On September 6, 2020, the world lost an amazing woman. Paula Gallup was a truly special person, who embodied kindness and grace in the way she lived her life. As a mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend, she will be dearly missed by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her. Paula loved her family and is survived by her husband of 69 years, John G. Gallup, her daughter, Susan G. Purdy and son-in-law, Robert Purdy, her daughter Paula Ingalls and late son-in-law, Darrell Ingalls, her son, Bruce Gallup and daughter-in-law, Lindy Gallup. In addition, she leaves behind six grandchildren, Cliff Purdy (Trisha Purdy), Kristin Blanchard (Steve Blanchard), Ross Purdy, Heather Collins (Dennis Collins), Jonathan Gallup and Holland Gallup and two great grandchildren, Deighton and Arlo Blanchard.
Paula was born on September 10, 1931 in Holyoke, Massachusetts to Marcelle and Henry Burgee and grew up in close-knit family with her late sister, Maria Burgee Dwight. She attended Northampton School for Girls (now The Williston-Northampton School) and Mount Holyoke College, leaving after two years to marry John, a graduate of Dartmouth College. For 32 years she raised her family and pursued the volunteer and civic work she loved, including teaching Sunday school, running a church fair, serving as Assistant Girl Scout Leader and Assistant Cub Scout Den Mother. She was an active member of the Junior League for 20 years and a sustaining member for 15 years. During that time, she volunteered in the thrift shop, trooped with puppets to hospitals and children’s agencies, served as Concert Series Program Chair, Concert Series General Chair, Hospitality Chair and Advertising Co-chair for the Follies (musical). In addition, she served as a United Way representative for the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club. Over the course of 20 years, Paula was a hospital volunteer, member of the hospital auxiliary and served on auxiliary boards. She also worked as a volunteer at Wesson Women’s Hospital at the front desk, in the hospital coffee shop, as co-chair and buyer for the gift shop and as hostess in the ICU waiting room. She also held board positions: Membership Chair, Corresponding Secretary, Recording Secretary and President of the Baystate Medical Center Auxiliaries. Paula served as a docent at the Springfield Museum of Fine Arts and on the Springfield School Volunteers Advisory Council in a variety of capacities. She served as a volunteer for Chestnut Knoll, Stage West, the Springfield Mount Holyoke Club, Women’s Symphony League and the Longmeadow Women’s Republican Club.
In 1983, Paula returned to Mount Holyoke College through the Frances Perkins Program earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion. She continued her studies at Hartford Seminary and received her Master of Divinity from Andover-Newton Theological Seminary, after which she served for 9 years at St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Longmeadow as a Lay Pastoral Assistant providing compassionate guidance and support to senior members of the congregation. She established a Eucharistic Visitor Program, a prayer and study group, a monthly Lunch Bunch Group, and organized an 80 year+ celebratory tribute party, a job she truly loved. Paula was also a Eucharistic Minister and Lector. She was deeply involved in the Hatikvah Education Center and was a devoted member of the Cosmopolitan Club.
Paula and John loved to travel and visited many wonderful places in the world including England, Africa, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. More recently, Paula loved spending time at home surrounded by the people and things she loved.
A memorial service to celebrate Paula’s incredible life will be scheduled at a later date. Her arrangements have been entrusted to Forastiere Smith Funeral Home, 220 North Main St. East Longmeadow. For online condolences please visit www.forastiere.com
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