Maureen Gallo, of Wyndmoor, an advertising sales representative for the Local from 2009 to 2018 and before that a sales representative for the Chestnut Hill Village apartment complex, died May 17 of cardiac arrest in Jefferson Abington Hospital at the age of 55.
“Maureen was a one-of-a-kind person. She was not like anyone else I have ever known, a real free spirit,” said her best friend of 25 years, Wendy Conlon, of Chestnut Hill, a salesperson for both Villavillekula children's boutique and Windfall Gallery who previously worked as a bartender at Tavern on the Hill. “She seemed to have no cares about anything, and she was so much fun to be around. We laughed so much together.”
By a tragic coincidence, Gallo's live-in companion for 12 years, Curtis Kaller, owner of a successful roofing and general contracting business, died of cancer May 8 at age 68 at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. A Springfield Township High School graduate and one of eight siblings, Kaller was a lifelong resident of Wyndmoor.
“I was at their house in Wyndmoor for dinner many times and also at their Jersey shore house in Strathmere, where Curtis would go sport fishing,” Conlon said. “I had dinner with Maureen at Bacio in Erdenheim not long before she died. She was almost like her old self. She looked great. But then Curtis died, and that was devastating to her.”
Gallo had some health issues over the years, and last year she suffered a cardiac arrest and was in a coma for three months in Abington Hospital, possibly from COVID and other causes. “I never thought she'd live through that,” Conlon said “I was so happy when she finally came out of the coma, but she was never really herself again. She was exhausted much of the time.”
A native of Hackensack, N.J., Maureen was a graduate of Hackensack High School who also previously worked in the banking industry and as a dog groomer. She loved animals, the Jersey Shore, the New York Giants and dining out with friends. She loved to talk in great detail about recent restaurant experiences.
More than 25 years ago, Maureen moved to the Lake Wallenpaupack area of the Pocono Mountains to marry Steve Ehrhardt, owner of Ehrhardt's Restaurant in the Poconos. After a brief marriage, Gallo lived in many places — Lafayette Hill, Wilkes Barre, Jenkintown and Savannah, Ga.
Conlon stayed close to her through all of these moves. “Of course we had fights,” said Conlon, “as friends do, but we always made up.”
Kathleen Egan, owner of Tavern on the Hill, Gallo's favorite area restaurant, said, “Maureen came in here often and always seemed to be happy. She was always engaging with other customers and employees. She was great with everyone. A fun lady and smart. I am very sad to hear the news.”
Since we worked together for nine years, I can personally say that I never laughed so much as when I was around Maureen. Once she told me, ‘You are the worst joke teller in the entire world.’ I said, ‘Have you heard all of the other joke tellers in the world?’ She replied, ‘OK, I take it back. Of all those I have heard, you are the worst.’”
Ray DeJohn, former production manager at the Local, said, “Working with Maureen was enjoyable. She was never really stressed with deadlines, and she had great relationships with her advertising clients. She had a fun attitude and great sarcasm.”
Sue Ann Rybak, a former reporter at the Local, told us, “Maureen truly cared about people and enjoyed listening to their stories. She had a natural ability to connect with people, and she always had a joke to tell.”
According to Sonia Leounes, former advertising manager for the Local, “Maureen called us 'the blonde brigade.' She had a riotous sense of humor, a fantastic laugh and a zest for life. We enjoyed some fun social times and went through some frustrating professional challenges together. I loved talking about football with her on Mondays, especially if my Eagles outperformed her Giants. Maureen was a good friend, and I will miss her.”
Maureen was predeceased by her parents, Joseph and Mary Gallo. She is survived by her sisters Deborah Gallo and Pamela Gallo, nephews Joseph Papakalodoukas and Gino Papakalodoukas and niece Krista Papakalodoukas. She will also be missed by aunts, uncles, cousins and dear friends. A private memorial will be held at a later date.
Expressions of condolences can be made at meyersFH.com. Len Lear can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.