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Marilyn Gallo
September 18, 1925 - September 15, 2020

Marilyn Gallo, 94, of Oelwein Passed away Tuesday September 15, 2020.  Public visitation will be from 4:00-7:00 PM on Thursday September 17, 2020 at the Geilenfeld-Buehner Funeral Home in Oelwein.  Private Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 AM on Friday September 18, 2020 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Oelwein, and will be limited to family.  Interment will be in Woodlawn Cemetery at Oelwein.  Due to state and federal guidelines on gatherings regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing is required.  Those in attendance are required to wear a mask.

Marilyn Gallo lived a full life.  Intelligent, well-traveled, intellectually curious, highly educated, a voracious reader, and caring. Marilyn made a positive mark on many. 

We, her children, consider ourselves lucky and proud to call her "Mom."  Our dad, Vic Gallo, was fortunate to call Marilyn his wife for more than 50 years. 

To many in Oelwein, Marilyn was a favorite teacher, a good friend, an involved citizen, an active member of her church, and a gifted writer.  One could not accompany her downtown without slotting time for chats with her many friends.  She was a gem! 

Marilyn Louise Miller was born on September 18, 1925 in Sumner, lowa to Adolph and Helen Miller.  She earned a BA in Journalism at the University of Iowa.  Marilyn's professional life was that of a writer.  It shaped her life.  Around Oelwein, Marilyn was best-known as Mrs. Gallo.  For more than 25 years, she taught writing.  Hundreds of Oelwein High School students benefited from her steady hand and tutelage.  She loved teaching, and her students loved her.  Teaching, however, was not her first calling.  It was Journalism.  Marilyn started in the newspaper business as a cub reporter at the Oelwein Daily Register, where Marilyn met our dad, Vic Gallo, who was a sportswriter. 

The two were very different.  Vic was gregarious, outgoing, and unafraid to state his opinion.  Marilyn was none of that.  She was more reserved, disliked the spotlight, and generally kept her opinions to herself.  Still, they forged a functional, loving, lasting partnership. 

Shortly thereafter, they migrated to Strawberry Point and bought an excellent small town weekly, The Press Journal.  They did it all, from running the press to selling ads, to writing copy.  Marilyn's weekly column, "Strawberries 'n Cream,” won many state writing awards.  Once, a fan of the column sent her a strawberry plate, in honor of those awards.  That became the seed for her passion for all things strawberry. 

Vic and Marilyn had six children, Kathy, Tom, John, Mary, Matt, and Joe. In 1966 the Gallos sold the paper and moved to Des Moines, where they lived for seven eventful years.  Marilyn taught at St. Joseph's Academy while in Des Moines. 

Predictably, Marilyn didn't use a rocking chair in her retirement.  Instead, she traveled all over the world, and read, read, read.  She was a local volunteer and continued to write.  In addition to her frequent letters and e-mails to family and friends, Marilyn became active in the Oelwein Writers League.  Occasionally, her work appears in the Oelwein Daily Register, but mostly she wrote to stay agile.  She also loved politics. She loved Rachel Maddow, andwill be VERY sorry to miss this election! 

Marilyn has slowed down some in her 94th year, but remained remarkable to the very end. We were blessed and honored to call her our mom. We will treasure her memory always.


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Kevin Murphy on September 24, 2020 at 3:09 PM said:

Marilyn was such a kind, caring person. I have great memories of her from hanging around the Gallo house when I was growing up and also from staying at her house during my last two class reunions. Oelwein has lost a great one!

My condolences to the Gallo family.
Bob Watson on September 20, 2020 at 8:37 AM said:

Gallo kids. Sorry to hear about your mom. Lots of good memories from Strawberry days as neighbors and friends. Take care. Bob bobandlinda@civandinc.net
Ellen Johnson on September 19, 2020 at 3:44 PM said:

My mom, Esther Johnson, of Fayette, became acquainted with Marilyn by reading the school page in the Oelwein Daily Register. Mom so enjoyed the page of articles, photos and drawings. Mom contacted Marilyn to compliment her on the job she was doing, and they became friends. Such a wonderful teacher she must have been! Please accept my sincere sympathy. Ellen Johnson Guttenberg, Iowa
Mary Manning Bracken on September 19, 2020 at 11:14 AM said:

I am adding my voice to so many who are saying "Mrs. Gallo was my favorite teacher". She taught me to love the English language, and to appreciate the power of finely crafted writing. Her teaching at St. Joe's in Des Moines, and my mother's influence propelled me into a career in communications. She was a great lady who impacted so many lives. R.I.P. Mrs. Gallo. Condolences to my classmate and friend, Mary and all the Gallo family.
Mary Kay Kellogg-Strong on September 18, 2020 at 10:22 AM said:

My condolences to the Gallo family. Your mom & dad were great friends of our parents and most of us Kellogg kids grew up with the Gallo kids. Your mom was always warm and genuine and unique!
Todd Huinker on September 17, 2020 at 6:30 PM said:

Wonderful teacher,many memories, always pleasant,will be missed, R.I.P Mrs.Gallo!
Warren J Reyerson on September 17, 2020 at 5:40 PM said:

Exceptional teacher, and a great friend of the city of Oelwein. RIP MRS. GALLO
Janette serra on September 17, 2020 at 5:06 PM said:

I’ve moved many times in my life and each time I’ve thinned our thing once thought to be sentimental. The only non-family card I saved was written be your mother on strawberry stationary. She was congratulating me on a degree I’d earned. I’ll keep this card forever. She was a wonderful person. This pandemic prevents me from crowds. I really want to be there. My God bless her beautiful soul. Janette
daryl olsen on September 17, 2020 at 9:23 AM said:

My condolences to the entire Gallo family. She was a very special friend. I will miss her tremendously. Few people in my life have exemplified the extraordinary kindness and intelligent conversations that we shared. She was so proud of her family. Thank you to all her children for sharing her with the community and all her friends. A special thank you to Kathy I will always be grateful. We have all truly been blessed to know her and love her . Rest In Peace Marilyn
Charlene Stocker on September 17, 2020 at 7:16 AM said:

My condolences to all of you. We were all blessed to know Marilyn and will miss her so much. She lived a long and wonderful life and I was privileged to know her, but I could have used another 10 years of Marilyn.
Paula Ernzen Sullivan on September 16, 2020 at 5:14 PM said:

Loved Mrs. Gallo. She helped me graduate on time with my class and was always smiling and very kind. She will be missed by many but the impact she had will live on for a long time.
Monica Smith on September 16, 2020 at 3:02 PM said:

I was so sorry to hear about the passing of Mrs. Gallo. She shaped by time in Oelwein at the high school. Her influence got me on the newspaper where I wrote a couple of articles which I am still proud of to this day. Unknown to me, she submitted on to the state high school newspaper contest and I won first place!!! Even today I love to write and still want to make Mrs. Gallo proud. RIP you lovely lady. You will be missed
Erin O'Hara Perry on September 16, 2020 at 12:55 PM said:

There are certain people who make a difference, and Marilyn made the difference in the lives of many. She will be missed by many. Matt and Joey you have our deepest sympathies.
Mike Carlson on September 16, 2020 at 7:19 AM said:

One of my favorites...
Lori Beierschmitt on September 16, 2020 at 7:09 AM said:

With a Heavy Heart this morning as I read about the loss of Marilyn. She was so encouraging as a teacher, beautiful person to chat with at every Ambassador meeting. Yes, You were Blessed with a Wonderful Mother. Keep her Memories Close, so she's always with you. Marilyn & Vic are together again, keeping the pressing going. Marilyn always chatted with my parents too, and loved having my dad keeping her computer going. Deepest Sympathies at this difficult time. Oelwein Class of '81 also extends their sympathies to the Family too.
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