Marie (Gallagher) Staley ’82
Marie Gallagher’s road to Honorary inductee to the Paul VI Hall of Fame began shortly after she graduated from Camden Catholic, Misericordia School of Nursing and Villanova University.
After earning her degree as a Registered Nurse, she began her first nursing job at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. Shortly after she became the school nurse at Camden Catholic from 1952-1956. During her last few years at Camden Catholic, she married Joseph Gallagher.
Mom’s nursing career continued as she and Dad began their family. They had five children, all of whom attended Paul VI over the years. They now have eleven wonderful grandchildren , many who have attended Paul VI. Mom not only took care of all of us, but when needed, she also worked as a private duty nurse. She used to joke that she knew a big bill had come in whenever Dad would take out her white shoes and begin to polish them for her.
In 1982, Mom was asked to become the nurse at Paul VI, her initial reaction was to decline, but after some thought and a talk with Dad, Mom changed her mind and was glad she did. Her duties at first, were not only nursing, but for a few years, she also taught First Aid. For anyone who remembers having mom, you know she made an impression right away. She quickly became known for being the no nonsense, compassionate person that she is. She always had time for a student or teacher who did not feel well or needed her. However, she had no time for slackers. She could spot a student trying to get out of class and would send him or her back quickly. Her most famous saying to students was “Honey, if I had a cure for the common cold, I would be rich women and not working.”
Mom’s nursing ability was obvious, but what also became obvious was her dedication to Paul VI. An example of this was when she broke her leg. Mom had a feeling something was wrong, but still went to work. During the day, Mom realized she needed to go to the doctor, so she left, got an x-ray, got a cast and returned to work on crutches. Although she would have told anyone in her place to go home and rest, she insisted she had to return because she had left things undone. If you know anything about our mother, it’s that things are not left undone!
Marie worked at Paul VI until 1999 and is currently retired. Since retiring she remains busy in many activities, including her volunteer work at First Way, helping many infants and their families who are in need.