Carrie Ruth (Bucklen) Gallick

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Carrie Ruth (Bucklen) Gallick, 83, died October 31, 2013. Born in 1930 to O. Berte and Maymie (Bales) Bucklen in Rayven, Virginia, she and her twin brother were fifth and sixth of a family of 13, 10 of whom lived to adulthood. In 1937, her father bought property five miles east in Doran, Virginia, immediately west of Richards, Virginia, so that he could raise a small farm in addition to his job as a coal miner. In 1938, Carrie-Ruth, as most people back in Virginia knew her, developed tuberculosis and stayed out of school for two years. After six months, she was so bored that she asked her mother to go outside, so she was put to work performing light chores, as well as feeding the pigs and milking the cow. In addition, she helped her mother raise her younger siblings. Because she was two years behind her classmates, she wanted to quit school but was told that the family goal was for all the children to graduate from high school, in a town where most boys started mining after fifth grade and many girls married after the eighth grade. Not only did she and her siblings graduate from Richland High School, but four of her brothers graduated from VPI (now Virginia Tech) with engineering degrees. Most of their grandchildren and great grandchildren, boys and girls, graduated with a bachelors degree, and some with advanced degrees. She hated the name Carrie because she and her twin bother had rhyming names and she was unwilling to be a part of a cutesy name gag. Because of her quarantine, Carrie-Ruth, or Ruth as she was known here, developed excellent parenting skills which she would put to use in later life. She and her siblings were raised in a strict Pentecostal home. All but two later choose different faiths. This was made doubly difficult for her, since her husband was not a religious man. Immediately after graduating from Richland High School, she left Westermost, Virginia and moved to Newport News to live with her older sister, where she acquired numerous job skills. In 1952, she was a telephone operator. Also in 1952, she met her future husband on a blind date. He was so smitten with her that he pursued her relentlessly until she agreed to marry him before he left for Korea. This resulted in 61 years of turbulent and passionate matrimony. After Korea, they lived on an airbase in South Texas and then moved to Southern California so her husband could attend UCLA. It was there that parenting skills learned from her mother paid off. She started working for a baby-sitting cooperative and was so good at it, that she was able to support her husband through school. While in Midland, she worked for MISD, principally as a teacher's aide. While she was in a few women's organizations and activities, her main interests were her grandchildren and being a friend to her numerous acquaintances. She believed she was one-eighth Cherokee and throughout her life, she would visit any Indian ruin, even if it involved climbing a cliff. She had numerous health problems; TB at eight, appendicitis in 1952, hysterectomy in 1969, depression in 1985, colon cancer in 2003, an experimental heart bypass which was unique in West Texas and rare in the United States, and she also suffered COPD since 1995 and pernicious anemia since 2000. She refused to die gracefully, fighting every instant of her heart failure until the end. After her cardiologist, lung specialist, and a nephrologist pronounced her case hopeless, her husband had the disagreeable task of ordering her off life support. She died four hours later with her husband and children holding her hands. She was the light of our lives. She is survived by her husband of 61 years, Cyril M. Gallick; daughter, Pamela K. Gallick; son, Michael P. Gallick; daughter, Margeret M. Castleman; and by four grandchildren and five great grandchildren. A memorial service is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 18, 2014 at First United Methodist Church in Midland.

Published in Midland Reporter-Telegram from Jan. 16 to Jan. 18, 2014
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