LAKE PLACID - Arnold Joseph Louis Gallos died peacefully on Feb. 29, 2012, in his room at Uihlein Mercy Center, Lake Placid, where he had been a resident for the past year-and-a-half.
Arnold was born on Sept. 8, 1920, to Peter and Lillian (Kozlowski) Gallos in the coal-mining town of Plains, Pa. The family then moved to Easton, Pa., where Arnold's father and uncle owned and operated a Greek restaurant on 4th Street. After his parents separation and the death of his mother, Arnold moved to New York City to live with his grandmother in Washington Heights.
At age 17, he began his long career at Macy's flagship store at Herald Square in midtown Manhattan. His time at Macy's was soon interrupted by military duty. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, deployed with an anti-aircraft battery in France, Belgium and Germany. Returning to New York after the war, he moved to the Morningside Heights neighborhood and resumed work at Macy's, retiring in 1985 after 46 years of service there, most of which was in the camera department, where he won many awards for superior salesmanship.
After retirement, Arnold moved to Timonium, Md.; and in May 2001, he relocated north to Saranac Lake.
Arnold was a working man, a union man, a modest man, a cultured man. He took great pleasure in the arts in general and photography and classical music in particular. He was as comfortable in the halls of Lincoln Center as on the selling floors of Macy's, but he despised arrogance and had no patience with people of privilege who saw those less privileged as their inferiors. He was drawn to nature, with flowers his special joy. One of his favorite places in the city was Fort Tryon Park, with its combination of renowned gardens and the art in the Cloisters museum.
Arnold loved travel and exploring, walking and good food. He was a loner who did not go out of his way to socialize yet made friends easily and was easy to like. He delighted people with his dry wit and his enthusiasm for telling a story. He had a child's sense of wonder even as an older man and still stood in awe of a sunset or a snow-capped mountain or a tree in bloom. One of his greatest trials was the gradual loss of his eyesight; but, though it frustrated him, he did not succumb to anger or depression or bitterness, and he retained his sense of humor through his last conscious days.
Arnold was predeceased by his parents, by his sister, Gertrude King of Hollywood, Fla., and by his ex-wife and life-long friend, Victoria Currid of Cockeysville, Md. He is survived by his son, Philip L. Gallos and his daughter-in-law Sharon O'Brien of Saranac Lake, by his grandson, Noah Kerwin of San Rafael, Calif., and by his step-grandson, Kevin Lenhart.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at the Uihlein Chapel on Old Military Road in Lake Placid at noon Friday, March 9. There will be no calling hours.
Though his income was limited, Arnold gave to many charities, but his greatest concern was for people who didn't have enough to eat. Those wishing to remember Arnold may make donations to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home. Family and friends can also share their memories and sign the on line guest book at fortunekeoughfuneralhome.com.