Traverse City Record-Eagle

September 29, 2013

Walter Gallagher Died Sept. 27, 2013

Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Walter Maxfield Gallagher Sr., 91, passed away comfortably at the Grand Traverse Pavilions on Friday morning, Sept. 27, 2013. He was born Aug. 19, 1922, in Maple Grove, Ohio. He was the son of Clark and Margaret (Quigg) Gallagher.

He attended High School in Monroe and went on to become part of the first graduating class (1943) at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y.

As a Lieutenant JG he served in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters until the end of the war.

He married Barbara Mae (VanDermeer) in 1945. A family, Walter Jr., Barbara Lynn and Gwen, followed as did a lifetime career in sales.

At different times Pasadena, Calif., Mountain View, Calif., and Dearborn were all called home to the family. He and Barbara retired to Naples, Fla. In 1995 he moved to Traverse City to be closer to his children.

Dad was a good man. He was a good husband, father and friend. He was a good salesman who provided a good life for his family. He was a good bridge player. He was not a particularly good golfer, but he always had a good time playing. He was a good storyteller. They weren’t always good stories, but there was always a good amount of them. Best of all he had a good sense of humor. That gift provided the rest of us with a good reason be around him, and he was good enough to share that gift with all of his children. As he went from good, to not so good, to not very good at all, he never lost touch with that gift.

Walter was a good man who had a good long life. Good for him and very good for all of us that were able to share it with him.

Preceding him in death were his parents; sisters, Virginia (Rushlow/Roth) and Betty (Roberts); and his wife, Barbara.

Walter is survived by his brother, Clark (Mary) Gallagher, of Monroe; children, Walter (Helen) Gallagher Jr., of Traverse City, Barbara (Tomm) Cooper, of Traverse City, and Gwen (Tom) Bischoff, of Leland; grandchildren, Ryan Bischoff, Bailey (William) Duperon and Sarah Cooper; and great-grandchild, Zoey Duperon.

A gathering of the family and friends will be held Wednesday, Oct. 2, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home, Traverse City.

In lieu of flowers, please consider the Grand Traverse Pavilions Foundation.

Please share your memories of Walter with his family by way of his online guestbook at

The family is being served by Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.