Lieutenant Commander Joseph Gerard “Jerry” Gallagher, 90, of Newport, RI passed away on April 25, 2023, in the Newport Hospital.
Jerry was born in Scranton, PA to Joseph Patrick Gallagher and Nona C. Quinn on May 18, 1932. He went to high school at Scranton Preparatory School and graduated from University of Scranton in August 1955; where he played football, basketball, and track. He earned a BS degree in Economics and studied pre-engineering for two years. Six months after graduating college he was drafted into the Navy. He applied for and was accepted into the U.S. Naval School of Pre-Flight Training, graduating in August 1956. Upon graduating he underwent primary and basic flight training in Pensacola, FL.
He completed advanced flight training at the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, TX. He was first assigned, for two years, to All Weather Attack Squadron Thirty-Three, followed by three years in Airborne Early Warning Squadron.
He attended Nuclear Weapons School, Airborne Electronics School, and School of Naval Justice. He was a Designated naval aviator in May 1958. In November of 1958, he served his first tour of sea duty as a Naval aviator. In March 1963, Jerry was transferred to the U.S. Naval Officer Candidate School as an instructor in Naval Science from March 1963 to March 1966. He then reported to VAW-12, based at NAS, Norfolk. In September 1966, after transitional training in the E-1B, he took over as Officer-In–Charge of VAW-12’s Detachment 9, which deployed a four-plane “Willy Fudd” detachment aboard the USS Essex. Jerry was Honorably Discharged from the Navy in 1976.
A friend of Jerry’s referred to him as a “Renaissance Man”. He was passionate and knowledgeable on so many levels. He was an avid fisherman, hunter and had great appreciation for nature. He was a sports fan who took particular interest in the Boston Celtics. His cooking skills, storytelling, humor, and infectious laugh made him a host extraordinaire. He enjoyed golfing and was a member of the Newport Country Club.
Jerry’s lifetime passion was for the arts. He attended auctions and collected many treasures throughout his life including grandfather clocks, European and American paintings, Asian porcelain, bronzes, and fine china. He did extensive research and schooled himself on the intricacies of buying original pieces of art.
Jerry is survived by his brother-in-law, Bernard James Cravath his nieces, Nona McAndrew, Mercedes McAndrew Mulligan, Rita McAndrew, and Caren Cravath Marshall. His nephews Jerry McAndrew, Robert McAndrew, Bernard Jeffrey Cravath, Stephen Gerard Cravath, Christopher James Cravath, and Charles Joseph Cravath along with 16 grand nieces and nephews and 8 great-grand nephews and nieces.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his two sisters, Joan Gallagher McAndrew, and Jeanne Gallagher Cravath and his brother-in-law, Joseph McAndrew.
This unique and complex man will be greatly missed by all that were lucky enough to be counted amongst his family and dear friends, who loved him very much.
A committal service will be held Thursday, May 11, 2023, at 11:00 AM in the RI Veterans Memorial Cemetery Chapel, 301 S. County Trail, Exeter, RI.
Memorial donations may be made to Fisher House Foundation, providing homes for military and veterans families while their loved ones are in various military and veterans hospitals, www.fisherhouse.org. or to the Air Warrior Courage Foundation which provides active duty, guard, reserve, retired military personnel and their families with financial assistance, www.airwarriorcourage.org.