Jim Gallagher passed away peacefully at home on March 23, 2021 due to complications from a stroke. He was born on June 9, 1937 in Milwaukee, WI to Bernice Casper and George Kugel. He was adopted as an infant by James and Mary Gallagher and grew up in Green Bay with his siblings Judee and Michael. Jim graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1962 and was stationed in Dover, DE, Newfoundland, Canada, and Nashville, TN. In 1964, while shopping for a car in Washington, D.C. he met and married the love of his life, Judy Pier, of Shaker Heights, Ohio. They have been happily married for 56 years.
After leaving the Air Force in 1969, Jim joined Western Airlines and moved his family to Los Angeles, CA. There he joined the Lotus West car club and spent many weekends with Judy winning slalom races in his Lotus Super 7. Jim had an Illustrious barbershop singing experience. He sang in over 10 quartets singing with the Beehive Statesmen, BQPA, and Tri-W. He regularly attended the annual Harmony College convention to share his love of singing. Through these hobbies he made many lifelong friendships across the country. In 1982, Jim and Judy moved their family from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City. At age 60, Jim retired from Delta Airlines and spent the next ten years skiing at Solitude with the FOGS “as many days in the ski season as his age.” He loved the outdoor life in Utah, biking, hiking, and star gazing. Jim and Judy spent their marriage traveling to all the US states and over 50 countries. In their later adventures, they befriended a travel group and made many memories together. Jim was “Mr. Fix-It”, known throughout the community as the go to man for any problem. He will be missed for his selfless support of his friends, neighbors, and children for all their house and car repairs.
Later in life, Jim was fortunate to be reunited with his birth mother, Bernice, and 3 siblings. Many happy trips and reunions resulted from this connection and filled Jim and his family’s hearts with more love than thought possible.
Jim is survived by his loving wife, Judy, of 56 years, his five children, Peter, David (Miriam), Debra, Daniel, and Katie Thomas (Chris), ten grandchildren, Robert, James, Ethan, Hailey, Lauren, Lindsay, Henry, Caroline, Sidney, and Ella. Jim is also survived by his siblings Jim Kugel (Kris), Joan Collins (Bob), Frank Kugel (Debbie), brother-in-law Philip Pier (Alice) and many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Jim’s life will be on Thursday, April 15, 2021 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Starks Funeral Parlor, 3651 South 900 East, Salt Lake City.