Richard (aka “Richie,” “Foot,” or “Papa”) Gallagher of Walpole and Nantucket, MA, age 81, passed away on Thursday, November 19, 2020 after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Ann Gallagher of Walpole, MA; his brother Jack Gallagher and his partner Bette Huyser of Nantucket, MA; his daughters Beth Dobrutsky and her husband Wayne, of Franklin, MA, and Jill Schroeder and her husband George, of Arlington, VA; his nephew Jon Gallagher and his wife Ellie of Heber, Utah; his niece Kristen Gallagher and her partner Jake Marsh of Lexington, North Carolina; and his grandchildren Nick Avola of Franklin, MA, and Julie and Claire Schroeder of Arlington, VA.
Richie was born in Dedham, MA on June 15, 1939 and graduated from Dedham High School in 1958. He learned the welding trade, working at A&A Welding in Dedham and at Bethlehem Steel in Quincy for a number of years before entering the military in 1962. He served as a Navy Seabee (CB construction battalion) in Spain, Greece, Italy, and Ethiopia, building communication towers and buildings until being honorably discharged in 1964.
Upon leaving the service, Richie did x-ray welding on nuclear power plants around the US. In 1972, he moved to Stavanger, Norway for six months, building oil rigs in the North Sea. When he returned, he started his own steel fabrication business while also working at American Steel and Aluminum in Norwood, MA. He ended his career at American Steel after 36 years as Superintendent of the Norwood and Cumberland plants.
Richie loved and was devoted to his family and friends. He was a doting son to his mother, the late Elgene Gallagher, of Dedham, MA. He met his wife Ann at the restaurant lounge at Cornetta’s Iron Horse in Norwood. He enjoyed the life he built with his wife, children, and grandchildren in Nantucket where he (with the help of friends) built a summer home and enjoyed many happy memories and close friendships over the years. He originally went to the island with friends on sportfishing outings, a passion he maintained throughout his life.
In later years, Richie and Ann would spend winters in Indian Shores, Florida, where he enjoyed golfing and passing time by the pool with his buddies. Besides fishing and golfing, Richie enjoyed hunting, flying small passenger airplanes, Corvettes (he had 5 in his lifetime), watching the Pats, working on his yard, and fixing things around the house. A licensed pyrotechnic, he also loved shooting fireworks for shows and on the beach in Nantucket. His Italian pasta sauce, affectionately called “Papa’s sauce,” was a family favorite and will be passed down for generations.
Due to Covid-19, only a small private family funeral Mass will be held Friday Nov. 27th, in St. Jude Church, Norfolk at 11:30AM. All are welcome to watch the funeral Mass by going to St. Jude Church
Interment at the Massachusetts National Cemetery, Bourne will be held at a later date.
The family is planning a Celebration of Life Ceremony for Summer 2021.
The Charles F. Oteri and Son Franklin Funeral Home 33 Cottage St. is honored to assist the Gallagher Family.