Longtime New Hampshire activist, Sylvia Elizabeth Gale, 70, lost her battle with cancer on July 18, 2020.
Sylvia received a BA in Social Services from UNH and attended Antioch NE Graduate School. She was a staunch feminist. Fighting for women's rights was in her heart and soul. She was a strong supporter of NOW and the ERA with daughter in tow in her baby knapsack. She remained active with women's organizations during her career, including overseeing the NH Commission on the Status of Women. She stood up for immigrant and refugee women. She worked with the American Friends Service Committee and other organizations to fight against an anti-immigrant bill. She was instrumental in assuring that Nashua became a Welcoming Community. She was involved with multiple organizations in Nashua, including the NAACP, Outreach for Black Unity, and The League of Women Voters.
Sylvia was equally passionate when it came to protecting NH's children. For more than 35 years, she worked for NHDCYF, protecting their safety and rights. As the first child sexual abuse investigator for NHDHHS, she trained future state workers, while working on systemic changes on behalf of children. She would solicit donations so that marginalized children had clothing, gifts during the holidays, and food. She and her daughter, Liz Gale, often brought backpacks for the Nashua Soup Kitchen. She expected more from herself than anybody else.
Sylvia served in the New Hampshire House of Representatives from 2012-2014. She sponsored bills, including restricting cell phone use while driving, protecting state employees from abusive work environments, and supporting the use of the sexual offender registry. After her term she continued to work on campaigns that championed a progressive agenda. Sylvia's legacy will continue to impact the residents of NH for a long time.
Sylvia's love of being a change-agent and rabble-rouser in the fight for equality was only surpassed by her love of her family and friends. A wonderfully devoted mother, she would often talk about the greatest joy in her life, her daughter Liz. Most vacations were spent with family, often in Florida or Pennsylvania. She enjoyed outings to York Beach, Nubble Light House, antique shops, the Keene Pumpkin Festival, and any place that had good food. Her wry grin and subtle laugh will be missed by all who knew her.
Sylvia was preceded in death by her parents Maynard and Marguerite Gale. She is survived by her life partner Michael Dolloff and their daughter Elizabeth Gale. Her two sisters, Mary Bodor and the late John Bodor, Patricia Byers and her husband Harlan Byers, nephews Marc Byers and Kyle Davis, Lauren (niece) & Scott Sneigocki and grandnieces Carson and Devon, Elena (niece) & Mike Jacobs and Grandnieces Casidy & Lilah and her niece Tamara and her husband Tom Dilworth.
A Celebration of Life will be held on her birthday, Sunday, Sept. 6, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at The Greeley Park Gazebo, 100 Concord St in Nashua. All are welcome
Published by Union Leader on Aug. 30, 2020.