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Ellen T. Gale, homemaker-volunteer, dies

Ellen T. Gale, a homemaker and volunteer, died April 11 from cancer at her Chestertown home. She was 85.

The former Ellen Thomas, the daughter of Robert Wright Thomas Jr., an insurance company executive, and Merritt-Page Foster, a homemaker, was born in Hartford, Conn.

Following the death of her father in 1938, her mother married Charles F. Foster, a gold prospector, and moved to Sarasota, Fla. After he died in 1949, mother and daughter moved to Chestertown.

Mrs. Gale, 1950 graduate of Oldfields School in Sparks, earned a bachelor’s degree in 1956 from Washington College.

She was a longtime active member of the Ladies’ auxiliary of the Kent and Queen Anne’s County Hospital, now the University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, where she was instrumental in organizing and operating its annual Christmas Shop.

Mrs. Gale was also an active communicant and volunteer at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestertown.

She was married for 29 years to Ben P. Gale, who was active in politics and real estate and had been commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources under Gov. Spiro T. Agnew.

Mr. Gale, who died in 1989, was the former board chairman of the old Kent & Queen Anne’s Hospital, and had chaired the United Fund of Kent County.

An avid golfer, Mrs. Dale was a member of the Chester River Yacht and Country Club and a member of its nine-hole circuit. She also played frequently at Mission Valley Golf & Country Club in Nokomis, Fla, where she and her husband were founding members.

“She will be best remembered by all who knew her for her infectious laugh, sense of dry humor, and her unfailingly generosity and hospitality to all who spent a night under her roof,” said her son, Christopher Thomas Gale of Fallston.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at her church, 7579 Sandy Bottom Road, Chestertown.

She is also survived by another son, William Page Gale of Chestertown; two stepsons, Thomas Hoyt Gale of Centreville and Benjamin Gale of Upperville, Va.; a daughter, Ellen Louise Gale of Chestertown; 13 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren. An earlier marriage to Robert T. Pickett Jr., ended in divorce.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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