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Carolyn G. Gallivan, former director of volunteers for United Way

March 4, 1928 - July 12, 2018

Carolyn G. Gallivan was a Buffalo booster and eager volunteer, briefly turning the latter into a profession when she was hired in the early 1980s to be director of volunteers for the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County.

Mrs. Gallivan, who had previously done volunteer work as a member of the Junior League of Buffalo and the Zonta Club, died Thursday at her home in Buffalo. She was 90.

"She felt it was really important to give back to your community. She loved this community and really threw herself into it," said Mrs. Gallivan's daughter, Constance Hoyt.

Hoyt said her mother was such an enthusiastic and effective volunteer that she was approached by the United Way  in 1983 to be the organization's director of volunteers, one of only a few paid positions Mrs. Gallivan ever held.

"That was after she had been president (and) vice president of a number of other things, probably seven or eight volunteer organizations throughout Western New York," said her son, Rick Gallivan.

The former Carolyn Grace Funk was born in Buffalo and raised primarily in North Buffalo. She was a 1945 graduate of Bennett High School. In 1947, she graduated from Chevy Chase Junior College, Chevy Chase, Md., where she studied art.

Mrs. Gallivan briefly worked at L.L. Berger's Department Store in the early 1950s. A wife and mother of six children, Mrs. Gallivan lent her time and volunteer services to many area organizations. She was a past board member of the former Sheehan Memorial Hospital, and a past president of the Junior League of Buffalo, which presented Mrs. Gallivan with its Susan Reid Green Award for outstanding member.

She also was a past president of the Seton Guild, a board member and past president of the Zonta Club of Buffalo, which also presented her with its Zontan of the Year Award.

"She loved the Junior League and she loved the Zonta Club. There is the Carolyn Gallivan Scholarship at the Zonta Club that benefits the girls at Lafayette High School," said her daughter.

Through her volunteer work with the Junior League, Mrs. Gallivan was instrumental in promoting the preservation of the Wilcox mansion, now known as the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site at 641 Delaware Ave. in the city's Allentown neighborhood.

"They were going to tear it down. They saved it, I mean, the Junior League, my mother and some lawyers from downtown that were very involved in the Preservation Landmark Society," said Hoyt.

Mrs. Gallivan was a past president of the Friends of the Buffalo Psychiatric Center, a board member of the Buffalo Federation of Women's Club, and past board member and president of Mount St. Joseph Academy.

Mrs. Gallivan was on the board of Holy Angels Academy, and was an associate member of the Buffalo Canoe Club. She also was a member of the Erie County Commission to prevent recidivism, through which she worked closely with the Erie County Sheriff's Office.

"I would call my mother a very loving and giving person. She loved children, all children," said Hoyt.

"She loved the City of Buffalo, adored the City of Buffalo. She gave tours before it was popular. I mean, really. She was the original Buffalo booster, if ever there was one. She loved the architecture and always was talking up Buffalo. She was really very proud of her city," Hoyt added.

Mrs. Gallivan was predeceased by husband of 59 years, Richard S.F. Gallivan, who died in 2010.

She is survived by daughters, Judith Duffy, Constance Hoyt and Susan; sons Richard and Brian; a sister, Virginia Wineberg; 10 grandchildren; and three great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at a date to be determined by the family.


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