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Remembering San Diego LGBT ally Alice Joyce “Joy” Galloway

Alice Joyce “Joy” Galloway: October 29, 1929 – October 6, 2019
Photo credit:
Phil Galloway

Alice Joyce “Joy” Galloway, 89, passed away peacefully on October 6th, 2019, in hospice in San Diego. She was born October 29th, 1929, in San Diego to Frederick Francis Swyers and Sylvia Mae Hobbs.

Despite being born on Black Tuesday, the day the stock market crashed during the Great Depression, Joy’s indefatigable spirit and indomitable will allowed her to soar to unimagined heights throughout her life in providing care for others.

Joy’s early years, in the time leading up to and including World War II, were spent in San Diego, Chicago, New London, and San Francisco. In 1947 Joy graduated with honors from San Diego High School and in 1948 she enrolled at San Diego State College, where she joined her beloved Kappa Delta sorority.

She married Jim Galloway in 1949 and had two sons, Fred born in 1954 and Phil, born in 1960. The couple divorced in 1974.

A super-competent business person with a tremendous work ethic and a natural-born sense of customer service, Joy first helped build the family business, Galloway’s Pharmacy, into the largest independent pharmacy in California.

From 1973 to 1980 she co-owned Padre Pharmacy and The Pharmacy, and then later began consulting, developing a reputation as a pharmacy fixer and problem solver. It was during this phase that Joy started consulting at University/Priority Pharmacy, where her life’s work as an AIDS caregiver began.

During the AIDS crisis of the 80’s and 90’s Joy's caregiving became something truly extraordinary and exemplary. The movie "The Dallas Buyer's Club" had nothing on her, as she helped “Joy’s Kids" get on the latest meds, get on new and emerging drug trial studies, and in many instances sat alongside them as they came out to their parents both about their sexual orientation and their deadly disease.

Joy’s door was always open and all day long her “Kids” would stop by, often just for one of her great loving hugs. Over the years "Joy's Kids" numbered in the thousands, and to this day, her "Joy's Kids" panels are the largest individual contribution to the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.

Joy is remembered as a natural-born leader and was an elected member of the Republican Central Committee in San Diego for much of the 1980’s In addition to holding office, Joy also served on countless boards and organizations including AIDS Walk San Diego, the Names Project, HIV Task Force, and the San Diego Men’s Chorus.

She was also singled out for numerous awards including Woman of the Year, SDSU Leadership Award, UCSD Humanitarian Award, Crystal Heart Award, and was even the AIDS Walk Grand Marshall one year.

A truly gifted cook and baker who loved to serve inspired food and drink to her family and friends.

She was particularly skilled with the lowly chicken breast, elevating it to a high art form. Her son Fred once described her as a “Total Chicken Breast Warrior” which was a completely accurate description! For Joy, cooking was always a form of loving service, and you could taste it in everything she made, especially her unbelievable desserts.

A wonderful caring mother who really believed in her children and only wanted the very best for them.

Joy was always there for her family with solid pragmatic advice, loving hugs, and great nurturing food. For those who knew and loved her, or were touched by her exceptional caregiving, she will be missed dearly.

Joy leaves behind her sons, Frederick and Phillip Galloway, and Grandchildren Jasmin Galloway, James Galloway, and Rooney James.

A memorial will be held at Greenwood Mortuary on November 3 at 10:00 AM. Condolences and remembrances may be left in the Guest Book on this page. Donations may be made to the charity of your choice.