On Friday, July 10, 2020, Roger Simon Gallet died peacefully, in his home, at the age of 77. He was a loving and devoted father, survived by his daughter, Mariel of Encinitas, Calif., and his son, Louis of Pittsburgh.
Roger was born February 9, 1943, in Uniontown, to Valerie Auboeck and Louis Gallet.
In 1939, the United States welcomed the Gallet family as Austrian Jewish immigrants and they opened a textile factory, continuing their former occupation in Europe. Within a few years, the Gallet's went from escaping the Holocaust to living the American Dream with a business and a son. Roger was born soon after his parents decided to plant their roots in Uniontown.
Following the Jewish religion of his father, Roger was bar mitzvahed at the age of 13 and remained devoted to his religion at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Uniontown.
In 1960, Roger graduated third in his class at Uniontown High School. He went on to study architecture and engineering at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University), followed by a Master's degree in Architecture and Urban Design from Harvard University in 1971.
During the Vietnam War, Roger served in the Air National Guard. Roger excelled in his architectural career, helping design the Pusey Library at Harvard University and working for the esteemed architectural offices of Tasso Katselas, Hugh Stubbins, Walter Gropius, and The Architects Collaborative.
In 1975, Roger put his architectural career on hold to become CEO of the family textile operation, Louis Gallet, Inc., and remained there until its closure in 1999 when he retired. During his time as CEO, Louis Gallet, Inc. grew to be one of the largest wool, cotton, and cashmere sweater manufacturers in the United States, with sweaters being sold all over the world by iconic brands like Brooks Brothers, Izod, Joseph A. Banks, and Lacoste.
Roger married Marjorie Whyel, of Uniontown, in 1981 and they had two children, Mariel and Louis. To Roger, Uniontown was the most special place. He went away for college and traveled a lot, but always returned to his hometown. He remained connected to his Austrian family and heritage by visiting his place in Vienna multiple times a year and speaking fluent German. Roger was a talented artist like his Austrian relatives, including his uncle, Bauhaus modernist designer Carl Auboeck.
Roger was a member of the Gull Wing Club, Ferrari Club, and passionate about events like the Monaco Grand Prix, Pebble Beach Concours D'Elegance, and Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. What Roger loved most was spending time with his children, his classic car collection, travelling throughout Europe, bicycling, skiing, jazz, German Shepherds, and evening cruises on the rural roads of the Laurel Mountains.
Those who knew Roger knew him to be loyal, witty, bright, classic, and nostalgic. We will miss him dearly and always recall the gift of his life with gratitude and many cherished memories.
A private memorial will be held for immediate family.
Fayette County has always been a very special place to the Gallet family. Donations can be made in Roger's memory to the Community Foundation of Fayette County, 5 S. Mt. Vernon Avenue, Uniontown, PA 15401.