By HILLARY KELLEY
The theatre department lost one of its shining stars on May 2, 2013. Michele Gaglio, 41, may have passed away, but her spirit and charm live on through the memories she made and impact her life had on students and faculty as a graduate student at Piedmont College
“[Michele] was a huge role model to me. I looked up to her like a mother and I was really fortunate to be able to sing at her funeral,” said junior theatre major Carmen Savelli.
“Michele was so full of life, anyone who knew her immediately loved her because she was so friendly. Her spirit shined.”
“She was always there when I needed someone to talk to,” said junior theatre major Shelby Whitehouse. “She was so loving and so kind. I miss her so much, but I know that she is looking over us and smiling.”
Nolan Garrett, a 2012 alum also shared a strong connection with Gaglio.
“Michele told me after my capstone, that I had a rare gift to understand how to write real human emotion and real people; she said that she really felt blessed knowing me…all I could think about was how gifted she was,” said Garrett. “I may have known how to write about human emotion but she knew how to help others understand them.”
Gaglio lifted up Garrett when he was going through the loss of his grandfather.
“[Michele] was there with a shoulder and Kleenex,” said Garrett. “When she committed herself to helping a cause, she was there giving a hundred percent of herself.”
Even though some students weren’t as close to her as others, they still had only the best things to say about Michele.
“It was a big shock to everyone when she passed away…I always thought she was very sweet and friendly,” said senior theatre major Whitni Coke.
The Navigator staff wishes to extend our sympathies to her family. She gave birth to a son, Lennon, only a few months before her passing, and according to Savelli, the child now lives with Gaglio’s mother, “Mama G.”
“I’ll never forget one of the last times I spoke to Michele,” said Savelli. “She said, ‘never let anyone get you down. Life is too wonderful to let the little things affect you. There’s so many opportunities out there, don’t take any of them for granted.’”
“She loved others so much that anything she could do made her the happiest person in the world,” said Garrett. “When she could help you with anything it made her smile…and when she smiled you had to smile too, because the world was just a little bit more bearable. I miss her smile.”