at 11 a.m. on Dec. 28, 2016 in Sacred Heart Church, Auburn. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception at the church immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Joan’s memory to Sisters of Mercy, 1437 Blossom Road, Rochester, NY 14610 and indicate “Retirement for Sisters” on memo line or CNY Community Foundation, 431 East Fayette St., Suite 100, Syracuse, NY 13202 and indicate “Cayuga Fund” on memo line. Alternatively, Joan would be pleased if you carried out an act of kindness for someone in need.