Jack, you probably distracted St. Peter with your Irish charm and quirky humor, just long enough for your mum, Blanche Baldwin Gallagher, and dad, Joseph Charles Gallagher, to pull you through the gates. You have had quite a journey. Attending the Church of the Brethren with your parents and five brothers got you off on a good start. It was there that you found your gifts of storytelling and music, the former by teaching Sunday school and the latter by singing in the choir. Always a hard worker, you landed a ten-year old boy's dream job as a golf caddy.Golf hooked you and your youngest brother. Old croquet mallets turned into "clubs," and the backyard became a golf course. When your mum was not at home, you played shots over the house. Otherwise, you played around the house. Neither one of you ever broke a window! Golf stayed with you throughout your journey.
At Johnstown High School, you excelled in academics. There you discovered your talent for art and creative writing. You were inducted into the National Honor Society, sang in the school chorus, played the baritone horn, and worked on the yearbook. Yes, you even had a brief stint on the football team. But we won't go into that.
You left Johnstown High with a college scholarship and earned a degree in Art and Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Was it your Outstanding Citizenship Award from high school or your yen to travel the seas that led you to join the Navy?
For twenty-seven years, you loyally served your country, starting as a communications officer on the USS Saratoga and ending on a joint staff in Honolulu. You were affectionately known as the "cruise missile czar." Wherever you were sent, you proudly performed your duties as a Naval officer. Along the way, you received the Defense Meritorious Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. How did you get the last one? The Navy does not have it.
In your retirement, you earned a Master's in Business Administration from the University of Hawaii, worked as a volunteer in most of the major golf tournaments, and became a Master Gardener. During summer breaks, we crisscrossed our beautiful nation in our twenty-year-old car, but we missed North Dakoda. So the journey continues.
Enjoy your reunion with your son Gregg Michael Gallagher. Keep your stories short and don't make too many silly puns. Look down at your children Erin Leigh Gallager, Kristen Colleen O'Connell, and Sean Patrick Gallagher, your grandchildren, and two great- grandchildren, and know that you will always be loved.
Aloha, my sweet darling. All my love, your Nancy.
PS: While you wait for me, look for a good Mexican restaurant.
Private ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Please, no flowers. Donate to the charity of your choice or to Shriners Children's Hospital, Honolulu.
Arrangements Provided By: Hosoi Garden Mortuary