World City America President Stephanie Gallagher Dies June 10

Stephanie Sclater Gallagher of Cold Spring, president of the World City America cruise ship venture, died of heart failure at her home June 10. She was 68.

Stephanie Gallagher Photo courtesy of the Gallagher family

Stephanie Gallagher
Photo courtesy of the Gallagher family

Gallagher was a founding partner in World City America, an initiative to capture a share of the $40 billion-a-year foreign-dominated cruise industry for the American economy and workers ( through design and construction of new cruise vessels in the United States. She worked with the late John S. Rogers to establish both World City America Inc. and the World City Foundation in 1986. Gallagher was appointed vice president in 1992, executive vice president in 1995 and president in 2002.

Gallagher lost her husband of 46 years, documentary filmmaker Charles Edward Gallagher, to cancer April 14, 2013.

Stephanie Gallagher and her husband were pioneers in experiential education. They formed The Oceanics School in the early 1970s to offer high school and college students a semester of work, study and travel on board large square-rigged sailing ships in Europe, West Africa and South America.

In 1992, Stephanie Gallagher coordinated media and publicity for the 15,000-mile voyage of a replica Viking longship, the Gaia, as the ship sailed from Norway to New York and south to Rio de Janeiro, carrying messages from the world’s children to leaders attending the first Earth Summit. Charles Gallagher filmed a documentary, and Stephanie Gallagher edited a book and calendar on the voyage and Earth Summit Plenary Session.

Stephanie Gallagher in 2009 wrote and published True North: A Flickering Soul in No Man’s Land, a biography of Knut Utstein Kloster of Norway, an early figure in launching the modern cruise industry. Acclaimed scientist, inventor and author James Lovelock wrote the foreword to her book.

Stephanie Gallagher was born December 16, 1944, in Pittsfield, N.Y., the daughter of Ivanhoe Harrison Sclater IV and Margarette Weldon Sclater. She graduated from the Kenwood Convent of the Sacred Heart in Albany and Duchesne Residence School of the Sacred Heart in New York City and attended the New York School of Interior Design.

She met her filmmaker husband in New York City at the age of 19 and was married for 46 years. They travelled throughout the United States, Europe, Africa and South America working together on films, The Oceanics School and World City projects. They lived for nearly 35 years in Manhattan, moving to Cold Spring in November 2011.

Stephanie Gallagher is survived by her sister, Mary Deirdre Smalley, and her husband, Richard, of Orlando, Fla.; sister Katrina Carey of Westfield, Mass.; niece Christina Davy and her husband, Hakim, of Winter Garden, Fla.; nephew Christian Carey and his wife, Andrea, of Westfield, Mass., and Stowe, Vt.; nephew Shawn Carey of Yarmouthport, Mass.; grandnieces Nya Bliss Davy, Iyla Jade Davy and Leila Sky Davy of Winter Garden, Fla.; and her husband’s children, Blakeney Gallagher and his wife, Catherine, of The Plains, Va., Margaret Winston (Megan) Gallagher of The Plains and John Peter Gallagher of Manitou Springs, Colo.

A private gathering of friends and family is planned Wednesday, June 26, at 2 p.m. at the family home in Cold Spring, 22 West St.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested contributions be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at 6931 Arlington Road, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814.

8 thoughts on “World City America President Stephanie Gallagher Dies June 10

  1. I was lucky to have sailed with the school Stephanie started in the 1970s called Oceanics. After hearing of the program I interviewed with Stephanie at her West End Avenue penthouse. My mother did most of the talking since I was awestruck and only 15 at the time. Although my family couldn’t afford to send me Stephanie found “scholarship money” that reduced the cost to something we could handle. Such kindness! Rest in Peace.

  2. I am so sorry to hear of Stephanie’s death. I had the pleasure of meeting Stephanie and Chick and I was able to find them their wonderful property on the Cold Spring waterfront. My husband and I enjoyed their company so much, they really were a wonderful couple. It is so hard to believe that Stephanie is no longer here, she had a dynamic personality and a very loving and gracious way about her. She will be sorely missed by many but she is certainly back together with her beloved husband. May they both rest in peace.
    Nora and Ed Preusser

  3. Stephanie has been a life-long inspiration for me. I thank both her and Chick for the experience of a lifetime in the Oceanics. She’ll be both missed and remembered.

  4. Thanks to Stephanie and Charles Gallagher I was able to pursue a career in sailing vessels. The “Yankee Clipper,” the “Captain Scott” and the “Erich Borgman” were all Oceanics School´s or Prince Henry College ships, and the people I met and the memory of of our shared adventures will stay with me to my last day. Thank you Stephanie and thank you Chick.

  5. RIP Stephanie. You will be missed. I recently got back in touch with Stephanie after almost 35 years. She and her husband Chick Gallagher helped my brother and me go sailing aboard the tall ships Ariadne and Phoenix. The experience changed my life. I am so grateful for the chance to see the world and experience it in such a different way. Stephanie helped me get started on my way to a life at sea. She remembered me from all those years ago and when I recently contacted her to let her know I finally reached my goal of unlimited master, she told me “I knew you would do that”. Wow! What a good feeling that gave me, even all these years later.

    The school she started and ran with Chick has helped so many people, I would have loved to see it continue or even another one start up. The Gallaghers were truly an inspiration and did so much for so many. They will both be missed. I am sad for their friends and family.

  6. Stephanie is gone? I could not believe it. First we lost Chick in April, and now Stephanie. Such a big loss. As a young boy , I first met Stephanie in Bergen, Norway. Together with many others we sailed on the Statsraad Lehmkul. The Oceanics gave me a new start in life. Thank you Stephanie, for being a part of mine, and many others life. You inspired us to be what we are today. RIP. Best regards, Tom Hoiland, Stavanger, Norway

  7. I first met Stephanie and Chick in January 1971 in Las Palmas, Canary Islands, when they generously offered me a position as art instructor with the Oceanics School on board the Statsraad Lehmkuhl. I had just turned 21 with no sailing experience and no teaching experience worth mentioning. Both Chick and Stephanie both exemplified energy and optimism. They had dreams and made them happen. More important they let others experience their dreams. I extend my sympathies to their friends and families.

  8. Through determination, creative thinking and sheer will power, Stephanie and Chick made an amazing school possible — one that would enable the student to learn sailing (especially from a Norwegian perspective), to travel long distances to many cultures with the work of their own hands [hoisting sails], to experience high school classes aboard ship with very interesting professors and to learn how to live with a diverse group of people within a tall ship out a sea.

    I write with gratitude for that irreplacable educational experience which led to my getting a BA in Anthropology and working toward an MA in Environmental Sustainability. I write with sadness knowing that they are gone—yet they will always be remembered. I offer my condolences to Stephanie’s and Chick’s family.

    Zoë Avery, Class of Statsraad Lehmkuhl and Yankee Clipper