Elizabeth Galas

Julia Galas, 92, died on July 8, 2012, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, on July 13, at 10 a.m. Visitation with the family will begin at 9 a.m. at the church. Inurnment will follow later in July at St. Casimir’s Cemetery in Chicago.

Julia was born Sept. 11, 1919, in Springfield, Ill., to Elizabeth Bendziuas and Clemence Banaitis, both immigrants from Lithuania. She lived in the Chicago area from 1922 until 1991, when she moved to Lawrence.

She is survived by two daughters, Judith Galas (Cindy West) and Peg Sampson (Blaine), both of Lawrence; a granddaughter Amy Owings (Curtis) and great-grandson Gabriel Owings, of Wellington, New Zealand, and two step great-grandchildren, Sabrina and Chandler Owings, Greenwood, Mo.; six nieces and nephews, in Chicago, and one in Detroit, and many great and great-great nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her sisters Helen McDonald, Clara Banaitis, and Mary Sarpalius and brother Clemens Banaitis, all of Chicago, and sister Anne Lannoo and a niece, both of Detroit.

In addition to being a homemaker while raising her children, she also worked in several Chicago-area factories before retiring in 1991. After her move to Lawrence, she was active in the Douglas County Senior Center, where she taught chair exercises for many years, and in the social life of Vermont Towers, where she lived for almost eight years. She was a member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church.

Julia loved rock -‘n-roll music, and especially Elvis Presley; opera; and all things Hawaiian. She also loved live theater and movies, especially Bruce Willis action films. An avid reader, she went through three books a week and read through most of the library’s large-print editions. All her life, she loved to dance, and when she no longer could, she imagined herself still on the dance floor.

Because of her lifelong concern for the well being of animals, Julia hoped that in lieu of flowers, any memorials may be sent to the Lawrence Humane Society in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.

15 Condolences

  1. Marty Olson on July 10, 2012 at 7:23 am

    My sincerest condolences to the friends and family of Mrs. Galas.

    Marty Olson

  2. Lynn Wilson-Bruce on July 10, 2012 at 10:40 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family! I am so sorry for your loss, she was so blessed to have you for a daughter!
    Love, Lynn

  3. Kathryn D Myers on July 10, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Ms. Galas: on behalf of my self, my husband, John, and our daughters, Rachael and Rebecca Hampton, we extend our sympathies for your loss. Your mother seemed to be quite a free spirit and I am sure will be missed.

  4. Imber/Pulsinelli Family on July 10, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    We are truly sorry for your loss and are thinking of you. Love, Michael, Molly, and Alice

  5. Armin, Nancy and Aaron Landis on July 10, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Our sincere condolences to you and your family on the loss of your mother.
    Armin, Nancy and Aaron Landis

  6. Lily Bailey & family on July 10, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    I send my condolences to all the family of my friend Julia. She was so kind as our leader at the chair exercise class at the Senior Center.

  7. Saunny Scott on July 10, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Julia was a lovely lady and will be greatly missed by all who knew her. It was my pleasure to know her. Sincerely, Saunny Scott

  8. Kit Rice on July 11, 2012 at 7:49 am

    Mrs. Galas and Mrs. West, my parents and I are very sorry to hear of your loss. You will be in our thoughts, Kit.

  9. Sherry Warren on July 11, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Judith and Cindy, My heart is aching for you during this time. I am so sorry for your loss and will hold you in my prayers.

  10. Mary Ann Saunders on July 11, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    To all of your family from all of mine, my sincere sympathy. Our thoughts are with you. If only a hug could be put into words.

  11. Beth Ann Bittlingmayer on July 12, 2012 at 12:50 am

    Dear Judith & Cindy, I am so very glad that l finally had the privilege of meeting Julia last fall. She was an animated and spirited conversationalist, and as I left I thought to myself “hmmm… I see a little bit of her in my dear friend Ms. Galas.” I’ve no doubt that her lively presence will be deeply missed in your home. And I pray that the memory of her soul will forever bring a smile to your face and joy to your heart. With Love and Affection, Beth Ann

  12. Bert and Marge on July 12, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Judith and Cindy, we are truly sorry for the loss of Julia. She was always so cheerful and warm and will be sorely missed.

  13. Andrea Albright & Lance Adams on July 12, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Wow. Your mom sounds like a wonderful lady! I hope you and your family are all right. Sounds like you’ll have stories to tell about her for a long, long time.

  14. Pat and Michael Lechtenberg on July 12, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Even though we can’t be with you Friday you are in our thoughts and prayers.

  15. Barbara Wasson on July 13, 2012 at 12:15 am

    Dear Peg,

    I’m so sorry about your mother. I know that she was a very special woman because you are a very special woman. My heartfelt sympathy to you and your family. She will be dearly missed.

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