Family, friends and coworkers will remember Susan Galloway as a dedicated educator, a dear friend, a natural-born educator, a scrapbooker and a celebrity within the international deaf community.
Galloway, the librarian for the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in Sulphur from 1991 to 2016, was the great-great-great-granddaughter of Laurent Clerc, cofounder of the American School for the Deaf, the first school of its kind in the United States. Galloway passed away in August at the age of 68.
OSD’s library was renamed after her last year, shortly after she had retired. During her career, she assisted with the school’s accelerated reading program and often bought books for the library with her own money, just to skip the wait. Candy Tumblson, a teacher at OSD, described her as a funny, loyal and giving person.
“She lent out her personal books even before she herself read them,” Tumblson said. “Always willing to help others. Sue often spent her own money to get a book for a kid who just had to have it.”
The library now has portraits of Clerc and his wife Eliza Crocker Boardman on the wall behind the front desk. Even after retiring, Galloway was often in the library to volunteer and visit with students.
Galloway’s sister, Kathy Harms, said they were well aware of their heritage while they were growing up. Their family has a collection of documents and mementos of Clerc’s, some of which they’ve donated to various places.
Harms said Clerc’s sheer importance as a figure in Deaf culture wasn’t clear to them until Galloway, who was not deaf but started learning to sign in the 70s, made deaf friends.
“She got her master’s in Library Science and she was an avid reader,” Harms said. “It was when she was a librarian in Oklahoma City that she made a friend who found out Sue was related to Laurent Clerc. She was the one who convinced her she needed to do something.”
Galloway took it to heart. Over the course of her career, she gave presentations about Clerc at deaf schools, events and library associations in the US and France.
“She’d bring some of those documents with her,” Harms said. “A lot of these papers are so old that you really don’t want people handling them, but of course people want to touch them, to touch something that was Clerc’s.”
Harms said right now she and her family members are trying to decide where the documents should go and how they should be stored, considering their importance.  
“Just recently, Sue and I were invited to the 200th anniversary of the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut,” Harms said. “We attended the gala, and met up with some people that we had met in France on another trip.”
The group were members of L’association Laurent Clerc, a historical group based in Balme-les-Grottes in France. The association is dedicated to preserving Clerc’s memory and contributions to deaf education.   
When asked if Sue ever commented on what it was like to be so well-known by association, Harms said she took it in stride.
“It came to her very naturally,” Harms said. “She was always a very respectful person. Everyone knew her for her history. She was honored to be honored.”