Richard Galleher

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Richard "Dick" Galleher of Poulsbo, Wash., and Nome, died peacefully May 13, 2010, after an event-filled 87 years, at his home in Poulsbo.

Dick was born March 30, 1923, in Yakima, Wash., the son of the late Marie Soll and Richard Lewis Galleher. He was also the beloved husband of Joyce Peterson Galleher for over 58 years, and the loving father of Gail, Brian and Blaine.

Dick's early years were all about boats, until he learned to fly. After three years as a flying instructor in the Army Air Corps, and several more operating the BonAire seaplane base in Bremerton, Wash., he married Joyce in 1951 and they set off on an incredible adventure in Alaska that spanned the next 30 years.

Dick lived and flew in Nunivak, Bethel, Dillingham, Red Devil, Anchorage and Nome. He flew for Northern Consolidated, co-owned Arctic Air Cargo in Anchorage, and bought Munz Airways in Nome in 1962. He and Joyce built Munz Northern Airlines into a large Bush airline serving Western Alaska with a fleet of 17 modern, light twin aircraft and five helicopters.

In 1983, they sold the airline and retired to Poulsbo, where Dick's love for boats was rekindled. He bought a 41-foot ketch and named it the Joyce Elaine. Between boating with fellow wanderers from the Poulsbo Yacht Club and touring with friends from the Olympic Vintage Auto Club, in the 1938 Darrin Packard he'd owned since their courtship days, Dick lived life to its fullest. Still, with all his toys, there was nothing that Dick prized more or treated better than his family.

Besides family, Dick loved traveling (especially to Mexico), reading, woodworking, boating, driving his '38 Packard, and flying. He enjoyed being with family and friends. He touched the lives of many people with his smile and generosity, and maintained his trademark sense of humor to his last day.

Dick will forever be remembered by his beloved children, Gail Galleher (Frank Flavin) and Blaine Galleher (Kim Allen Galleher); treasured grandchildren, Brett and Conner Merboth; brother, Jerry Galleher (Dede Galleher); sister-in-law, Jeanne Mitchell; and countless family and friends around the globe who were blessed to know him.

He was preceded in death by his infant son, Ross Michael; his much-loved son, Brian Gareth; his parents; and his sister, Virginia George.

Gatherings in Alaska are being planned for this summer. Until then, we invite you to visit to sign the guestbook. We sincerely thank everyone in Alaska for your sentiments and kind words of support.

Gifts in memory of Dick are suggested to the Pioneers Igloo No. 1, the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum (, the Nome radio stations KICY or KNOM, or to the organization of your choice. Messages to the family can be sent to: [email protected]

In aviation lingo, we know Dick now has CAVU flying conditions: "Ceiling And Visibility Unlimited."

Published in Anchorage Daily News from May 21 to May 23, 2010