It is with great sadness that the family of Gregory “Greg” Joseph Gallagher announce his passing which occurred on Tuesday, February 14, 2023, at the Kiwanis Nursing Home, Sussex, NB. Born in Moose Mountain, Carleton County, NB, on June 28, 1938, he was the son of the late Charles and Geneva (Dooley) Gallagher.
Greg is survived by his children: Carl Gallagher (Noreen) of Bull Moose Hill, NB, Debbie Losier (David) of Grand Bay-Westfield, NB and Lisa Gallagher of Nauwigewauk, NB; grandson Jared Gallagher (Jessica); great grandchildren: Elizabeth and Alex; sisters: Monica Dugan of Bath, NB and Marilyn Denny (Ken) of Bath, NB; as well as several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Greg was predeceased by his loving wife Donna Gallagher (Taylor); brothers: Walter, Edmund, Donnie and twin Gerald Gallagher; and sisters: Helen Denny, Mary Gallagher and Winnie Riley. Sadly, dad was also predeceased by 5 young siblings: William (age 3 years), William James (age 4 months), Mary Teresa (age 4 days), Nicholas Francis (age 3 months), and Infant Gallagher (1 day old).
Dad was a hardworking man of many talents. He left his home in Bath at age 14 and worked at numerous jobs in New Brunswick and Ontario over the years. He was a truck driver (gravel and pulpwood), he worked in the woods cutting wood (sometimes mom worked by his side), and also picked potatoes in Carleton County with Mom during the yearly harvests. As a family we also would rake blueberries together in August of many years for the Bridges Brothers which was very hard work but we also had lots of fun together and would have blue teeth by the end of each day! Dad became a barber after attending trade school in St. Andrews and would eventually open his own barber shop in Belleisle Creek which became a very popular destination for his friends and neighbours. I think Dad’s most frequent client in the shop was Lawrence Vail who was very particular about his regular haircuts. It was a very difficult decision when he had to close the shop due to his declining health.
Dad drove school bus from 1970 to 1976 for the Belleisle area – he loved this job so much because of his love of children. He was only a little guy, but he could be very strict about behaviour on his bus and eventually I think there was mutual respect for his rules. He used to joke that after his first 3 stops his bus was almost full because of the large families, including the Vail and Muir families. Later in his journey he would pick up all of the Smith family which resulted in things starting to get a bit cramped on the bus!! Many funny stories could be told here but I think one of dad’s favourites was the day one of the high school teachers, Mr. Stevens, ran into the back of his bus at the Armstrong bus stop in Springfield. Fortunately, no one was hurt and away we went!!
Dad later became a licensed mechanic and worked for the Department of Natural Resources until his retirement in 1998. He also opened his own garage at home called G J Gallagher and son which kept him very busy over the next few years.
Dad also was well known for his love of music. He played guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle (well, anything with strings)! He was self taught, coming from a very musical family, and especially enjoyed playing and singing with his brother Donnie when he would visit us. Dad enjoyed playing with local bands, often playing for Benefit Shows to help those in need of support. He and mom also enjoyed many jam sessions with friends, neighbours, and family in his basement. A special friend who would come was his neighbour Marion Kellow who was a very talented songwriter and loved spending time with mom and dad. Of course, mom would always provide lots of delicious food for her visitors. Dad also enjoyed playing music and singing with Marion’s brother Randy Vail who was a neighbour and is a well-known artist in New Brunswick. Sadly, after mom passed away in 2009, dad rarely picked up his guitar anymore. I asked him why one day and he said it made him too sad because mom used to strum along with him on another guitar and he couldn’t enjoy it without her.
Most people know that dad was a twin brother to Gerald. Dad told me many stories of how they would confuse their poor school teacher who had many conversations with their mother about their bad behaviour. Dad and Gerald were very close and one of our favourite stories happened the night mom went into labour with Lisa. Dad and Gerald were asleep in another room in the same bed and mom went in to get dad but couldn’t tell him apart from Gerald. So, mom grabbed her flashlight and had to shine it in their faces to wake dad up! Mom loved telling this story! As life went on people would often approach Gerald when he was out and about in Sussex and ask if he would take a look under the hood of their car as they thought he was dad. Dad would also be approached by some of Gerald’s friends whom he did not know and he would say “you must think I’m Gerald…I’m his twin brother”!
Due to his declining health after mom’s death, dad spent the past 6 years in the Kiwanis nursing home. He quickly became very popular with the staff and the other residents, especially the lovely ladies!! He would travel from table to table in the dining room speaking to everyone and often assisting anyone who needed help to put on their eating bibs. He always kept an extra supply of these bibs in the basket of his walker!! Whenever anyone there would ask dad how he was feeling he would say “I FEEL LIKE A BRAND NEW CORVETTE” which was a line from one his favorite George Jones songs!! A highlight of dad’s stay there was when he was reunited with his old neighbor and friend from Belleisle Creek, Lawrence Vail. The boys would spend countless hours talking, laughing, and watching TV in dad’s room. We are so grateful to all of the loving staff at Kiwanis who truly treated dad as part of their big loving family and took such good care of him. A special thank you to the staff that were with us through the difficult night when dad passed away. We would also like to say a special thank you to Kevin Barrie and Tom Tapley who provided so much love and support to Dad and our family over many years.
Dad taught us so many things in life – how to have a strong work ethic, to be kind and generous to all people, and how to enjoy the simple things in life such as family, good friends, music, and Donna’s cooking. He also had a strong faith in his creator Jehovah and looked forward to a future resurrection to a paradise earth where he would see his beautiful Donna again. (John 5:28, 29; Revelation 21:3,4 ). We will be forever grateful for these life lessons.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Sherwood’s Funeral Home and Life Tribute Centre (839-2156) 18 Scovil Road, Norton, NB, and will be announced by the family. Interment will take place in the spring at Union Cemetery, Belleisle Creek, NB. Donations in memory of Greg may be made to the Kiwanis Nursing Home or to the charity of the donor’s choice. Condolences to the family and donations may be made through SherwoodsFuneralHome.com