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Phillip Curwood Galer

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Phillip Curwood Galer Obituary

Phillip "Phil" Curwood Galer

HILLSBORO - Phillip "Phil" Curwood Galer, 85, co-publisher of The Hillsboro Journal, died Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, at 4:05 p.m. in St. John's Hospital, Springfield.

Funeral services for Mr. Galer will be held in the Hillsboro United Methodist Church, Hillsboro, on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 11 a.m. Pastors Joy Cashetta and Tom Compton will officiate, and burial will be in Oak Grove Cemetery, Hillsboro. Military rites will be conducted graveside. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at the church. The Hough Funeral Home of Hillsboro is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Galer was born on Sept. 7, 1927, in Lancaster, WI, to Pauline (Burgess) and Delford "Del" Galer, Both preceded him in death.

He and Nancy Wright were married on Aug. 24, 1951, in Kempton United Methodist Church, Kempton; she survives in Hillsboro. Also surviving are one son, John (wife Susan) Galer of Hillsboro; one daughter, Anne (husband Ralph) McLaughlin of Hillsboro; four grandchildren, Mary (husband Kyle) Herschelman of Hillsboro, John (wife Emily) Galer of Alexandria,VA, Phillip (wife Lindsey) McLaughlin of Hillsboro, and Keith McLaughlin of Hillsboro; one great-granddaughter, Grace Louise Herschelman and a McLaughlin great-grandchild on the way; two brothers, Gilbert (wife Anita) Galer of Lady Lakes, FL, and Doug (wife Janice) Galer of rural Hillsboro; and several nieces and nephews.

After attending three years of high school in Wausau, WI, Mr. Galer came to Hillsboro when his father became affiliated with The Hillsboro Journal (now The Journal-News). He was a 1946 graduate of Hillsboro High and served in the United States Army from 1946-1948, stationed in Italy and North Africa.

He returned from service to attend Blackburn College (1948-1951), where he earned an A.A. degree. He earned a bachelor of science in journalism and publication management from the University of Illinois in 1952.

While at the U of I he was a member of the Sigma Delta Chi (a Journalism Honorary Society) and edited the Rantoul Press. He joined his father and owner Sam Little at the Journal in 1952. As time passed, the business of the Journal expanded to include publication of other area papers and shoppers; Mr. Galer became editor, publisher, and co-owner as he built a strong family-oriented business base which has provided employment for a wide array of residents.

The paper itself was honored by the Illinois Historical Society in 1981, was first runner-up in the Southern Illinois Editorial Association Best Local Newspaper Contest in 1995, along with many other awards over the years from the SIEA and the Illinois Press Association. In 1996, the paper was selected as Business of the Year by the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce. The paper's mission under Mr. Galer's leadership was to provide both "complete and compassionate news coverage of the area."

As an individual, Mr. Galer won a communication award for the district and state from the Montgomery County Soil and Water Conservation District, was chosen "Fair Person" of the year (1994) by the Montgomery County Fair Association; was the Mt. Moriah Masonic Lodge's 1993 Community Builders Award Winner; was the local Sertoma Club's 1996 Service to Mankind Award honoree; was chosen as Grand Marshal of the 1995 Old Settlers Association's Parade; and won the Media Award of the Kaskaskia Region, Illinois Principals' Association for 2000.

He was a member of the Hillsboro United Methodist Church for over 56 years; the 1999 president of the Hickory Hills Chapter of the Illinois Audubon Society; the 1998-99 commander of Kershaw Harmer Post #1306 of Veterans of Foreign Wars; the 1999 president of the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce; and a 38 year member of the Old Settlers Association. An avid Cardinal fan, he also worked with the Boy Scouts and was a Jaycee when that organization thrived in the city.

Professionally he was a long-time member of the Illinois Press Association and was named a Master Editor by the Southern Illinois Editorial Association.

Memorials may be directed to the Heating and Air Conditioning Fund of the Hillsboro United Methodist Church or to the Activity Fund of the Montgomery Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

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