Germaine M. Gallagher, 88, activist

Germaine M. Gallagher, an environmental activist who lobbied for creation of a multistate Susquehanna River compact to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay, died of a respiratory ailment July 23 at Anne Arundel Medical Center. The Annapolis resident was 88.

She was born Germaine Miller in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where her parents lived for more than a decade. She earned her bachelor's degree in government and arts at Cornell University, where she was women's editor of the Cornell Daily Sun. She was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority's Psi Chapter.


Family members said she considered going to law school, but in 1942 married Edward S. Gallagher, who became a General Electric mechanical engineer. While raising their three sons, she kept up her interest in civic and governmental issues.

After moving to Annapolis in 1965, she became head of water-quality issues for the Annapolis and state chapters of the League of Women Voters.


Family members said she played a significant role in getting Maryland to join with the state governments of New York and Pennsylvania to agree to the terms of what became known as the Susquehanna River Basin Compact. She lobbied legislators and frequently appeared before General Assembly committees.

"Throughout her life she was a member of the League of Women Voters and signed up in chapters wherever we lived," her husband said.

"She worried about the quality of water in the Susquehanna and the Chesapeake Bay and worked very hard to improve it," Mr. Gallagher said, adding that she was given -- and displayed at home -- pens used by Gov. Marvin Mandel and Lt. Gov. Blair Lee III to sign the compact.

She enjoyed sailing with her husband.

Mrs. Gallagher was a golf enthusiast and belonged to the U.S. Naval Academy Golf Club and U.S. Golf Association. She was a member of Calvary United Methodist Church.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Aug. 6 at Hardesty Funeral Home, 12 Ridgely Ave., Annapolis.

Survivors also include three sons, Jeffrey Russell Gallagher of Silver Spring, William Arnold Gallagher of Eastport and Edward Rilliet Gallagher of Coshocton, Ohio; a brother, William Albert Miller of Anderson, S.C.; and six grandchildren.