Laura Elizabeth Gallegly
September 7, 1984 – March 2, 2020 | Resided in Oklahoma City, OK
Laura Elizabeth (Cohen) Gallegly of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, died Monday, March 2, 2020, at Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City. She was 35.
Laura was born Sept. 7, 1984, in West Palm Beach, Florida, spending her early years there with her parents Fred and Chris. She moved to Oklahoma City with her mother when she was 8 years old, graduating from Casady in 2002. She met a dashing young athlete in her senior year, who later would become her husband.
Laura attended Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, as a Churchill Scholar. She was a member of the honor society Skulls of Seven, selected for her outstanding academic achievements, leadership and commitment to the college’s traditions. She made lifelong friends while at Westminster, and was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. Laura graduated summa cum laude with majors in Spanish and business and a minor in economics in 2006.
Laura spent the summer of 2004 in Granada, Spain, and visited Germany and Paris. In the summer of 2005 she lived in Mexico, serving as an intern with the Secretariat of Economic Development of San Luis Potosi, Mexico. She loved the warm beaches and people in Mexico and would return several times over the years for vacation trips.
After graduation Laura moved to Tyler, Texas, with her high school sweetheart, Jay. She worked in advertising for the local CBS affiliate while Jay was earning his masters in health kinesiology at The University of Texas at Tyler.
After returning to Oklahoma City, and buying their first home, Laura changed her career to education, teaching Spanish and remedial reading at Sequoyah and Heartland middle schools in Edmond. Her love of Spanish and teaching made her a favorite with her middle-school students. Jay became an athletic trainer and head volleyball coach at Casady.
Jay and Laura were married on July 9, 2011, in the Devon Boathouse in Oklahoma City.
In 2012, Laura completed a master’s degree in secondary education at The University of Central Oklahoma, graduating summa cum laude in 2012.
A couple of years prior to her marriage, Laura was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and underwent surgery, beginning a decade-long series of treatments. This spurred an active interest in nutrition and health and she became a strong advocate of a plant-based diet. She wrote a blog called The Healthy Sooner from August 2013 to February 2015.
In 2015, Laura and Jay adopted Maddox Jay Gallegly, who was born on March 11. Laura thrived as the mother of a vibrant child.
At that point, Laura turned her attention to other endeavors, using her creative talents in a variety of ways. Laura and Jay converted their garage to a well-appointed AirBnB, and went on to buy a condominium, which Laura also designed. Laura brought that same artistic flair to their latest home.
Laura’s health began to decline in October, and she underwent several procedures over the last few months.
Quite remarkably, cancer did not define Laura despite her ten years of medical challenges. She lived life fully, embracing day-to-day joys and assuming all would be well. She was constantly coming up with new adventures for Maddox, even planning his next birthday party days before she died. From her hospital bed, she also secured an absentee ballot and cast her vote in the presidential primary that took place the day after she died.
She reveled in the daily pleasures of working on creative art projects, designing homes and apartments on a budget, shopping at Target, and cooking delicious healthy meals. More than anything, she adored her husband and son.
In addition to Jay and Maddox, Laura is survived by her mother, Mary Chris Mathews and her husband Richard Telowicz; her father Frederic J. Cohen and his wife Julie of Henderson, Nevada; her grandmother, Doli Mathews; Jay’s mother Janet and her husband Randy, and Jay’s father Jerry. Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, other family members, and dear friends – from far and wide – will also miss Laura deeply.
The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, contributions can be made for ovarian cancer research at lauragallegly.org.