Capt. Joseph Gallagher (U.S. Navy, ret.), 90, of Southern Pines, died peacefully Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012, at his home, surrounded by his family, following a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
A funeral Mass was held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, in Southern Pines, with Msgr. Jeffrey Ingham and Capt. Gallagher’s nephew, Father James Gallagher, officiating.
The family received friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, at Boles Funeral Home, in Pinehurst.
Burial with full military honors and a service at the Fort Myers Chapel will take place at Arlington Cemetery at a later date.
Capt. Gallagher was born June 4, 1921, in Blackstone, Mass., to the late Eugene Gallagher and Christina Riley Gallagher. Upon graduation from high school, he was selected for service as a Naval aviator. He served his country as a pilot of fighter-attach aircraft, flying off aircraft carriers in three wars: World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
He earned a host of personal and service awards during his distinguished 35-year Naval career, including seven awards of the Vietnam Service Medal for multiple deployments as a pilot and commanding officer of Attack Squadron 196, and of the U.S. Naval Air Station in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam. He attended Brown University between World War II and Korea and graduated from the University of Mississippi.
A devoted church and community member, Capt. Gallagher is survived by his wife of 66 years, Ruth O’Keefe Gallagher; five daughters, Mary-Ellen Sheppard and husband, William, of Fairhaven, Mass., Ruth Iverson and husband, Kristen, of Burke, Va., Colleen Sheppard and husband, Robert, of Arlington, Va., Maureen Dyer and husband, Michael, of McLean, Va., and Eileen Brigid Pope and husband, Wesley, of Charlotte; one son, Timothy Gallagher and wife, Virginia, of Southern Pines; one brother, James Gallagher, of Warwick, R.I.; two sisters, Tina O’Neill, of Warwick, Peggy Sheriden, of Cape Cod, Mass.; and 17 grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three sisters, Anna Falvey, Gina McMahon and Mary Gallagher; four brothers, Charles Gallagher, John Gallagher, Tom Gallagher and Edward Gallagher; and his granddaughter Brigid Sheppard.
Online condolences may be made at www.boles
Boles Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., Pinehurst, is assisting the family.