Richard Thornley Gallup of 11 Bellor Rd, North Heath was born on Nov. 17, 1932 to Ellen Thornley & C. Stanton Gallup at Mrs. Sherman’s Sunshine Maternity Home in Oneco, CT. He attended the Peddie School in Heightstown, NJ for grades 7 & 8 and returned to CT to graduate from Killingly HS in 1950. At Killingly, Richard played football and ran track, had the lead in the senior class play, and placed 2nd in the school speaking contest.
He spent a year of post-graduate study at Suffield Academy in Suffield, CT where he was active in football and track, won a speaking prize, and was the class marshal. During the summer of 1951, Richard served as a Baptist missionary on a Native American Reservation in Southwest Nevada. After this, he continued with his studies at Denison University in Ohio where he was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, was active in soccer and lacrosse, Senior Advisor to the Freshmen Class, and studied Pre-Law with a minor in Medieval and American History.
Richard served in the US Army Infantry from 1954-1956, during which time he married, Esther Litke of Brooklyn, CT on March 5, 1955 and they lived in Trenton, NJ where they had a son, Kevin. They moved to Plainfield, CT where Richard joined the family lumber business and was active in the Northeast Lumberman’s Assn. He and Esther had 3 more children, Donald, Jana Lynn and Ian.
Richard was active in the Plainfield Historical Society (founder), the Moosup Baptist Church, the Aldrich Public Library, the Plainfield Rotary Club, and Rotary International where he served as a District Governor from 1974-1975 and was a Paul Harris Fellow.
In 1979, he left the lumber company and moved to Heath, MA when he and Esther built a log home on a hill raising livestock, bees and dairy goats. They raised award-winning racing pigeons and were involved in the Western Mass Pigeon Club. He worked for Morton Buildings before retiring and was an assessor in Heath for over 10 years. He was a member of the Heath Union Church serving as treasurer and chairman of the Deacons.
Richard was predeceased by his parents and his sister (Carolyn Gailey). He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Esther, sister, Joyce (Roland)Tourangeau of Plainfield, CT , brother, Ronald Gallup of Falmouth, MA , and children, Kevin (Suzanne) Gallup of Charlestown, RI, Donald (Jane) Gallup of Seattle, WA, Jana (Michael) Purington of Colrain, MA and Ian Gallup of West Dover, VT. He is also survived by 8 grandchildren, Kyle, Caroline, Ellen, Corey, Lou, Jacqueline, Ophelia, Nova and his beloved Rhodesian Ridgeback, Cecil.
Services will be held at a later date. Burial will be at the convenience of the family in the North Heath cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in Richard’s name should be sent to the Heath Union Church, 5 E. Main St, Heath, MA 01346.
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