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Kathleen's Story

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COOPERSTOWN — Kathleen M. Galland-Bennett, beloved wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt and Cooperstown Elementary School teacher, passed away following a valiant struggle with cancer Sunday afternoon, July 12, 2015, at her home. She was one day shy of her 51st birthday.
Born Kathleen Mary Galland on July 13, 1964, at Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, she was a daughter of State Trooper David P. Galland and Ethel Maryann (Svantner) Galland.
As a youngster she attended school in Hartwick, then later attended Cooperstown Central School and graduated with the Class of 1982. For two years Kathleen attended the State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill followed by two years at SUNY Geneseo, and received her Master's degree in Elementary Education at SUNY Oneonta.
After receiving her degree, Kathleen joined the staff at Cooperstown Elementary School as a full-time substitute teacher. She ultimately became a third grade teacher and served as grade chair for many years. In her 29 years as an elementary school teacher, Kathleen was a well-loved teaching colleague who touched the lives of many young children.
In addition to being an excellent teacher, Kathleen also had a passion for running and many other outdoor activities. She ran in 14 Boilmakers and four marathons, as well as many local triathlons, and at one time served as the assistant track coach at Cooperstown High School with her mentor, Connie Herzig. Kathleen was also an avid bicyclist and, along with her girlfriends, participated in the Mt. Washington Century Ride. She also enjoyed hiking, camping, boating and taking rides on her motorcycle. After her sister, Cyndi, was diagnosed with cancer, Kathleen became active with Relay for Life and started Team Cinderblock. Even after Cyndi succumbed to her cancer, Kathleen remained active with Relay for Life.
On Feb. 23, 1990, Kathleen married Raymond R. Bennett Jr., in a ceremony at Yaki Point, Grand Canyon National Park and they enjoyed 25 years of marriage.
Kathleen is survived by her loving husband, Ray; their son, US Army PV2 Ryon F. Bennett; her mother, Ethel Galland-Stephan, of Hartwick; two stepsisters, Joanne Kreisberg and husband, Irwin and Carol Reiser and husband, Joseph; stepbrother, John H. Stephan Jr. and wife, Lorraine of Rahway, N.J.; brother-in-law, Richard A. Bennett and wife, Holly; three sisters-in-law, Bonny A. Harris, Robin M. Aufmuth and Kelly S. Enck and husband, Bruce; two uncles, Rudy Svantner and Tom Svantner and wife, Mary; as well many nieces, nephews and cousins and their families; countless friends and colleagues; and all the children she taught throughout her career.
She was preceded in death by her father, State Trooper David P. Galland, who died Oct. 17, 1968; her sister, Cynthia "Cyndi" Ann Galland, who died June 23, 2005; her stepfather, retired New Jersey Firefighter John H. Stephan Sr., who died April 20, 2015; her father-in-law, Raymond R. Bennett who died Oct. 8, 1999; and her mother-in-law, Shirley A. Bennett, who died Dec. 27, 2007.
Family and friends may call from 4 to7 p.m., Thursday, July 16, 2015, at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home, 82 Chestnut St., Cooperstown.
A funeral service will be offered at 11 a.m., Friday, July 17, 2015, at the funeral home, with Dr. Lee C. Edmonds officiating. Interment will follow in St. Mary's Cemetery, Index, where Kathleen will be laid to rest near her sister, Cyndi.
Should friends so desire, expressions of sympathy may take the form of memorial gifts to Cooperstown Central School for the benefit of a scholarship to be created in memory of Kathleen. Please make checks payable to "Cooperstown Central School," place Kathleen's name on the memo line and mail to the attention of the Business Office at 39 Linden Avenue, Cooperstown, NY 13326.
Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.
Published on  July 16, 2015
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