John W. Gallagher
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Formerly of Stamford
John W. Gallagher, age 87, of Stratford, CT, died Thursday, September 27, 2012, at his home. Born March 22, 1925 in Concord, Massachusetts, he was the son of the late John J. and Ethel F. O'Brien Gallagher. He had lived in Stratford since 1995. He was a member of St. Mark Roman Catholic Church of Stratford.
Mr. Gallagher served honorably in two wars. As a First Lieutenant Navigator and Radar Observer Bombardier in the Army Air Forces, he flew missions in both the European and Asiatic Pacific Theaters in World War II. Released from active duty at war's end, he remained in the Army Air Forces Reserve and went to college. In October, 1950, shortly after U.S. entry into the Korean War, he was recalled to active duty in the Air Force. He attended Basic and Advanced Pilot Training, became a Fighter Pilot, and was promoted to Captain. During pilot training in San Antonio, he met Julia Elizabeth (Betty) Tuttle. In September, 1952, he and Betty began what would be a 58-year marriage. He was released from active duty for the final time in December, 1952.
After his first release from active duty, Mr. Gallagher attended Harvard College, graduating in 1949. After his second, he attended the Harvard Graduate School of Design, attaining a Master of Architecture Degree in 1957.
Mr. Gallagher was a member of the American Institute of Architects and was a Registered Architect in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Texas. He began his architectural career as a Designer at Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, in New York City (1957-1959). He then moved his family to Dallas, Texas, where he was a Project Architect at Harrell and Hamilton (1959-1963). Then he started the partnership, Gallagher and Bishop Architects, in Dallas (1963-1965) and during that time was also a Visiting Lecturer in Design at Texas A&M University. He then moved his family back to the Northeast, to become Partner in the firm, Hoberman and Wasserman, Architects, in New York City (1965-1974). He then briefly worked on his own, as John Gallagher A.I.A., then joined Norman Hoberman in Greenwich, Connecticut, forming Hoberman and Gallagher, Architects and a number of other firms, including: Spaces (with Betty Gallagher), a space planning and interior design firm; Greenwich Development Partnership, a development firm specializing in elderly housing; and GDP Management, a property management firm.
Mr. Gallagher always considered Concord, Massachusetts his home, and was instrumental in perpetuating Class of 1943 Concord High School reunions. He maintained membership in the Concord Independent Battery. From very early on, he was a soulful and devoted pianist, playing piano and accordion in professional bands as a child and young adult. While an architectural partner in New York City, he attended advanced piano classes at The Julliard School.
Mr. Gallagher lived with his family in Stamford, Connecticut from 1966 to 1995, when he retired and moved to the Oronoque Village community in Stratford. While in Stamford, he was an Assistant Scout Master at Troop 3 for several years. He often contributed his time and skills to community organizations, such as serving for a time on Oronoque Village's Architectural Committee. Most recently, he volunteered at the Bishop Wicke Health Center, playing the piano on Sundays for residents there. For various spans of his life, he enjoyed skiing, squash, tennis, and golf, and was a member of The Side Show, a golfing group at Oronoque.
Mr. Gallagher was predeceased by his wife Betty, a son Robert, and his sister Ruth G. Bush. He is survived by two sons, David B. Gallagher of Austin, TX, and John E. Gallagher of Norwalk, CT; by John E.'s wife, Rocio; by four grandchildren, Julia, John, George, and Laura Gallagher, all of Norwalk, CT; and by a number of nephews, nieces, and cousins, all of whom will remember him very fondly.
Friends may call from 4 to 7 PM on Wednesday, October 3, at the William R. McDonald Funeral Home, 2591 Main Street, Stratford, CT. Friends are invited to a Funeral Mass of Christian Burial on Thursday, October 4, at 10 AM, at St. Mark Roman Catholic Church, 500 Wigwam Lane, Stratford, CT. Reception will follow at the Oronoque Country Club. Interment with full military honors will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to hospice, to the American Red Cross, to the Brookwood Community (Brookshire, Texas) or to a charity of individual choice.
Published in The Hour on Oct. 2, 2012