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Tarrytown Celebrates Pearl Harbor Centenarian

It takes a special kind of person to endear themselves to both children and adults for decades and that is exactly what sets Sleepy Hollow resident Armando “Chick” Galella apart from others.

On Jan. 4, the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns wished Galella, a Pearl Harbor survivor, a Happy 100th Birthday and threw him a virtual party with family members, faculty, school leaders and students in attendance. Galella turned 100 years young on New Year’s Day.

Addressing Mr. Galella during the virtual celebration, TUFSD Superintendent Chris Borsari said, “We really wanted the opportunity to thank you for everything that you have done for all of us, for this district and for this community.”

The Sleepy Hollow High School band recorded and dedicated the song 

“Sweet Caroline,” Galella’s favorite. You could hear him singing along as he listened over the Zoom call.

Galella has become a fixture in the community, especially at Sleepy Hollow Middle School where he visits students in Andrea Harrison’s art classes. He also was the impetus to placing American Flags on the MS lawn for Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day.

Eighth grade student Brody Rubin created a short video for the occasion and combined humor with a tribute to Mr. Galella.

“I wanted to explain his life and all that he accomplished and achieved,” said Brody. “So much has happened in 100 years… and it is really nice to be able to show who he is.” The video includes news clips of Mr. Galella, as well as photos of family gatherings.

School Trustee Mimi Godwin, former School Superintendent Dr. Howard Smith, SHMS Principal Joshua Whitham and Assistant Principal Richard Crawford, and Andrea Harrison were among the guests. They called Mr. Galella a treasure and said it was an honor to call him a friend.  Mr. Crawford also created a short video with photos of Galella visiting with students.

The man of the hour expressed his gratitude. “I want to thank everyone who put this together. It is amazing. It brings back memories to me.” Mr. Galella also explained why he enjoys meeting the students: “It is good for them to know what the Greatest Generation did for them. They are the future generation of our country. What you put upstairs, no one can take from you, so get an education.”

Words from the true legend of Sleepy Hollow.