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In Memory of William C. Galbreath

On Saturday, April 21, 2012 William, age 85, passed away at his home. He and Jean had recently celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary together. Not only did his family and friends suffer a loss, the entire Lyme Community lost a dedicated patient advocate that day, one who will be remembered for his desire to help those who were suffering from a growing epidemic. 

The Harford County Lyme Disease Support Group, Inc. (HCLDSG) located in Street, Maryland, an affiliate of the national Lyme Disease Association (LDA), is one of the longest running volunteer Lyme disease support groups in the country. Educating the public and health care professionals originally began in 1990, and the group was officially incorporated in January 1997.

For almost two decades HCLDSG President, Mrs. Jean F. Galbreath, held monthly meetings at the Highland Presbyterian Church, shared educational materials at many local events and provided sick patients with much needed assistance. Always by her side was her devoted husband, William C. Galbreath, a retired dairy farmer who was also known for his expertise in breeding Berkshire pigs.

On Saturday, April 21, 2012 William, age 85, passed away at his home. He and Jean had recently celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary together. Not only did his family and friends suffer a loss, the entire Lyme Community lost a dedicated patient advocate that day, one who will be remembered for his desire to help those who were suffering from a growing epidemic.

William was in charge of setting up the hall at the Highland Presbyterian Church for the monthly support group meetings. Dressed in what his family referred to as his “funny lime green tie” he also attended the meetings and was responsible for transporting boxes of literature, poster boards and supplies, as well as setting-up and taking down the tables and chairs. His hard work may not have been witnessed by all, but he certainly enriched all our lives with his service to others.

William and Jean attended many national and international Lyme conferences over the years, going everywhere they could in order to keep up with the latest science and medical advances in the tick borne disease field. William was always supportive as the endless stream of phone calls came in at all hours on their Lyme Disease Hotline from people from across the country who were sick, desperate and required immediate help. William made daily post office runs to mail packages of educational literature to hundreds of people and was responsible for gathering supplies from town for the group’s Lyme-related events.

Not only will Jean, her family and friends miss this dear man who was sincerely devoted to all of them, he will be missed by those he helped over the years, many he never even knew, but who, just the same, benefitted from his volunteer work. To visit the William C. Galbreath Lyme Disease Memorial page, please click here.

Lucy Barnes
Lyme Disease Education and Support Groups of Maryland
www.MarylandLyme.org