Justice Eleanor Gallagher
January 25, 1936 – July 1, 2020
Eleanor Gallagher, known as "Bubi" to her family and "Ellie" to her friends, passed away on July 1, 2020 in Highland, NY. She is the daughter of Angelina "Jean" Pallonetti nee Mataraza, and Carmine "Charles" Pallonetti.
Eleanor was born in Brooklyn and moved to Highland as a teenager. For most of her professional life she worked for the Town of Marlborough. She served for 31 years as Justice of the Peace, retiring in 2015.
She is survived by her sons Jack (Susan) Gallagher of Cary, NC and Rod of Grafton, MA; five grandchildren: Evan, Robin & Kyra and Malia & Maile; sister-in-law Lynn Pallonetti of San Marcos, CA; niece Darla Dowling of Lackawaxen, PA; nephew Michael Pallonetti of Vista, CA; and many great nephews/nieces and cousins.
She was predeceased by her loving husband, John Esmond Gallagher, her brother Joseph Pallonetti, and her mother and father.
Eleanor was a dedicated and loving wife, mother and grandmother. She grew up in Brooklyn, moving to Highland at the start of high school. After graduation, she worked as an executive secretary for IBM in their Poughkeepsie, NY and Lexington, KY offices. She married the love of her life, John Esmond "Jack" Gallagher, in 1960. She was subsequently a dispatcher for the Marlborough Police Department, then served as the first Court Clerk for the town. In 1984, she was appointed to serve out the remaining term of the resigning incumbent Justice, then won the following election. She held the position for 31 years, never losing an election, despite the local Republican Party's failure to support her in 2007. She always sought the truth, fought for what she believed was right, and persevered in the face of adversity. The current Town of Marlborough courtroom is dedicated and named for her as the Honorable Eleanor Gallagher Courtroom. Her uncle, Pat Mataraza, Town of Marlborough Justice for many years and for whom the previous courtroom was named, would have been proud.
The New York Senate passed a resolution commending Justice Gallagher upon her retirement in December 2015,
"for her 39 years of distinguished service to the Town of Marlborough, New York. Justice Gallagher began her career with the Town of Marlborough as a volunteer in the local police department helping to organize their filing system; she later served three years as a Police Dispatcher and eventually became the first Court Clerk for the town. After ably serving as Court Clerk for three years, Eleanor Gallagher graciously filled a temporary vacancy as a Judge for one year before running and winning the position in her own right. During her illustrious 31-year tenure, Judge Eleanor Gallagher rendered faithful, conscientious and valuable service to the people of the Town of Marlborough. Respected by both attorneys and defendants alike, this esteemed public servant expertly presided over a wide variety of cases, and always conducted an impartial and objective court. Judge Eleanor Gallagher was often called in the middle of the night to oversee arraignments, but treated all defendants with compassion and dignity while remaining fair in her rulings; she is also known for having a positive influence on countless young people who had been on the wrong side of the law. Throughout a life and career of purposeful endeavor, Judge Eleanor Gallagher has remained true to her commitment, serving family and community, as well as the law; her contributions and accomplishments have brought great benefit to bear upon the course of jurisprudence and the quality of life for others. Judge Eleanor Gallagher, in every capacity in which she served, has left a permanent mark on the criminal justice community and will forever be remembered as a determined, wise and genuinely concerned expert in her field."
A private family funeral was held. Funeral arrangements were handled by the DiDonato Funeral Service. Condolences may be posted at www.didonatofuneralservice.com.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the Marlboro Hose Company #1.