Gale Owen was a smart, caring and giving woman with many talents and a signature whistle. A graduate of Manlius Pebble Hill School, Gale lived in Syracuse for most of her life.
While raising her daughters as a single mom, Gale volunteered her time, transcribing textbooks into braille for Literacy Volunteers and serving as treasurer for the Syracuse Chapter of the National Organization for Women. When Gale decided to reenter the workforce, it came as no shock to those around her that she made a profession of helping people at various nonprofits. She ultimately served as a career counselor at the Regional Learning Service of CNY.
Though Gale retired to Florida in 2004, she remained deeply connected to Central New York and returned north every summer to stay at her beloved lakeside cottage in West Eaton, NY.
When she passed away in 2015 at the age of 75, Gale left a portion of her estate to us for the benefit of our general Community Fund and the Women’s Fund of Central New York, which supports projects and programs that empower the lives of local women and girls.
Along with her best friend Dottie Irish, Gale was an early adopter of the Women’s Fund mission, having been one of the first 20 contributors to support the fund when it was established in 1998.
Remembering their mother, Gale’s daughters said she was a strong supporter of women’s rights during her lifetime and participated in many marches over the years: “Mom was always willing to be active in supporting her beliefs and to speak out for what she believed was right and good. Her contributions are evidence of how strong she was in her conviction to help others in need.”
Just as Gale remembered the Women’s Fund in her estate plan, her incredible legacy of empowering women will be sustained for generations to come.
All three of her daughters expressed pride in her generosity. “It was important to her to support her local community and she knew the impact that any donation could have.”
Gale’s family is happy to know that she will be remembered as a woman with a giving heart, and so much more – wife, mother, grandmother, friend, athlete, musician, lifelong learner, writer of haikus, player of bridge, lover of theater, cat person. “She was a happy and content woman who you always knew was coming by her whistle,” said her daughters.