Thomas Joseph Gallagher
May 9, 1938-May 13, 2023
Proud citizen of Pleasanton since 1970
Devoted and loving family man and loyal friend to many, Thomas "Tom" Gallagher faithfully embraced his passing peacefully and went to be with our Lord and his beloved wife Carolyn of 50 years on May 13th after battling with several medical complications for close to 6 months. He had celebrated his 85th birthday just days prior.
Tom was a lifelong Alameda County Resident, 3rd generation Californian and a very proud Irish Catholic American. Tom was born and raised in Oakland by his parents Joseph and Loretta and grew up in the Diamond district along with his two older sisters Mary and Joanne. He attended St. Jarlath Parish Church and School, and Bishop O'Dowd High School. He then went on to earn a Business Finance Degree at the University of San Francisco, but Tom would like to say "Life really began" when he started dating the love of his life Carolyn Russell. After only a 10-day courtship he proposed, and they were married at St. Jarlath in Oakland in October 1963. Soon children followed. Three sons in a row, Michael, Kevin, and John and in the summer of 1970, they packed up their two Impalas and made the big move to Pleasanton. He said moving to Pleasanton was the best decision that they ever made. Soon after arrival, the daughter they were praying for, the princess, Joanne arrived. "Finally a girl.." he would say..
Raising his family and going to work every day to provide was his top priority. Dinners as a family every night, attending Church on Sunday and supporting his kids in everything they did was his purpose. While raising four kids he was also like a Dad to everyone in the neighborhood and community. Kids would gravitate to Mr. Gallagher for advice or encouragement and many of those kids, now adults, created a lifelong special bond with him.
He also planned several summer trips in the family station wagon. Those trips to Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, British Columbia, Disneyland, and Lake Tahoe were always eventful. The Gallaghers were "National Lampoon Vacation" before the Griswolds.
Upon graduation from USF he took on a position in the Accounting Dept at the Lucky Stores Headquarters in San Leandro and worked at the same company for over 43 years, making many lifelong friends. He retired as Director of Accounting in 1999. After his retirement he became a Professional Grandpa "Papa Tom" to his nine grandchildren, all who lived within a mile radius of the family home. He had a special bond with each of them. He loved Pleasanton and became active in City matters and was an honored recipient of the Mayor's Award in the restoration of his beloved Kottinger Park across from the family home. He was also active at the Catholic Community of Pleasanton and served as an 8th Grade Catechist for many years, Eucharistic Minister to the hospitalized and home bound, Finance Council member and the Knights of Columbus.
You were either Tom's friend or you just hadn't met him yet. He would win you over quickly with his Irish twinkly blue eyes, smile and charm. His favorite holiday was St. Patrick's Day. He so enjoyed celebrating with family and friends. He truly loved his Irish Heritage and was able to visit his Homeland Emerald Isle four times. He would always say, "I might be American, but I'm 100% Irish!" He thought Ireland was like heaven on earth.
Tom's immediate family, who will miss him terribly, are Son Michael (Anne Marie) grandchildren Emily, Elizabeth, Thomas and Patrick. Son Kevin, grandchildren Kaitlin, Madison, and Timothy (mother Luci), Son John (Katherine), Daughter Joanne (Steve), grandchildren Grace, and Alexis (father Bob). Also, his 91-year-old sister, Sister of St. Joseph Joanne Gallagher, Brother-N-Law Jack Russell (Marci) , Niece Cathy Schneider, Nephews: Jim, Dennis and Joe Plant and Chris and Drew Russell.
He was preceded in death by his bride Carolyn (2014) , his Parents Joseph and Loretta, his brother Joseph, sister Mary Plant and his nephew/godson Joe Russell.
Friends and Family are invited to a viewing on Friday June 2nd from 6-7 pm followed by a Vigil of prayer and sharing memories at 7:00 p.m. Funeral Mass on Saturday June 3rd at 1:00pm. Both at St. Augustine Church, 3999 Bernal Avenue Pleasanton, CA. Reception to follow at Ruby and Roses in downtown Pleasanton.
In honor Tom's wife Carolyn, In lieu of flowers, please donate to the ALS Cure Project www.alscure.org or a charity of your choice.