Amelia Gallo, 97, a native of Philadelphia, and longtime general practitioner who found her niche in military medical centers, died Wednesday, Aug. 11, of pneumonia and COVID-19 at Medicana Nursing & Rehab Center in Lake Worth, Fla.
The daughter of Italian immigrants, Dr. Gallo was a pioneer who entered the medical profession in the 1940s, when men dominated the field. She graduated from Rosemont College and the Hahnemann University School of Medicine, and worked for most of her career treating soldiers and military support staff at Valley Forge Army Hospital in Phoenixville, and the Naval Supply Depot in Northeast Philadelphia.
During her time there, Valley Forge was filled with wounded mostly from the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Earlier, during World War II, it had grown to become the largest military hospital in the United States, with more than 3,000 patients.
“She was ahead of her time,” said her son, Anthony Natale III. “She was always upbeat even when things were traumatic around her. During the Vietnam War years, she was treating soldiers at Valley Forge who had been on the battlefield just two or three days before.”
Born May 31, 1924, in Philadelphia, Dr. Gallo lived most of her life in Norristown. She married Anthony Natale Jr. in the early 1950s, and they divorced several years later after having their son and daughter Joan.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Rosemont, and graduated from Hahnemann in 1950. She was active with the Women’s Medical Society, William Osler Society, and the Newman Club while at Hahnemann, and had junior internships at Crozer Hospital in Chester, and Phoenixville Hospital.
She served her internship at St. Luke’s Hospital in Newburgh, N.Y., briefly worked in a private practice, and retired from her military medical jobs in the 1990s.
Dr. Gallo was a two-time breast cancer survivor, and moved to Lake Worth about 10 years ago to be with her daughter. She was a devout Catholic, and enjoyed spending time with her nieces and nephews.
She liked to dance, walk with her beagles, root for the Eagles, attend horse races, and play the lottery. “She was an outgoing, upbeat person,” her son said.
In addition to her children, Dr. Gallo is survived by other relatives. Her former husband and three sisters died earlier.