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Joseph Gallo

August 17, 2023
Joseph Gallo
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Obituary for Joseph Gallo

Joseph James Gallo, 49, died on Thursday, 17 August 2023 at his home outside of Gettysburg,

Pennsylvania.


The outline of Joe’s life is pretty simple: he was born in Ewing, NJ in 1973. He briefly attended college in Atlanta, GA, then moved back to NJ and worked in convenience stores. He started a zine called Gulp Life, and through that made some lifelong friends, including folks in California. He moved to San Francisco in 1998, met and married Shawna Smith and had several happy years with her. After their marriage ended, he met Vee in 2014 and moved to Gettysburg, PA to be with her.


Joe was an only child. His father, Joseph J. Gallo, predeceased him. He is survived by his mother,


JoAnn (Vandegrift) Gallo of Ewing NJ and his partner, Virgina (Vee) Virkus and many friends. He didn’t have any children, but he loved animals, especially cats. He had a tattoo of one of his favorite cats, Butch, a gray American Shorthair, and another tattoo of his dog, Archie, a Jack Russell Chihuahua mix.


Joe took his own life. He wrestled with depression for most of his adult life, and it had a strong ripple, but he was much more than his struggles. He was a loving partner and son, he had a cynical wit and spent a lot of time on reddit and in other forums interacting with both strangers and friends and strangers who became friends. He was a caretaker and administrator, who kept a household and a small business running. At Dancing Pig Pottery, where he worked in the final years of his life, his unofficial title was Emperor of Wax and Flames, His Excellency, the Quartermaster General. He was a cherished friend, someone who listened deeply, without judgment or criticism. He was involved with Recovery circles, both Alcoholics Anonymous and Overeaters Anonymous. He was a person with an additional progressive illness - a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy called Central Core Disease - that affected his balance and mobility and hindered him on several levels. A gamer with enthusiasm for both board and video games, he was a smart strategist, which served him well both personally and professionally. He would probably object if anyone suggested that he took time to stop and smell roses, but he would not be able to deny that he took photos of blooming houseplants and the pumpkins that grew along the barn where he walked his dog. He reveled in rituals such as changing bed sheets at both the full and new moons, making a fine cup of tea, and waking up early to clean the kitchen as a proper start for the day. He left us with many gifts, memories, and questions.


In our grief, we now look to one another for solace and care. A memorial service to celebrate him will be held on what would have been his fiftieth birthday, Friday 27 October 2023 at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Gettysburg, PA. The memorial will have two parts: a traditional memorial service in the Quaker style at 5:30pm and an informal gathering with tea, pizza and board games from 7 til 9. Attendees are requested to wear tie-dye, if they have any, as Joe appreciated the whimsy of tie dye and often wore it himself. Folks are welcome to attend all or part of the memorial. If you are wondering if you should come, please do. Joe missed much of his life by hiding and withdrawing into himself. A nice way to honor his memory is to try to show up for each other whenever we can.


If you would like to mark his death with a financial contribution, there is a go fund me to help his


partner and his mother attend to the expenses around his death, https://gofund.me/0faa7795 or you could also donate to the animal shelter of your choice in his honor.




We are all just walking each other home ~Ram Dass

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Previous Events

Service

Friday

27

Oct

5:30 PM 10/27/2023 5:30:00 PM
Unitarian Universalists Church

136 South Stratton St.
Gettysburg, PA 17325

Unitarian Universalists Church
136 South Stratton St. Gettysburg 17325 PA
United States

Visitation

Friday

27

Oct

7:00 PM 10/27/2023 7:00:00 PM - 9:00 PM 10/27/2023 9:00:00 PM
Unitarian Universalists Church

136 South Stratton St.
Gettysburg, PA 17325

Unitarian Universalists Church
136 South Stratton St. Gettysburg 17325 PA
United States
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