Donald E. Galluch, 84, counselor, social worker in Lackawanna schools

Donald E. Galluch, 84, counselor, social worker in Lackawanna schools

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April 13, 1936 – June 8, 2020

Donald E. Galluch, of Hamburg, a social worker in the Lackawanna schools, died June 8 in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga, of complications from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. He was 84.

Born in Johnsonburg, Pa., the oldest of five children, he came to Blasdell with his family in 1943. He attended Bishop Timon High School until he was 15, when he left to enroll in St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon.

During his seven years of study to become a Franciscan priest, he developed a deep spirituality but decided to pursue another career.

Returning home, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Canisius College, served as a medic in the Army Reserve and began as a social worker at Baker Hall School in Lackawanna in 1962.

He went on to earn a master’s degree in social work from the University at Buffalo and became a social worker in the Lackawanna schools in 1973. He retired in 1999.

Mr. Galluch inspired two of his sons to pursue careers in public service. One son, Peter, is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a Navy captain. Another son, Thomas, is in federal law enforcement. One of his grandsons, David, also is a Naval Academy graduate.

As a counselor, his grandson said, he saved many marriages and helped numerous people turn their lives around.

He provided support and encouragement for fellow parishioners and youngsters at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Orchard Park.

Talented as a painter, he created portraits of wildlife and landscapes of the American Southwest.

He also was an avid stained glass artist, fashioning windows, decorations and Christmas tree ornaments that he gave as holiday gifts.

A storyteller, he enjoyed showing visitors his backyard garden with its water feature and ornithology corner.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, the former Margaret Rose Dressler; another son, John; a daughter, Maria; three brothers, Daniel, Noel and Michael; a sister, Karen McDwyer; and five grandchildren.

A private Mass of Christian Burial will be offered Friday. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

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