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Eugene Gallagher

Eugene "Gene" J. Gallagher, 94, of Clarks Summit, died Monday at the home of his daughter and caregiver, Beth. His loving wife of 64 years was the former Lois Jean Kerrigan, who died June 29, 2014.

Born Sept. 28, 1926, in Scranton, he was the son of the late Cornelius and Anne (Medallis) Gallagher. Gene was a Clarks Summit resident since 1956 and a 1944 graduate of Scranton Central High School.

He honorably served in the United States Army Air Corps during WWII. Gene kept pilots safe as a crew chief at Kimpo Air Base in South Korea, working on the P-51 Mustang and P-38 Lightning warplanes.

After serving his country, he received his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Scranton.

Gene began his lifelong career in the grocery business as a salesman for Nestle Foods. He later joined his father and mother in their business establishment in the Bull's Head section of Scranton. Gene operated Con Gallagher's Biggest Little Store in Town for many years until he had an opportunity to relocate to Dickson City Corners. He and Lois Jean operated the Dickson City A/G Market until he retired in 1988, at the age of 57.

Gene was a member of the American Legion for more than 70 years and an organizing member of Koch-Conley Post #121, Scranton. He authored a story "Lest We Forget: The Effect of World War II on a Small American Neighborhood," which reflected how 57 young men from only two blocks of Philo Street were eligible to serve in World War II.

Gene was very civic minded and always willing to help others. He was a faithful member of Our Lady of the Snows Parish, Clarks Summit. He was a visionary small business man who belonged to various professional grocery organizations, including the Pennsylvania Grocers Association, of which he was president, and he served as president of Affiliated Foods Distributors Inc., a collective of independent grocers.

As a hobby, Gene was an avid birder and was president of the Lackawanna Audubon Society for many years. Additionally, he served as a Red Cross blood drive volunteer many times. He organized and served as chair of the Clarks Summit Borough Recycling Committee, and was an active leader in the borough's 75th anniversary celebration. He received many honors, including the Michael King Armed Forces Veteran Award from the Quiet Man Society on St. Patrick's Day, 2009. Although he was an actor in high school, he became an honorary athlete as a faithful fan of the Abington Heights Comets football and basketball teams. He was a proud holder of autographed balls and hats from the football team and the State Champion boys' basketball team. In short, Gene was an active, lively man who had many friends in his hometown and adopted hometown. His family constantly ran into people who knew him, respected him and thought fondly of him, not only in his home area, but in nearly every place they traveled.

Gene is survived by his daughter and caregiver, Beth Gallagher, Scranton, with whom he resided; a son, Dr. Richard Gallagher and his wife, Dr. Amy Jaroslow, of Tenafly, N.J.; A grandson, Dr. Benjamin David Gallagher and his wife, Oliva Martinez; Hamden, Conn.; a granddaughter, Dr. Emily Kate Gallagher and husband, Dr. Sean McAnnaney, Wayne, Pa.

Also surviving are a great-granddaughter, Nora Gallagher; brothers, John "Jack" Scranton; Neil and his wife, Jeannette, Brunswick, Maine; and several nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his son, David Gallagher; and his sisters, Rosemary Carpenter and Anne Marie Fowser.

A private funeral service will be celebrated at Our Lady of the Snows Church, Clarks Summit, by Monsignor Joseph G. Quinn, Pastor. Interment and military honors will be private at the convenience of the family in Abington Hills Cemetery. Viewing is private. A memorial service and celebration for family and friends will be held at a later date that will be announced.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of the Sacred Heart, 600 Baltimore Drive, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702, hospicesacredheart.org/donate; or GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer, P.O. Box 418372, Boston, MA 02241-8372, go2foundation.org.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Eugene Gallagher, please visit our flower store.


My condolences to Beth and family. Gene was a true gentleman and someone I will always remember for his kindness and warm personality.

Jean Arcarese (Anthracite Museum) Dec 25 2020 12:00 AM

Beth and family,  you have my condolences. Gene was a true gentleman. He was a friendly, kind man and always made one feel they mattered. Whether i saw him when he came to deliver the corsages and boutonnieres for the Shamrock Heart Foundation on St. Patrick's Day or at the Farmer's Market, he always had that smile and a friendly word. The world needs more men like Gene Gallagher. May his memory live on forever in you.

Barb McGee Dec 24 2020 12:00 AM

Gene was a wonderful person. When I was a child I used to go to The Biggest Little Store in Bull’s Head with a list from my mom. He was always so kind and generous to me and he taught me a lot about cuts of meats and groceries that I still use to this day. I often talk about him and Con. Nicest people you ever want to meet. So happy they were in my life.

Lou Ann Olson Dec 24 2020 12:00 AM

Richard and family, very sorry for your loss. As a teenager, I had no idea that your dad had so many accomplishments, I remember him as “just” a very nice man. When I moved back to the Summit, I saw the tribute to your mom at the library. Two great people.Ann O’Donnell Farias

Ann ODonnell Farias Dec 24 2020 12:00 AM

Rest In Peace Comrade Gene. It was an honor to become a friend of yours through the Koch-Conley American Legion Post 121. Thank you for showing me how a gentleman acts at the Legion’s Ceremonies and parties. Trish and I were lucky to know you.Matthew R. FedorPost 121 Adjutant

Matthew Fedor Dec 24 2020 12:00 AM

Oh how we will all miss you Mr. G!! The neighborhood will never be the same. My son and I are blessed to have known you and your lovely wife. I'm so glad we spent time together celebrating the 4th this summer just as we have done for many years. I will always remember our times together outside looking at all nature has to offer, our kitchen table chats and the way you could grind a London Broil like nobody's business!! Rest in peace now Mr. G. and rest knowing you will always be much loved. Godspeed and God Bless. Love Deb & Zach

Deb B. Dec 23 2020 12:00 AM

Gene was an incredible person, a true mentor to us all! Our family recalls so fondly the special friendship Gene had with my father, John Sr. for over 40 years. I also treasured Gene's friendship that grew through Gene's creating what we called, "The Lunch Bunch". This weekly outing gave all of us independent and retired grocers a chance to catch up on the business and with each other.  We will always remember Gene's eulogy for my father - his words captured not only what we loved about Dad but Gene's kindness and friendship with Dad as well.  Gene will be missed but all of the great stories and memories we had with him will live on.

John and Betty Ann Brunetti and Family Dec 23 2020 12:00 AM

When we think of Gene, we think of him as the definition of the word “friend”. One of our most treasured memories is of a cold sunny New Year’s Eve afternoon, just a few days before our dad passed away. Gene appeared at mom and dad’s door with a large box. He opened it dramatically to reveal everything that was needed for a New Year’s celebration. Gene served us all and we toasted the new year with fancy plastic cocktail glasses. As always, there was storytelling and much laughter. After a little while, sensing dad might get tired, Gene packed his party gear, hugged us all, and drove away.Upon hearing of Gene’s passing, one of our daughters said, “He’s probably having lunch with Grandpa”. He was a loved and admired gentleman and will be remembered as we share family stories.

Vita (Brunetti) Morini and Tom & Ann Marie (Brunetti) McAndrew Dec 23 2020 12:00 AM

I remember Mr Gallagher from the store In Dickson City. He was the sweetest man with always a smile and a kind word. He definitely was a presence in our little town. God bless you all as you mourn the loss of such a wonderful man. How lucky you were to have had such a great Dad and Grandfather.

Toni Vessey Dec 23 2020 12:00 AM

Dear Beth, Your father was a high school classmate of my mother (Horty Lynott Mundy).  They reconnected when several of their classmates formed a reunion committee which led to many group get togethers and additional reunions.  My mom always spoke fondly of him and their group's days at Central.  He was a true gentleman and very kind to her when she was in hospice over 15 years ago. I had asked him to speak at her funeral and he even went so far as to tape his tribute so that i would always have it.  And for that i will never forget his kindness to me!Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.❤️Sincerely,Judi Mundy

Judi Mundy Dec 23 2020 12:00 AM

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