James V. Gallagher Jr., 90, of Barnegat and formerly of Middletown, Belford, Keansburg and Holmdel, passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 26 in the presence of his children and several close friends. Jim was born in Jersey City – “underneath the Pulaski Skyway.” When Jim was very young, the family moved to a new home in Harrison. With the start of the Great Depression, and his father’s loss of employment, the family took up residence in a relative’s summer bungalow in Keansburg. As tough as those times were, the Gallagher family grew to love the Bayshore area and its residents. Jim lived his next 81 years in North Middletown, Belford, and Holmdel, before moving to Barnegat three years ago.
He was a graduate of St. Ann’s School in Keansburg, Red Bank Catholic High School and Seton Hall University. He was a commissioned officer in the US Army having attained the rank of captain. He served in the Army Infantry during World War II in the US and European theaters of operation and for 15 years thereafter as a member of the Army Reserve.
During Jim’s 40-year tenure as a member of Operating Engineers Local 825, his talents were utilized as a crane and heavy equipment operator on major powerhouse and roadway construction projects throughout the State. He was never one to sit idle when there was work to be done.
When not working, Jim and Rita love visiting family and spending time with their children, grand- and great-grandchildren. Jim was an avid gardener and outdoorsmen. He enjoyed hunting and fishing in New Jersey and the mountains of Pennsylvania, Maine and California.
When not in the garden or woods, you could find Jim listening to his vast music collection, perusing his stamps, or researching the family genealogy. He loved the “perfect shot,” a tug on the line, re-discovering a favorite song, finding that missing stamp, or making contact with long lost family members. His love, wit and humor will be greatly missed by his extended family and his many friends.
Jim was a loving and devoted son, husband and father. Jim was predeceased by Mary Rita (McDermott) Gallagher, his loving wife of 59 years; his parents, James V. and Anna (Bybel) Gallagher; and three sisters, Claire Barna, Rose Marie Crelin and Madeline Reilly. Jim is survived by his children, Colleen and Ed Gadowski of Southport, North Carolina, Wayne and Janis Gallagher of Flemington, Eileen Francesconi of Barnegat, Sharon Slovenz of Eatontown and Kevin and Lesa Gallagher of Toms River. Jim was the loving “Pop-pop” to Heather Bookman, Brandon Gadowski, Kimberly and William Gallagher, Peter “PJ” Francesconi and Jesse, Marysa, Frank Christian (Chris) and Zachary Slovenz; and great-grandfather to Shannon and Katelyn Bookman, Billy Gadowski, and (soon to be) Carly Metcalfe. A special thank you to our “angels” Lesa Gallagher, Holly Griffin, and Jeanene Hodson who helped make Jim’s final days so comfortable and peaceful.
John F. Pfleger Funeral Home, Middletown, was in charge of arrangements. For more information or to send condolences, please visit www.pflegerfh.com.
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