Neil I. and Simone (Emond) Gallagher were blessed with the birth of their first child whom they named Neil Richard Gallagher, “Dickie,” on July 26, 1941. Neil was five years old when his brother Lawrence, “Larry,” was born followed three years later by his baby sister Venisa. These three children completed the family that Neil I. and Simone created. As Neil grew up, Neil I. taught him his trade of house painting and wallpapering. Simone, known as “Sue,” taught Neil to be kind, caring and giving. Sue led by example in her education of character for her young son.
Neil often spoke of the good old days playing baseball with the neighborhood boys. “Alkie” was always one of his best baseball buddies who gained his nickname because he could run as fast as the bubbles in Alka-seltzer. Glen was another best baseball buddy who came to holiday gatherings at the Gallagher house. These friends from the neighborhood remained a presence in Neil’s life throughout the years, even travelling an hour to see him when he resided at the Pines of Catskill Nursing Home.
Neil had a talent for baseball and was scouted by the major leagues as a teenager. Neil I. was opposed to his son playing ball for a living. Neil did sign with a team from Texas but was involved in a major car crash that ended his baseball career.
Also, as a teenager, Neil entered St. Lawrence Monastery with the intention of becoming a priest. His faith was always strong, being reinforced by the years spent attending Catholic school. Neil remained in the monastery, taking each new set of vows needed to become a priest. Just prior to taking his fifth, and final set of vows, Neil received his assignment in Rhodesia, Africa. At the time, priests were being murdered in Rhodesia for their efforts to spread the Word of God. In Neil’s words, I was taking the vow of obedience, not stupidity.” He decided to leave the priesthood to avoid being sent to his certain death.
After Neil left the priesthood, he joined the Veterans Administration working at Castle Point making prosthetic legs for the veterans. Eventually, Neil became a VA police officer. He worked for the VA for a total of seventeen years before becoming injured on the job, ending his law enforcement career.
In the 1970’s Neil started working part-time as a car salesman eventually buying a partnership in Gilbeault Hudson Motorcars. Issues with money caused the demise of the dealership, but Neil continued on in car sales. After he retired from the Veterans Administration, he became a fulltime car salesman working throughout Dutchess County and in CT: McLean Ford, Sunshine Ford, M & S Chevrolet, Colonial Subaru, Heritage Auto Mall. Neil finished his car sales career at Morehead Honda of Kingston in Kingston, NY.
Neil dabbled in a little of everything throughout his life. He worked in his family-owned bar in Beacon, NY, Gallagher’s-a.k.a Gag’s. He loved dancing and music, especially music from the 50’s. Neil was a great dog lover. He raised, bred, and showed miniature schnauzers, becoming one of the top breeders in the country. Neil also had five parrots who he inadvertently taught to speak. The parrots would showcase their talents at dinner parties, embarrassing Neil with their repertoire of epithets.
Neil was also known by friends and family to be a very well-dressed man. He garnered the nickname “GQ” by his fellow salesman. Most of the time Neil would wear a suit, even when the work dress code was “casual professional.” While working at Heritage Auto Mall, Neil and the other salesman had a contest to see who was the best dressed. Neil won!
The characteristic that Neil is most remembered for is his selflessness. He would regularly sacrifice himself to give to someone else in need. His selflessness was his greatest life lesson to his daughter Kaitlyn and the characteristic she wants everyone to remember.
In 1997 Neil was introduced to his wife Susan by a friend. Two years later they welcomed their daughter Kaitlyn and married on July 4th, 1999. Neil and Susan enjoyed almost 22 years of marriage before Neil was called to be with the Lord. Neil enjoyed spending his Sundays with Katie and Sue visiting family, shopping, or just going for a drive, as long as the three were together.
There is so much to this dynamic man that a few paragraphs cannot be begin to capture. He was funny, loving, warm and caring. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Neil leaves behind his wife Susan Patterson-Gallagher, their daughter Kaitlyn, brother Lawrence and his wife Nancy, sister Venisa and her husband Ralph Pettorossi, nephews Shawn, Peter, Lawrence, niece Rebecca and her husband Chris Miosi, Pepper Franchina-Gallagher, grand-nephews Colin, Jack, Peter, grand-nieces Abigail, Alyssa, Ada, and Madison, great grand-nieces Grace, Kennedy, and Tomi Jo. Neil also leaves behind many dear friends who have been a help and support through the years.
His Family & Friends will gather for a Memorial Mass of Christian Burial on Monday, July 26, 2021 10:00 at St. Joachim Church, 51 Leonard St., Beacon, NY. Interment will be private at the discretion of his family. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Pl., Memphis, TN 38105. Arrangements were entrusted to the care of the LIBBY FUNERAL HOME, 55 Teller Avenue, Beacon, NY 12508; To offer a message of condolence or share a fond memory, please visit: www.LibbyFuneralHome.com