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Longtime couple Walter and Gloria Quigley, of Patchogue, die

Gloria Quigley suffered a stroke in late August

Gloria Quigley suffered a stroke in late August and died on Nov. 23. She was 88. A week before she died, her husband, Walter Quigley, battled pneumonia. He later had a stroke, too and died Dec. 12. He was 90. Credit: Handout

He grew up in Wisconsin. His father was a lawn mower salesman, his mother a civic organizer. She was born in Brooklyn, the daughter of Italian immigrants -- her father a taxi driver and her mother a seamstress.

They met at Brooklyn Hospital in the early 1950s, bonding over their interest in medicine. Gloria Louise Sergio was a nursing teacher; Walter Quigley was a doctor. They courted for three years and married in 1954.

The Quigleys had twin girls, successful careers and eventually settled in Patchogue.

They both died recently -- about three weeks apart. Gloria Quigley suffered a stroke in late August and died on Nov. 23. She was 88. A week before she died, her husband, Walter Quigley, battled pneumonia. He later had a stroke, too, and died Dec. 12. He was 90.

"We think he stayed alive so she would not be alone when she died," said one of their daughters, Lisa Samperi, of Shoreham. "He was very chivalrous. He adored my mother."

Gloria Quigley was born in Brooklyn in 1924. She graduated from the now-defunct Samuel J. Tilden High School in East Flatbush in the early 1940s and graduated in 1946 from the Kings County Hospital Center School of Nursing.

"She was born to immigrant parents who did not think it was important for a woman to go to college," Samperi said. "Therefore, she made it her life's mission to prove her parents wrong."

Walter Paul Quigley was born in 1922 in Wauwatosa, Wis.

He graduated with a bachelor's degree from Marquette University in 1943 and from the university's medical school in 1946. He then enlisted in the Army and served for two years. He was stationed in the Pacific on Guam and in Shanghai, China, from 1947 to 1949.

Back in the United States, he was assigned to a residency at Brooklyn Hospital, where he met his future wife.

The couple's twin daughters were born in 1955, and Gloria Quigley stayed at home with the children. Her husband's work took the family to Tennessee and Wisconsin, where they lived for a few years before settling in Patchogue.

He opened a private practice near Brookhaven Hospital, where he practiced radiology. He retired in 1992 as chief of radiology.

Once the girls started school, his wife tended to her life's other passion -- higher education. She received a doctorate in psychology from St. John's University about 1970.

She then began working as a psychology professor at Suffolk County Community College and retired in 2004, at age 80.

"With the exception of her husband and children, her job was the love of her life," Samperi said.

Gloria and Walter Quigley bonded over another activity: flying. He loved being a pilot. He bought a Cessna 210, and persuaded his wife to fly with him. She feared flying but took her own lessons to overcome her fear.

"She passed the test and then said, 'There I did it,' " Samperi said.

Together the pair enjoyed trips to Connecticut for breakfast and jaunts to Martha's Vineyard, Mass.

They were both buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram.

In addition to their daughter Lisa, the Quigleys are survived by another daughter, Jean Tully, of Rocky Point; three grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

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