Fashionista's devotion to others touched many
By Adam Brandolph
Published: Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Violet Gallo wore high heels to the end.
“When she was committed, she was committed,” said her husband, Allegheny County Common Pleas Senior Judge Robert C. Gallo. “That's the kind of person she was.”
Violet Gallo of O'Hara died on Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, after a long bout with cancer. She was 80.
Born in Sharpsburg, Mrs. Gallo was the 10th of Antonio and Louisa Caridi's 12 children, all of whom preceded her in death.
In the late 1950s, Mrs. Gallo volunteered as a performer for the Bedside Network to record radio and television scripts with veterans affected by their service in Korean War.
About that time, she met and became a close friend of the future Judge Gallo, then a steelworker. They married in 1967 and had two sons, Robert C. Gallo II and Charles C. Gallo, now attorneys.
“When you marry a friend, you have a good relationship, and that's what ours was,” Judge Gallo said.
Friends and family said the Gallos were “the” couple everyone wanted at their parties. Mrs. Gallo was especially known for her style.
“Violet was an amazing, amazing woman, and she was a very dear friend,” said Anna Dunlap, co-owner of The LeMont in Mt. Washington, who co-chaired the 1983 Cancer Ball with Mrs. Gallo to benefit the American Cancer Society. “She did so much and touched so many people's lives.”
Mrs. Gallo volunteered for several nonprofits, including the Twenty-Five Club of Magee-Womens Hospital, and was president of the Allegheny County Law Wives. She was a longtime director for the Civic Light Opera.
“She was quite a lady. She worked tirelessly for all those charities,” said her son, Charles Gallo, 42, of Sharpsburg. “She was the most attentive mother in the world until me and my brother could take care of ourselves. Then she just immersed herself in doing anything she could for other people.”
Mrs. Gallo received the Performing Arts Partnership and Achievement Award from Point Park University in 2010 and the Compassion Award from the Ladies Hospital Aid Society in 2012.
Growing up with five older sisters, Mrs. Gallo received all the hand-me-downs in clothing, her husband said, but she rarely wore the same outfit twice in public. She was inducted into the Pittsburgh Fashion Hall of Fame in 2012.
“People think I'm a millionaire because of the way she dressed,” Judge Gallo said. “She went to church every Sunday dressed to the hilts, hat and everything. People waited to see what she was going to wear. She even got dressed in high heels to clean the floor.”
Friends will be received from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday in McCabe Bros. Inc. Funeral Home, 6214 Walnut St., Shadyside. A concelebrated Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in St. Mary Church of St. Juan Diego Parish, 211 Garnier St., Sharpsburg. The family requests that memorial contributions be made to Forbes Hospice, 4800 Friendship Ave., or Hillman Cancer Center, 5115 Centre Ave., Pittsburgh.
Adam Brandolph is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-391-0927 or email@example.com.
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