Official Obituary of

Cora Elizabeth (Hutchcraft) Galster

March 21, 1934 ~ February 23, 2024 (age 89) 89 Years Old

Cora Galster Obituary

Cora Elizabeth (Hutchcraft) Galster (1934-2024)

Instead of becoming an M.D., she became an M.O.M.!

Cora Elizabeth (Hutchcraft) Galster, 89, of East Syracuse, New York, passed away peacefully on February 23, 2024.

She was born March 21, 1934, to August and Jessie Hutchcraft who taught her the value of family and hard work. She loved growing up in a farmhouse with extended family around her, and spent many hours running barefoot outdoors.

After graduating high school, Cora studied nursing at Hartwick College and Syracuse University. She felt everyone deserved quality healthcare, so in the early years she made house calls or worked nights to meet the needs of her patients. She enjoyed a long and fulfilling career in public health, retiring from Van Duyn Home and Hospital as a nursing supervisor. 

Cora met the love of her life, Earl “Chuck” Galster, while at a dance at Suburban Park in Manlius, NY. They were married on August 13, 1958, and celebrated 53 anniversaries together. She often told the story of being accepted into a graduate program before finding out she was pregnant, then quipped, “Instead of becoming an M.D., I became an M.O.M.!”

Chuck and Cora, towing their camping trailer behind them, traveled to many places with their boys, Matthew and Mark, often squeezing Cora’s parents in with them for the journey. Maine, Michigan, Cape Cod, Philadelphia, Virginia Beach, and Nova Scotia topped the list of favorite destinations. Summers at Lebanon Reservoir, where Cora taught her boys to sail, were a welcome respite from the mosquitoes each year! After retirement, Chuck and Cora traveled across the US seeing the sights. They spent their winters in Englewood, Florida, playing cards and socializing in the sunshine with family and friends. Cora’s nursing experience was put to the test when her husband was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1997. Overcoming slim odds, her diligent care and medical expertise allowed for fifteen extra years with her love.

Though she loved nursing, traveling, and being a mom, Cora’s favorite title was “Grandma”. She was delighted when the first two grandchildren were girls, and she set about sewing, appliquéing, and knitting plenty of pink and frilly outfits. Later, she invested in an embroidery machine and even the three grandsons were cutely clothed. Summers were spent “boiling” (borrowing) the grandchildren for weeks on end, taking them to swim lessons and feeding them her special bow tie pasta salad. She enjoyed spoiling them, but also teaching and sharing her knowledge and hobbies. 

As the grandchildren outgrew the need for kids’ clothes, Cora developed an interest in quilting. Each grandchild has his or her own childhood quilt from Grandma Cora. Upon a grandchild’s marriage, Cora designed a unique quilt for the new couple. Her daughter-in-law helped her complete the third one during the summer of 2023. Cora’s quilts drew the attention of many acquaintances, who offered to pay her to make them one, but Cora always said she made them for friends and family just for fun. It would ruin the fun if it became a job.

Cora was known for having a warm heart and a seat at the table for anyone who needed it without prejudice. Her best advice?  “Plan your next adventure!” She was very much looking forward to reuniting with the many precious friends and family members patiently waiting for her arrival at the pearly gates.

Cora was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Earl Galster, and her sister, Betty Brown, as well as countless friends and extended family members. She is survived by her sons Matthew and Mark, five grandchildren, Elizabeth, Catherine, Dustin, Christopher and Benjamin, and five great grandsons. 

A celebration of life will be held at Collamer United Church, 6865 Fly Road, East Syracuse, NY, on March 9, 2024, from 12:30-2:30 PM. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers, donations to the American Cancer Society would be greatly appreciated.

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March 9, 2024

12:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Collamer United Church
6865 Fly Rd.
E. Syracuse, New York 13057


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