Catherine Gallagher

Obituary of Catherine C. Gallagher

10/18/1953 – 5/6/2024
On the early morning of May 6, Cathy Gallagher drew her last breath. She crossed over in her apartment in Delmar, NY in the company of family and friends. Her life story is one of love and commitment to family, community, women’s rights, and equality for all.
Upon arriving at the door of any of her three daughters' homes, the scene was always the same: Smiling young faces cramming the windows only to scurry off, leaving curtains flailing as they exited their homes screaming “AMAAA!” The subject of their glee was always Cathy: doting “Ama” to eight grandchildren; Dorian, Robin, Oliver, Adrianna, Reese, Remy, Brendan and Elliot; loving mother to three beautiful daughters; Shannon, Catherine, and Marly; dedicated spouse to two lucky men; Robert Carroll and Tim Hart; devoted sister to Mary, Helen, Eeo, John B, Chip, and Charlie; and a beloved daughter of her parents Ralph and Nancy.
Throughout her life Cathy facilitated joy and beauty in everything she touched. She and husband Bob bought a humble cottage on a parcel of land in Katonah. As the family grew, so did the house and the gardens. As the family grew, so did the house and the gardens surrounding it. They created a home filled with magic and love that hugged those all who walked in the front door. Bob worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as the Chief Armorer while Cathy tended to the house and her children. Both produced things of beauty.
A lover of all things natural, Cathy could often be found walking in the Muscoot Woods, or the Bronx Botanical Gardens, or on the sandy beaches of Cape Cod where she collected shells, stones, and driftwood to decorate her home.
When the children all entered school, Cathy pursued a career in nursing. Like everything else she attempted, this path was decorated with accolades. Beginning with her Associates Degree in nursing where she earned Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society – finishing first in her class, followed by a Certificate in Nurse-Midwifery where she was awarded the Certificate of Excellence and Summa Cum Laude, until she finished her studies earning a BS in Nursing, again, at the top of her class. Cathy considered natural birth and breastfeeding almost spiritual events that helped form the bond between mother and child, so midwifery was a natural fit for her.
Around this time Cathy and her young family faced the loss of her husband Bob to a sudden heart attack, adding grief and the trials of being a single parent to her responsibilities. Nevertheless, she began to practice, aiming her skills at helping underserved communities. She worked at Hudson Valley Hospital Center & the Birth Cottage Peekskill, New York; then at Hudson River Community Health, Midwifery Service, Peekskill, NY; followed by Women’s Health Associates, Midwifery Service, Danbury, CT; until she opened Journey to Birth Midwifery PLLC, a homebirth practice, with longtime friend Sue Schmidt.
Always one to do what she could to make the world around her better, she marched in NYC in anti-war rallies, in Washington in the Women’s march, in Somers and Katonah for gender and racial equality and for economic and food insecurity, in White Plains for Women’s Rights rally, and this year in Albany in a Jan 6th Memorial. Not only did she march and participate in rallies, she gave of herself presenting at assemblies and serving on committees. She spoke at Columbia University about birthing alternatives, at the Hudson Valley Birth Network on the appropriate use of Cesarean Sections, and of Birthing Options at the Holistic Mom's Network. She served on the West/Put/Rockland Lactation Consortium Advisory Board, was on the Board of Trustees for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Westchester where she also acted as a Youth Group Volunteer & Instructor of Our Whole Lives – Human Sexuality Training. She contributed to West/Put Childbirth Education Association and as Editor of “Expectations,” the newsletter of the CEA.
Cathy is survived by all her eight grandchildren, daughters Shannon, Catherine, Marly and their spouses, her siblings Mary, Eeo, John, and Charlie, and her husband Tim. But her legacy must also include the blooming of Spring flowers everywhere and in the smiles and laughter of the over one thousand children she helped bring into the world.
She is to be celebrated in a private ceremony in the Albany area but there will be a larger memorial near her longtime home in Westchester County later in the year. If interested in making a testimonial, or reading many of these already entered, go to Caring Bridge and enter her site.
In lieu of flowers, Cathy and her family have requested you make donations to Planned Parenthood or your local food pantry.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared with Cathy's Family, online at:
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