First Responders 04

James J. “Jim” Gallagher

September 8, 1942 ~ April 26, 2023 (age 80) 80 Years Old

James J. “Jim” Gallagher Obituary

James J. Gallagher, 80, of Dagsboro, Delaware (formerly of Red Bank, New Jersey) passed away on April 26, 2023.  

He was born James Joseph Gallagher on September 8, 1942, in the Bronx, New York, the youngest of the 3 children of Daniel Gallagher and Katherine (Kennedy) Gallagher. 

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Kaaren and their daughter, Kathryn Rose; his sister, Patricia Judge and brother, Kevin Gallagher.

He leaves behind his son, Denis (Kimberly) Gallagher of Point Pleasant, NJ; daughter, Denys (David) Hare of Wake Forest, NC; and cherished grandchildren, Kaylee, Liam, and Daniel Gallagher and Molly Hare. Jim is also survived by his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Peter & Maureen McGough as well as his entire McGough family and will be fondly remembered by his many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

Jim grew up in the South Bronx, NY with his brother, Kevin and sister, Patsy, but spent summers and spare time in the Highlands, NJ with his best friend, Peter and became an honorary member of the McGough family.  Jimmy and Pete enjoyed fishing, boating, and hanging around with local friends. They especially enjoyed spending a great deal of time with the lovely Maloney sisters, Kaaren and Maureen, whom they each eventually married, officially making them brothers (in-law) and launching a lifetime bond of friendship, love and laughter. 

Jim served his country and was a veteran of the United States Army. He was a life member of the American Legion and a member of the VFW.   After his military service, he joined the New York City Fire Department, at Ladder Trucks 27, 33 and retired a Captain at Ladder 44.  During his 25-year career, Jim received several medals and awards for his selfless dedication to saving lives and protecting his fellow firefighters. 

Jim was a 20-year member of the FDNY Emerald Society Pipes and Drum Band. He was an excellent piper and shared his talent and knowledge with others, teaching his son, Denis, members of the Delaware State Police Pipe band, and others as their teacher and mentor. Many fun memories were made with Jim marching in parades, piping on the dock at the marina, in  pubs on St. Patrick’s Day, and especially when he played at both of his children’s weddings. 

Another hobby greatly enjoyed by Jim (and Kaaren) was their love of antique cars.  They spent many days looking at cars, sharing the excitement of finding something new (well, old) and entering car shows and taking rides around town.  Their most recent car was a 1931 Model A Ford, affectionately named Rosie, but other favorites were their 1939 Ford Pickup (Woody), and their original Model T Ford. 

Jim enjoyed fishing, boating, traveling, and spending time with Kaaren. He became more active with his love of sporting clays, regularly shooting with his buddy, Al Finlaison and “the guys”.

Jim’s smile and subtle sense of humor will be missed by all.  He was a man of few words, but he made us all laugh out loud with his quick wit and frequent, usually unexpected, “zingers”.  He was committed to God and his family, and married to Kaaren for over 52 years. He was a devoted husband, dad, and grandpa whose legacy of love, faith, and stoic perseverance remains always present in our hearts. 

His presence in our lives will be sorely missed.

A funeral mass was celebrated on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 at 11AM 
Our Lady of Guadalupe Roman Catholic Church
35318 Church Rd.  
Frankford, DE 19945

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to:
The Michael J. Fox 
Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. 

Please mail donations to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, P.O. Box 5014 Hagerstown, MD 21741.

Please indicate on the check memo line that the gift is in memory of James Joseph Gallagher.

A service of Clancy Strickland Wheeler Funeral Home, 1051 Durham Road, Wake Forest, NC 27587. (919-556-7400).

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know James J. “Jim” Gallagher?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor James J. “Jim”'s memory.


Mass of Christian Burial
May 30, 2023

11:00 AM
Our Lady of Guadalupe Roman Catholic Church
35318 Church Rd.
Frankford, DE 19945


© 2023 Clancy Strickland Wheeler Funeral Home and Cremation Service. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility