Dr. Joseph Eugene Gallagher- scholar, world traveller, iconoclast.
Dr. Joseph Eugene Gallagher was a man of remarkable intellect, fierce will, sharp wit and unwavering love for family.
He was born in Reading, Massachusetts and spent his life defying expectations. At age 6 he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, at 15 graduated from high school and at 19 completed his undergrad at Saint Michael’s College in Vermont.
He earned a PhD in English Literature from the University of Notre Dame at 25 and embarked on a long university teaching career. In 1966, Joe and his then-wife Cathy immigrated to Canada.
After a short stint at Laurentian University, they were drawn to the forests and oceans of British Columbia and the newly-opened Simon Fraser University, where Joe would teach for nearly three decades. He was known as an entertaining and unconventional professor, and shared his love of Chaucer and Shakespeare with countless students.
Prior to early retirement, Joe spent two years teaching in Harbin, China. This sparked a passion for travel that took him to every continent, his trusty glucometer and insulin tucked into the pockets of his well-worn cargo pants as he climbed mountains and explored cities and forests.
Joe was also a gifted orator and actor who appeared on stage and screen, including his own Old English productions of Beowulf and Chaucer.
Despite living with dementia in his last year, Joe could still flawlessly recite sonnets and discuss the finer points of opera.
He loved good food, good conversation and a good argument. He loathed baseball.
Joe will be deeply missed by his children Margaret and Patrick Gallagher, granddaughter Maxine Kassis, brother Jim Gallagher, first cousin Pat Michielutti, former wife Catherine Gallagher (née Kwee), son-in-law Omar Kassis, sister-in-law Kathryn Gaianguest, as well as extended family and friends around the world. He is predeceased by his mother Ethel Gallagher (née Collins), father Frank Gallagher, brother William Gallagher and son Christopher Gallagher.
The family is grateful for the care Joe received from St. Paul’s Hospital, Mount Saint Joseph Geriatrics and the German Canadian Care Home in Vancouver.
A celebration of life will be held at VanDusen Botanical Garden on November 3, 2019 at 12:30 p.m. with a reception to follow. Guests are invited to enjoy the garden before and after the event in honour of Joe.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to JDRF, the Joslin Diabetes Center or a charity of your choice.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Dr Joseph Eugene Gallagher Mar 26 1938 Oct 17 2019..
Death notice for the town of: Vancouver, Province: Colombie britanique