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Ex-Longview mayor, civic leader Lou Galosy dies at 89

From Staff Reports
Jan. 9, 2013 at 11 p.m.


One of Longview's most iconic figures - businessman, civic leader and former Mayor Lou Galosy - died late Tuesday just months shy of his 90th birthday.

Galosy was one of the city's most influential civic leaders through the last half of the 20th century, known for his dapper dress, gentlemanly demeanor and business acumen. He served as mayor from 1985-91 and was instrumental in the founding of Good Shepherd Hospital, later Good Shepherd Medical Center.

Brad Tidwell, president and CEO of Citizens National Bank, called Galosy a goodwill ambassador.

"He was a mentor. He was a friend. He gave me wonderful business advice I've tried to follow for 30 years. If I could be half the people person and half the business person and possess half the communications skills Lou Galosy had, I'd be very, very successful," Tidwell said.

Galosy was the city's last two-term mayor before current Mayor Jay Dean.

"Lou Galosy was the standard- bearer for all Longview mayors," Dean said. "The city moved forward in a number of different areas under his leadership, and he was a wonderful, gracious gentleman."

Dean said he regularly sought Galosy's counsel on various issues and always found the former mayor's advice helpful.

"We're going to miss him," Dean said. "The city has lost one of its truly influential leaders."

Among the projects completed during Galosy's tenure was the opening of the new Longview Public Library in 1987.

In addition to his role in civic affairs, Galosy served on the board of American Bank from 1979 until 1984, was senior vice president of Bank One from 1984 until 2004, and later worked in business development for Citizens National Bank until his retirement in December 2011.

Susan Mazarakes-Gill, executive director of Longview Economic Development Board, said Galosy was one of the city's most passionate advocates.

"He is a Longview icon; just a true gentlemen, a great business man and a wonderful friend and mentor." Mazarakes-Gill said. "He was a great partner in economic development, in bringing industry and businesses to Longview… He was a great cheerleader for Longview."

The LEDCO board honored Galosy in 2010 by naming a street after him in the North Longview Business Park.

Born May 26, 1923, in St. Louis, Galosy was a Navy pilot in World War II and the Korean War. In 1952, he moved to Longview, managing Riff's, a women's apparel store until 1960. He owned and operated Galosy's Women's Apparel from 1960 to 1980.

What Galosy considered one of his greatest personal achievements was his effort with two other men to incorporate and lease Gregg Memorial Hospital in 1960.

That proved to be the beginning of Good Shepherd Hospital, where he served on the hospital board for 17 years and as president for three years.

The civic-minded Galosy also served on the boards of Gregg County Tax Appraisal District, Gregg County Airport and the Longview Museum of Fine Arts. He was named Rotary Citizen of the Year in 1991-92.

"They just don't come any better than Lou Galosy," Tidwell said. "There are so many people in this community who could describe Lou just like I did - you'd have to have a double issue to list all of them in the newspaper."

Gaylon Butler, who served on the council from 1993 to 2004, said Galosy had been very helpful to him as he was learning the ropes of his position.

"I could always call him and ask a question about city business," Butler said. "He was both helpful and knowledgeable. I considered him a friend and will miss him."

Galosy is survived by his wife of 31 years, Jane Eley Cunningham of Longview; a son, Dr. Richard Galosy, and daughter-in-law, Dr. Jodie Galosy, of Medford, N.J.; a granddaughter, Marilyn Galosy of Burbank, Calif.; stepgrandson, Alan Cammack of Salida, Colo.; and a sister, Marie Kamentzy of St. Louis.

Galosy was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church for many years.

A family service will be held under the direction of Rader Funeral Home.

- Staff writers Angela Ward and Richard Yeakley contributed to this report.

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