Dr. John Joseph Gallagher
FUNERAL HOME
McFarland Funeral Chapel - Tryon
54 McFarland Drive Hwy. 108
Tryon, NC
COLUMBUS – Dr. John Joseph Gallagher of Columbus, passed away, Saturday afternoon, November 21, 2020 at Spartanburg Medical Center.
Dr. Gallagher was born in Brooklyn, NY to parents Margaret McHugh Gallagher and John Patrick Gallagher. John graduated from the college of the Holy Cross in 1964. He then went on to Georgetown University School of Medicine where he graduated in1968. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine from Duke University before being drafted into the U.S. Public Health service in the Cardiopulmonary Laboratory at Staten Island. He returned to Duke for his fellowship in cardiology and remained thereafter as faculty going on to become a pioneer in the world of cardiac electrophysiology and an internationally recognized analyst of complex arrhythmias.
John spoke Russian, Italian, and a few other romantic languages he would use in teaching the world the first electrical mapping of the human heart which led to the first open heart surgery where he would direct the surgeon to cut the malignant pathway. Later he invented and perfected a less invasive way of destroying these malignant pathways through the first cardiac ablation. By doing this he has helped tens of thousands of patients all over the world. John won many awards for his work and in 1999 his peers presented him with The Teacher of the Year award for the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology, later known as The Heart Rhythm Society. After Duke, he became the director of electrophysiology at Carolinas Medical Center and Carolinas Heart Institute. In 2002, he joined Cardiology Consultants in Spartanburg, SC as an EP cardiologist for 12 years before serving as a hospitalist and, later, internist with Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System.
The most important thing to John was giving his patients impeccable medical care. He enjoyed hearing their life stories and found their telling therapeutic to the patient's health. He would sometimes tap his patients' chest and say, 'What is this? This is God's temple, and you have a spiritual obligation to take care of it. I can help you with that."
John enjoyed spending time on his horse farm in Columbus, NC, deer hunting, and being with those he loved. He was a member of First Baptist Church of North Spartanburg and enjoyed sharing his faith with others, particularly on Oakbrook Preparatory's annual trip to Nicaragua. He was a faithful supporter of Chosen Children Ministries based in Spartanburg, SC, which helps orphaned children in Nicaragua.
John is survived by his wife Jane, his children Holly Kathleen Gallagher Samet, John Joseph Gallagher Jr., Natalie Marie and Bridget Grace Gallagher, his sisters Marge Egan and Joan Mooney, and his grandchildren Madeleine & Ryan Samet.
A drive-thru Celebration of Dr. Gallagher's Life will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Saturday, November 28, 2020 at their farm, 1970 Chesnee Road, Columbus, North Carolina 28722.
Memorials may be made to Chosen Children Ministries, 9420 Asheville Highway, Inman, South Carolina 29349.
An online guest register is available at mcfarlandfuneralchapel.com
McFarland Funeral Chapel & Crematory
Tryon, North Carolina

Published by Spartanburg Herald-Journal on Nov. 26, 2020.
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MEMORIAL EVENTS
Nov
28
Celebration of Life
11:00a.m. - 12:00p.m.
At their farm
1970 Chesnee Road, Columbus, NC
Funeral services provided by:
McFarland Funeral Chapel - Tryon
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17 Entries
Dr Gallagher was my doctor since January 2020. He saved my life twice in that short time. He was a kind, humble, Christ filled man. I had no idea of his credentials until reading this obituary. I knew from day one that God sent me to him and I believe he did too. He was an amazing doctor and human being. I will never forget him.
Susan Persons
Acquaintance
December 9, 2020
Sharon Jackson
December 7, 2020
Dr. Gallagher, you were such a wonderful physician, employer and friend for so many years. You will be greatly missed.
Susan Large
Coworker
December 4, 2020
When I 1st moved to the upsate, I was in need of a pcp. I chose someone based on a computer bio. When i called to schedule an appointment, he was recommended instead due to my cardiac history. Turned out He knew my cardiologist personally. Dr Gallagher treated me with upmost respect and i knew I was in good hands. My condolences to his family and friends. May his memory be for a blessing.
Karen Greenberg
Friend
December 4, 2020
Dr.Galagher was one very special person ,not just my doctor. He ethically went above and beyond for me at all times. Dr.G will always be in my thoughts and prayers as will his family. Gone but never forgotten. Go with God my dear friend.
Jenise Darwin
Friend
December 4, 2020
He was one of the most amazing doctors I’ve ever met we weren’t just doctor patient we were friends both of us coming from Brooklyn bonded us . My office visits consisted of 10 minutes medical the rest social .I prayed so hard the day I found out he was in the hospital but God wanted him back home I will miss him terribly my prayers go out to his wife and daughters he was a wonderful man .
Phyllis Jacob
Friend
December 1, 2020
God Bless you John - and thank you for your remarkable accomplishments and better life you provided to so many -rest in peace
Ed nigro
Classmate
December 1, 2020
Philip Corbett
December 1, 2020
hile you are celebrating John’s life and his achievements it is a sad time for you all.
We have very fond memories of your visit to Ireland in 2014 and our home in Dublin as well as the family home in County Leitrim.
Please accept our deepest sympathies at your great loss. May John rest in peace. We have arranged for a Mass in Leitrim on January 8th for deceased members of the Gallagher family.
Your Irish cousins Mariam Ward nee Gallagher.
Marian Ward nee Gallagher
Family
November 30, 2020
A physician's physician. I loved him and missed him everyday after he left Cardiology Consultants. The "relationship" drop down menu had several choices. I could choose only one. In addition to coworker, I would have to choose "student" as well.
James R Story MD
Coworker
November 29, 2020
John was the Very Best kind of colleague & mentor to have at our hospital in Spartanburg.

To know john is to love him.

I will miss him terribly,

I know all of his colleagues, patients, friends & family will miss him too.
Stone mcgee
Friend
November 29, 2020
Today my thoughts are with you Jane & your girls Natalie & Bridget also Holly, John, Madeleine, Ryan, Joan & Marge as you celebrate John’s life and what a remarkable life it was. I hope that you will be comforted in the knowledge that your loss is widely shared. I feel privileged to have met him over the years & have great memories or these times spent. At 4pm here in Ireland I will light some candles & think of you all. Rest In Peace John.
Patricia Gallagher Colwell
Family
November 28, 2020
Today my thoughts are with you Jane & your girls Natalie & Bridget also Holly, John, Madeleine, Ryan, Joan & Marge as you celebrate John’s life and what a remarkable life it was. I hope that you will be comforted in the knowledge that your loss is widely shared. I feel privileged to have met him over the years & have great memories or these times spent. At 4pm here in Ireland I will light some candles & think of you all. Rest In Peace John.
Patricia Gallagher Colwell
Family
November 28, 2020
So sad to hear of Dr. Gallagher's passing. I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Gallagher at the SRMC. He was a professional and compassionate man!
We have the family in our prayers at this time of their loss! He shall be missed!
Sterling and Jane Anderson and family
Acquaintance
November 27, 2020
May God hold you very close and comfort you as you adjust to life without John. He was loved and respected by so many of us. He was wonderful to our family when my Father was his patient. His love for his family was inspiring.
We love you all,
Donnie and Kathy Ramsey
Donnie and Kathy Ramsey
Friend
November 27, 2020
DR. GALLAGHER WAS A BRILLIANT DOCTOR WHOM I ADMIRED AND RESPECTED. HE WAS A SPECIAL PERSON AND REVEALED THIS THROUGH HIS CARING FOR OTHERS WITH GENIUNE CONCERN. HE MADE PATIENTS FEEL COMFORTABLE AND THEY LOVED HIM- MY MOTHER AS AN EXAMPLE ADORED HIM. MY PRAYERS TO THE FAMILY . MAY GOD BLESS AND KEEP YOU STRONG IN THE COMING DAYS AHEAD.
BETTY ABERNATHY
Classmate
November 26, 2020
I had met John 6 years ago while working at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center, where John become part of our hospitalist group.

It didn’t take long to see that John was an exceptional doctor and an exceptional person. His manner, insight and medical knowledge made him stand apart. He was a gift to any patient who was lucky enough to have him as a doctor.

I stayed in touch with John after I left Spartanburg and I cherished his advice, support and friendship. I will miss him terribly.

My deepest and most sincere condolences.

Yenny VanderWaerden
Yenny VanderWaerden
Friend
November 26, 2020
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