Joseph G. Gallagher, 54, passed away July 29 from injuries sustained in a car accident. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, he grew up in Binghamton, New York. A 1982 graduate of Seton Catholic Central High School, Joe was proud to be named class president all four years. He went on to graduate from Marquette University in 1986 with a degree in criminal justice.
Joe and his family were lucky to be able to call Nantucket their second home. Spending every summer there, he became a member of the Nantucket Police, first as a summer “special” and then full time in 1987. After moving to Washington, D.C., where he met his future wife, Patty Mitchell, Joe started his long career in advertising, first in radio ad sales and then later, after a move to New York, his reign as digital Ad Guru. He worked at a number of companies including The Tribune Company, Wall Street Journal and, most recently, Digital Remedy. What set Joe apart was his ability to connect with and entertain everyone he encountered. After moving to his wife’s hometown of Fair Haven, where they raised their three children, Joe became an active member of the small community and a well-known personality around town. He gave generously of his time as a lector at Nativity Church, sleeping out on the street to support Covenant House and shaking a can in front of the 7-Eleven for the Knights of Columbus. He participated in the Cub Scouts and Rec sports to spend time with his children as they pursued their interests. Joe accumulated new friends and connections wherever he went. He was a master networker, never forgetting a name or losing a contact. Many Fair Haven young people have him to thank for setting them up with their first jobs. He was a well-known figure at Ship Ahoy Beach Club in Sea Bright and it probably took him over an hour to walk the short distance from there to the Tiki Bar at Surfrider as he stopped to chat or share a joke with anyone he met along the way.
Whether he was mixing you the perfect bloody Mary at the Gallagher annual Christmas party or sharing his spot-on Tom Jones impersonation, Joe was always the life of the party. You could always find him in the crowd by following the sound of laughter or looking for the best dressed guy with the snazziest sports coat. He was a mentor to many and a friend to all. “Larger than Life” is the term many have used to describe him.
He is predeceased by his parents Juliette (Cusick) and Gordon V. Gallagher, D.D.S.
Surviving are his loving wife, Patty and three children Clare, Kevin and Grace; his siblings, Anne J. (Jeffrey) Connors, Wellesley, Massachusetts; Charles R. Gallagher S.J., Newton, Massachusetts; and Vincent G. Gallagher, Wellesley, Massachusetts; his uncle, Joseph F. (Darby) Cusick, M.D., Elm Grove, Wisconsin; as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Aug. 4 at the Church of the Nativity, Fair Haven. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Covenant House New Jersey in memory of Joe Gallagher, 330 Washington St., Newark, NJ 07102 or covenanthousenj.org.
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