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(Editor’s note: Beginning this week, the Free Press will be recognizing those seniors who have been “spotlighted” throughout the years at the Pepperell Senior Center. The following is the narrative written about Mary Galotta which was printed in the center’s March 2005 monthly newsletter.)

PEPPERELL — There is this sweet little lady who comes to the Senior Center faithfully every Wednesday for lunch. Her name is Mary Galotta. She comes to the Center with the help of a walker but it certainly doesn’t slow her down.

Mary was born and educated in Lowell. She attended Butler High School, graduating in 1937. Her parents came to this country, not being able to speak the language, but with a mother who firmly believed in education. Mary attended Lowell Commercial College after high school.

The oldest of nine children, Mary, during her high school years, worked in the family business, learning all about running a variety store which was located in Lowell. Mary commented on how she earned 25 cents an hour at that job. She also worked at a cookie factory in Lowell.

Mary spoke about how her mother made her take the Civil Service test, being such a strong believer in education. Mary passed the test and went on to work in Washington, D.C., for the Department of the Army.

Married in 1944, Mary and her husband had a son, but at 27 years old her husband, a Navy man, was killed on Iwo Jima, making her a Gold Star wife. Mary wears a pin bearing his likeness.

She did follow in her mother’s footsteps, making sure her son, who she says looks just like her late husband, received a good education. Mary started the Gold Star Wives of America Chapter in Lowell in 1946 and says it’s still going strong after 50 years.

Although Mary is a resident of Dunstable, she is one of our pleasantest faces we see every Wednesday for lunch. We welcome her to our extended family and her friendly disposition adds to a growing number who come to the Center for delicious meals and socializing.

Welcome, Mary. You bring sunshine with you and make the day a little brighter.

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