Stuart W. “Stu” Galley died unexpectedly in Mount Auburn Hospital on Thursday, August 2, 2018, in Cambridge, Mass., at the age of 73.
Stuart is survived by his wife of 52 years, Fredrica “Fritzi”; child, Jacob; and sister, Lynne Schneider of Tuolumne, Calif.
Stuart was born on December 1, 1944, in Philadelphia, Penn., to Robert and Elizabeth Galley. He graduated from the California Institute of Technology in 1966 with a bachelor’s degree in physics. He moved to the Boston area to pursue advanced degrees at M.I.T. He soon became fascinated with computer technology, and changed to a career in software engineering that began in the M.I.T. Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS).
In 1979, Stuart joined with several LCS staff and students to form a software company known as Infocom. Infocom is regarded by computer gamers of the 1980s as one of the greatest producers of text-only, interactive fiction games.
Stu possessed a great intellect and a wonderful warmth, curiosity, and gentleness. He wrote, edited, thought, and inspired. Working at Infocom was the perfect place for him: it was filled with creative people. He had a great time working there and created lifelong friendships.
One of his proudest personal accomplishments was conceiving and hand-building a cabin, in Parsonsfield, Maine, with his wife and son and help from many friends. During the build, there was neither electricity nor running water. Constructing and enhancing the cabin was a project that he enjoyed for 13 years.
After Infocom's end in 1989 he started working for Thinking Machines Corporation as a sales system analyst, but in 1994 returned to M.I.T. as a systems engineer.
After entering retirement in 2006, Stu employed his love of history and research and volunteered at the Arlington Historical Society. He worked on transcribing diaries from 100 years ago, and he put the entries on the internet for the community to read. The first diaries were written by Mr. Wellington. The second set of diaries were written by the Winn family, Susanna and Nina Winn. After transposing several of Nina Winn’s diaries, Stu felt a special kinship towards her: he went as far as researching every book she read, every play she saw and read background surrounding many of her contemporaneous world events. Typically, he didn’t skip ahead, and only read the diary for the current date (minus 100 years in the past) and posted the entry to the historical society mailing list on that same day.
Only a month passed between the time Stu was diagnosed with late-stage cancer and his death. He will be greatly missed for his constant support, thoughtful sense of humor and honesty.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Mass Audubon.
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Memories & condolences
lynne schneider — STU was my younger brother. It's too soon to settle my brain around just 1 ...
J Michael — I was sad to hear of the passing of Stu Galley. I saw an article ...
Richard Isaacson — Stuart was like a brother; always comfortable to be around. I will miss him daily ...
Shari A — I was so sorry to hear of Stu's passing. I didn't know him personally but ...
Lee Qarib — Although they are only ten years older than me , Stu and Fritzie were like parents ...