Phran Rachel Galante, 64, of Nashville, TN, passed away today (Sept. 23) after a hard-fought battle with lung cancer over the last several years.
Born June 5, 1955 in New York City, Phran’s early years were filled with her love of animals—especially horses—theater, swimming, dance and tennis. The child of an Army physician, she moved around the country and even to Japan with her parents and siblings.
A dream of working on Broadway took Phran back to New York in 1981, where she landed a temp job at Chrysalis Records. In 1983, at the suggestion of her boss, she pursued and interviewed for a job at RCA Nashville, where she met her husband, Joe Galante. The two would marry in 1990.
In 1989, she left RCA to become part of the original team that built and launched Arista Records. With a talent for marketing, she designed, orchestrated and executed music marketing plans for a variety of artists and projects throughout her record label career. She also produced music videos for such artists as Alabama, K.T. Oslin, Ronnie Milsap and Alan Jackson.
Returning to Nashville in the early 1990s with her husband, Phran turned her time and efforts toward the community she loved and called home. She volunteered to rescue animals, was on the board of directors for TPAC, and worked at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. She was a founding member of United Partnerships in Animal Welfare, a community-based group sanctioned by the city of Nashville, working to reduce the very high rate of euthanasia in Music City’s animal shelters.
In 2018, she was honored with the Pet Community Center’s Jourdan Parenteau Excellence in Service Award for her 20+ years of leadership in animal welfare. Accepting the award, she said, “Animals can’t speak for themselves, so we must do it for them.”
Phran was also passionate about the work being done by the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, using her record industry contacts to bring music into the facility to brighten children’s days. She raised hundreds of thousands of dollars through her work on the annual Music City Tennis Invitational, helping the event become a cornerstone of the hospital’s funding efforts. In 2017, while serving as honorary co-chair, she was recognized by the event with the MCTI Outstanding Service Award and the MCTI Sportsmanship Award (receiving the latter for a second time) for her many years of service as co-chair, silent auction chair and tournament player.
Almost immediately upon receiving her own diagnosis, Phran began helping friends and even strangers who were beginning their own journey with cancer, lending an ear, offering support and spending time with them. She went on-camera, sharing her voice and personal experience with the public on behalf of the T.J. Martell Foundation and its work to fund cancer research. “As each day goes by, we get closer and closer to a cure,” she said with conviction, giving hope to others through her own determination and fight to keep the disease at bay.
Phran is survived by her husband Joe, sister Debbie Linn, brothers Pete and Myke Schwartz, parents Marvin and Claire Schwartz, and her beloved pets Lexie and Fergie. Phran’s family thanks doctors Bal, Karlekar, Lovly and Meluch along with the nurses at Tennessee Oncology, Sarah Cannon, and the staff at Alive Hospice for the care they provided to Phran.
A celebration of Phran’s life will be held on October 23 at Congregation Micah in Brentwood, Tenn.; further details will be forthcoming. The family asks that anyone wishing to honor her memory consider a donation to the T.J. Martell Foundation’s Phran Galante Memorial Fund for Lung Cancer Research or the Pet Community Center in memory of Phran.
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