Gerald M. Galligan, 93, a resident of Canton, MA for 64 years died April 11, 2018. He was the husband of the late Margaret A. (Gubbins) Galligan to whom he was happily married 63 years, who together raised 4 sons and 2 daughters.
Mr. Galligan was born Cambridge, MA to the late Thomas J. Galligan, Sr. and Winifred C. (McKeon) Galligan and was raised in Watertown, MA. He was the youngest brother of both Thomas J. Galligan, Jr. formerly of Waban, MA, and Robert W. Galligan, Sr., formerly of Sudbury, MA. He attended St. Patrick’s grammar school in Watertown, B.C. High Class of 1942, and Boston College, Class of 1949. All 3 brothers served proudly as U. S. Navy Intelligence Officers during WW2 with the 2 older brothers leaving shortly after their mother’s death from Addisons’ disease in October, 1941 before the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941. These early events grounded Mr. Galligan and his brothers into a solid foundation of Faith, Hope, Charity, Courage, and Love sustaining them through the end. Their Jesuit training reinforced their already deep abiding love of God, Family, Country and Town.
Mr. Galligan entered Boston College as a pre-med in 1942, recruited his Freshman year in 1943, to became a member of the U.S. Navy’s V-12 program at Brown University, attended Northwestern Midshipman School and was commissioned a Naval Ensign. He then attended Harvard Communication School and Navy Advanced Line School and served as Communication and Morse Code Decoding Officer in the Pacific and Northern China. He is a recipient of the Pacific Theater Ribbon, China Service Ribbon and American Victory Ribbon. He was released to inactive duty in July 1946. Mr. Galligan then returned to finish his pre-med degree at Boston College graduating in 1949 while continuing to serve in the Naval Reserves. Junior year at Boston College, he met Margaret who resided in nearby Newtonville, MA and they married in August, 1949 and headed to Washington, D.C. where Mr. Galligan began attendance at Georgetown Dental School. In September of 1949, Mr. Galligan was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJG), USNR.
After several years in Washington area, the heartstring ties of family pulled Mr. and Mrs. Galligan home. Always loving the visits to his grandparents and close-knit relatives they settled in the town of Canton where the Galligan heritage began from County Cavan, Ireland in the mid 1800’s planting roots nearly as strong as the old country. The original homestead in Canton still remains in relatives’ ownership. A recent test of Mr. Galligan’s ancestry proved he was 100% Irish. He and Mrs. Galligan were steadfast in keeping their ties to family and having their children come to know as many relatives as they could. But in 2004, at one of their family reunions his nephews had the biggest find of all, bringing a distant relative from Ireland who still lived in the original homestead in Ireland to the U.S. to attend. All were delighted to meet, Mr. Galligan’s first cousin, Dan Keleher, our well loved family historian, and his 2 daughters also attended.
Gerald’s career spanned from Gilpin Pharmaceutical, Washington D.C. and Fisher Scientific, Silver Spring MD as a Chemical Buyer, to Sales Manager at Barnstead Stills and Sterilizer, Boston MA, and the former Cramer Electronics, Newton, MA. Upon retirement he assisted part time with his former son’s nuclear medical courier business for hospitals and other enterprises along the East Coast.
Like his father, Gerald enjoyed being active in local politics and community, first as one of the founders of the Canton Lions Club which he started with many of his close friends, Bill Connolly, Dick Boyle, Dr. George Gildea, Dr. William Staples, Brewster Gifford, and many others. He was Chairman of the free Glaucoma clinics set up at Town Hall in which over $66,000 was raised and donated to many of the elite Eye institutes. Other fundraisers selling lightbulbs, tea bags, bubble gum machines, Christmas trees, a phenomenal circus held at Memorial field which his father assisted in implementing. He also served several terms as Library Trustee of the Canton Public Library, and Director and Educator of St. John the Evangelist’s first CCD program. He was active assisting Canton Little League in his younger years, and campaigning for various candidates on a local, state, and national level such as Joe Moakley, several Presidents and several other organizations over the years.
Mr. Galligan remained in good health and had an extremely sharp mind his entire life. He was an avid reader and was always current on local, national and world events. His recall on short and long term memory on any topic were remarkable, but especially a gentleman of his age. Boston College football games, Red Sox, Patriots and Bruins games were a woven portion into the fabric of every Galligan. He was a quiet sort of fellow who truly loved connecting with the ethos of every human being he met. It will be hard to encounter a more warm, honest, stoic, kind, generous, genuinely interested man again. A true gentleman as were his Dad and brothers, his role models. He is the last of our WW2 family generation who served this country he loved so deeply. He will be greatly missed by many, but we are happy and comforted he will be reunited with his loving wife, Margaret, son Donald and all deceased relatives and friends.
Mr. Galligan cherished and was very proud of his 6 children Gerald M. Galligan, Jr., Joseph L. Galligan, Kathleen M. Galligan, Susan E. Kane, and James E. Galligan, and the late Donald G. Galligan, and reveled in accomplishments of his 15 grandchildren who brought him more pride and joy through his later years, 11 great grandchildren, 39 beloved nieces and nephews and many extended relatives and friends. He will be greatly missed. We thank all those Gerry was honored to come to know in his almost 94 years of life. Visiting hours in the Dockray & Thomas Funeral Home 455 Washington St. Canton Wednesday 4-7. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. John the Evangelist Church, Canton Thursday morning at 10:30. Interment VA National Cemetery, Bourne Thursday afternoon at 1:15. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend.
In lieu of flowers we sincerely appreciate your kindness to honor the Town of Canton and its people he loved so passionately Donations may be made in Gerald M. Galligan’s memory to either the Canton Veteran’s Association, the Canton Lions Club, or the Canton Public Library.
View Original Notice → Gerald McKeon Galligan 4/11/2018 12:00:00 AM Canton,MA