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Missing in Action

Review cadets returned in our latest mailings. Do you know their whereabouts or status?

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Celebrating 50 Years for the Classes of 1970, 1971, & 1972 See Reunion Schedule

Most Recent News

Recent Cadet Passings



Sadly, we have recently been informed of the passing of the following Alumni. No other details have been included.

Walter Beauvais: Freshman Class of 1949
Passed 2020

Albert Anson III: Senior Class of 1954
Passed September, 2021

Thomas R. Farrington: Freshman Class of 1957
Passed 12/19/2020

Joe McGlothlin: Senior Class of 1956
Passed Date Unknown

David Lewis Manzo: PG Class of 1956
Passed July 28, 2020

Daniel Wykoff: PG Class of 1967
Passed September, 2020

Nathaniel David Helmick: Senior Class of 1953
Passed 2018



April 20, 2022
Greetings from Eden Prairie, MN.

There is a heading on page 5 of the 1969 “Brier Patch” that reads, “It is a Spirit That Frees Us and Enables Us To Believe in the Future, To Live with Zest—The Free Spirit”. Truly this is a statement describing our alumni. The Free Spirit: free to learn, to accomplish, to compete, to get together, and to make friends. That is who we were then and who we are now.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the closing of Greenbrier Military School. A while back Bob Boles (’70) asked if I would write a little something about why one should come back to Lewisburg for a reunion. My original intent was to compare leaving GMS after 3 years to my retirement in 2014 from Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM).

You know, it is really impossible to compare the two, GMS and MSUM. My 28 years teaching at MSUM pales against the short span of the 3 years spent in Lewisburg. While making strong connections at MSUM over those years, none will hold the bonds made years ago with you guys, the school and community. So why go back to this particular reunion, the 50th Anniversary of the closing of GMS? Here is why I keep going back.

Angelo Damante (’69) once wrote to me: “The years go by so fast, and we tend to forget so much, due to the fact that we are tending to our daily existence…”

In 1977, I made it back to Lewisburg while heading to Snowshoe on a ski trip. After that I attended a reunion probably around 1994 and then another, then maybe another, etc. Since 2004, I have been back at every reunion that I could attend. I have rekindled friendships and I have made new ones. I have connected with faculty members and cadets who actually remembered me, and some that stare thinking, “Mike Who?”.

Why this attachment after all these years, why attend this particular reunion? Let me be clear, this is NOT the last reunion. But 50 years ago GMS closed and I believe we have been doing organized reunions since the mid 80s. 50 years is a milestone year, 5 decades, 50 trips around the sun, ONE HALF OF A CENTURY! We are not getting younger, our ranks are diminishing each time a reunion rolls around and there are no new cadets to take our place.

Where are those guys in those yearbooks we had so much in common with? We are in such a small club anyway that it is a shame we have not stayed in closer contact. Where are you guys? What’s become of you? Share with us your trials and tribulations.

Think about the community bonding we went through. What our daily regiment meant to us: reveille, retreat and taps that ruled our day; eating breakfast, lunch and dinner with 300 of your closest friends; daily bathroom routines that our friends back home would never understand. Think of the close camaraderie amongst all of us no matter what our age, social strata or school rank. One would never have seen that outside the walls of an institution such as ours.

Knowing that each of us had different feelings and emotions regarding GMS back then, one thing is clear to me. When I reflect on my time at GMS, I think mainly of good friends and good times we had together. We received a dang strong education that led many of us to be valuable and creative members of this great country. I think back on GMS football with fall colors and smells that will never be matched anywhere else; cold walks to the basketball games and snows that coated our campus in a winter splendor. The rebirth of the hills each spring is something I miss even today and will always cherish. Yet, we all experienced some really tough times and major homesickness, being away from home, family and friends, maybe away from your girl. But we made it through. And, let us particularly not forget the girls from “GCW”. Friendships that have endured to today and whose presence helped us get through our years at GMS. Remember, they were in a similar boat.

GMS Alums such as Bob Boles (’70), Terry Byrnes (’68), Beaman Cummings (’63), John Byrnes (’65), Bill Deck (’64), Jim Dodway (’69), Jim Downer (’71), Frank Frashier (’69), Dan Pennington (‘69), Tony Sadler (’70), Sam Sardis (’70), Perry Woodside (’64), with faculty Herb Pearis (’56), Ellsworth Buck and Ed Rock have been instrumental to my returning time and again to Lewisburg each Fall. And many of these listed have taken an active role in the GMSAA organization, trying to keep our memory alive in some small but important way.

October will quickly be upon us. So come back to Lewisburg this fall and maybe find out what happened to your roommates and friends, see what GMS has evolved into, chat with some of the faculty members and coaches. Come and share some good food and stories. And OH YES, those stories get longer, bigger and better every year!”

Mike Ruth, GMS Class of ‘69

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GMS 'Brier Patch' Yearbooks NOW AVAILABLE FOR VIEW!


Hello to all GMS Alumni & Friends,

I am happy to announce as of today (May 24th, 2020) that 50 years of GMS yearbooks are now available for FREE VIEW on our website!

I hope many of you find pleasure in viewing these archives of history as I certainly did in the process of optimizing, stabilizing & cropping all 4,289 total pages from a dark microfilm state. Each yearbook has been carefully lightened with level & curve adjustments for easier visibility. As seen in this photo, the PDF reader allows for the PDF to be downloaded if you'd like to keep a copy for yourself. Also, to view the yearbook in full screen, click the "Presentation Mode" button above the reader.

A huge thanks also goes to Mike Ruth '69 and our museum curator, Mary Essig, for making this yearbook project possible!

Ready to check it out? View them under the Cadets dropdown, select "'Brier Patch' Yearbooks!"


Matt Winans
GMSAA Webmaster

Read James "Deak" Roberts Jr.'s New "Passing in Review" Article


Read the Newest and Final Edition of James "Deak" Roberts Jr.'s "Passing in Review" series!

This is a Tribute to Herb Pearis, The Force that brought GMS alumni together and The Glue that held them together for over 30 years. Two years as a Student, 10 years as an Instructor / Counselor, and 30+ years as the GMSAA Secretary, Creator / Editor / Publisher of the Alumni Record, Herb has been an integral element of Greenbrier Military School and its alumni for over 42 years.

Read it all here! gmsaa.org/history/passing_in_review/james_herbert_pearis

Most Recent Cadet Obituaries

Marvin K Conley


Marvin Kent Conley, 72, of Charleston, WV, died peacefully Sunday, August 28, 2022, at HospiceCare CAMC Memorial. Born November 2, 1949, he was the son of Jason and JoAnn Conley of Charleston. Marvin attended Fort Hill Elementary, John Adams Junior High, and George Washington High School, where he won the state journalism contest. He played basketball growing up and was a member of Boy Scout Troop 5 of the Buckskin Council. Marvin was a proud 1967 graduate of Greenbrier Military School in Lewisburg. He received the Best Drilled Cadet award and was editor of the school paper. He attended Marshall University in Huntington and was a faithful Thundering Herd fan. After college, Marvin went to work for Rhodes Brick Company in St. Albans. He moved his young family to Clemmons, NC, in 1978, where he was a member of Clemmons Presbyterian Church and served as elder, sang in the choir, and was the building maintenance supervisor. Marvin was elected to the first Clemmons Village Council, serving as councilmember for several years. He was a High School and College basketball official and was co-founder of Clemmons first recreational basketball team, the Clemmons Cougars. He worked for Cunningham Brick, then owned and operated Tanglewood Paint Center in Clemmons. After closing the Paint Center, Marvin continued to operate side businesses throughout the years. He worked for Lowe’s as a paint specialist and was the sales supervisor for Duron/Sherwin-Williams until his retirement in 2010. Following retirement, Marvin moved back home to Charleston. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Charleston where he sang in the choir and shared his faith through solo performances. He attended and sang in the choir at First Presbyterian Church in Dunbar. Marvin was an avid reader and historian. He loved researching his ancestry and sharing his family legacy with everyone he knew. His stories and history lessons will be missed by all who knew him.

In addition to his parents, Marvin is survived by four children, Maura Copeland and husband Jamie of Statesboro, GA, Michelle Conley of Advance, NC, Jason Conley and wife Jemma of Mooresville, NC, and Megan Conley Carson and husband Cole of Rural Hall, NC; five grandchildren, Carter, Landrey, and Tyler Copeland, Keller and Addilyn Conley; one sister, Anitra Conley Thomas and husband Joe of New Bern, NC; two brothers, Tom Conley and wife Lynnette of Saint Mary’s, OH, and William “Bill” Conley and wife Eileen of Chester, VA; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

In honoring Marvin’s wishes he will be cremated. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, September 3, 2022, at First Presbyterian Church in Charleston with Reverend Dr. William C. Myers and Pastor Kari Preslar officiating. Interment will follow at First Presbyterian Church Columbarium. The family will receive friends from 12:00 p.m. until the service hour Saturday at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 16 Leon Sullivan Way, Charleston, WV 25301.

James "Spider" Headman


Headman, James of Wyandotte passed away on July 21st, 2022 at the age of 81. Beloved husband of Judy Headman. Loving stepfather of Tim Goins. James was a life-long member of Elba-Mar Boat Club in Grosse Ile and was always excited to take the boats in and out of the water for the season. He was a member of the American Legion #217 for 51 years, as well as the VFW Post #1136. He also participated in the Breakfast Club of VFW #1136. James was known as a people person and a man with a great sense of humor. He was loved by many and will be missed by all.

Spider spent 4 years at GMS, graduating from in 1960 and returning as a PG 1960 - 1961.

Edward W. Gallaher


Edward Walter Gallaher, Sr. passed away on Thursday, 23 June 2022, at the age of 90. He was pre-deceased by his wife of 64 years, Jackie Lou (Newell) Gallaher, in March of 2019. Ed is survived by:

His Daughter in law, Dawn Keyes Gallaher. Ed’s son, Edward W. Gallaher, Jr., pre-deceased her.

His Daughter, Kathy Lynn (Gallaher) Loyd, Kathy’s husband Eddie Joe Loyd, granddaughter Kacy Lynn Loyd, her husband Josh Jackson, their children, 2 of Ed’s 7 great grandchildren, Kaylie Marie Jackson and Karma Nykole Jackson;

His Son, Thomas A. (Tag) Gallaher, his wife, Barbara Jeanne (Jeannie) (Oulla) Gallaher, Granddaughter Caroline Marie Gallaher and her children, 2 of Ed’s Great grandchildren, Jude Adrienne Gallaher and Caleb Avery Gallaher and Granddaughter Stephani Nicole (Gallaher) Digweed, her husband Jonathan Alan Digweed, and their children, the other three of Ed’s 7 great grandchildren, Alexander Michael Digweed, Sophia Gabrielle Digweed and Aurianna Raphaelle Digweed;

His Brother in law, Dr. Donald Clifford (Doc) Newell, Jr., his wife Darlene L Newell, and their children (Ed’s nephews) Dr. Ryan Newell (Wife Lisa, children Tucker, Trent, Ella & Owen) and Lee Newell (wife Dawn, son Tommy). And his Niece Mary Beth Gallaher.

Parts of Ed’s story follow -

Ed was born 4/22/1932 in Chillicothe, OH, to Clarence Augustus (1894-1960) & Bessie Novina (nee Walde) Gallaher (1899-1992). He had an older brother, Charles (Uncle Charlie to us kids, but always Charles to Ed) and an older sister, Dorothy June, who passed away from polio as a child. Ed grew up in Chillicothe, OH and Williamsport, OH (which is about 30 minutes up the road (and the Scioto River) from Chillicothe). Ed’s Dad, Clarence, a WWI veteran from the Field Artillery (horse drawn) ran a lumberyard and hardware operation – We’re told Ed had the ‘fanciest bicycle in town’ as they sold them at the hardware store. Ed fell out of a tree at 10 years old and broke both arms… he had to have another kid at school help him in the bathroom! And we’ve heard stories about how, during WWII when there were strict requirements to haul trucks full both directions, Grandpa Gallaher (Clarence) learned how to manage if there simply wasn’t a load for the return, deflating the tires a bit and using a canvas to make the truck look fully loaded! Clarence completed through 7th grade, per the 1940 census https://www.ancestry.com/imag… and Bessie 4th grade. But neither their success nor their bearing would have indicated this as a hindrance - ask those of us who knew Ed’s mom, Bessie (Bessie passed in 1992, at age 93)!

As a teen, Ed was greatly impressed by the events of WWII. At 13, he was the first in Chillicothe to win the Eisenhower award for wastepaper collection – he was a Tenderfoot Scout at Walnut Street Methodist Church in Chillicothe. He collected 1,489 pounds of waste paper in 2 weeks, gathering most of it in a pushcart and getting help from his Dad to truck it to a collection center. Ed’s big brother, Charles, was serving in the Pacific, where he was a corpsman on a hospital ship. When Charles returned, Clarence sent both Ed and Charles for a summer-long trip by car across the United States and up to the Northwest. Great wisdom to help both boys prepare for the next phase of their lives.

Ed attended Greenbrier Military School in Lewisburg, WV for the last few years of his high school education and as well as freshman college courses. Looking back, Ed has been so appreciative of how his Mom and Dad sacrificed financially to give him that opportunity for a better education and even send him later to Georgia Tech. Greenbrier Military School gave Ed great discipline as well as education. Although, to be fair, there are stories of dropping cherry bombs into toilets at GA Tech. Ed recalled working hard to avoid walking the beat at GMS (a punishment of walking the courtyard for infractions) and how the schoolmaster of the time believed that fresh air prevented disease and he required windows in every dorm room to be cracked open even in the dead of winter. Greenbrier College for Women (GWC) was across the street from Old Stone Presbyterian Church, where the cadets would march to worship Sunday nights. There is more to that story later! Ed recalled how they would march in their dress wool uniforms for church every Sunday evening and all file up into the balcony, sometimes frozen, sometimes steaming hot, sometimes soaking wet.

Ed went to GA Tech in 1951 and started classes there (in Atlanta, GA). One day, a good friend of his and former roommate from Greenbrier, Bill Trazzo, called Ed and said, of a young lady from Greenbrier College for Women, “Ed, you’ve got to meet this girl, you just have to meet this girl!” Bill and ‘this girl’ had become good friends while she was attending GWC. Ed came back to Greenbrier in 1953 to attend Bill’s graduation and there on the lawn at a ‘party house’ in Lewisburg, was Jackie Lou Newell. Ed came up to her, in all sincerity said, “I have been dying to meet you”, and began immediately to work on wooing her.

Ed began to write to Jackie and she wrote back, although she teased him often about his “line” when he first met her! They were married on June 14th, 1954 at St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Oak Hill WV, on a blazing hot day. Ed remembers that for both young lovers, it seemed like a very long ceremony, as they kneeled, with sweat dripping off their noses and chins. They thought they’d hidden their car successfully at a friend’s garage but some of Ed’s groomsmen from Ga Tech broke in the garage, removing a few boards. When Ed got in the car with his Bride Jackie and started it, it wouldn’t go anywhere… the boys had jacked it up on blocks about an inch off of the ground. By the time they got to Bluefield, the Roquefort cheese the boys had smeared on the engine block was very fragrant. The first night of their honeymoon was in Kingsport, TN.

Ed and Jackie lived in Decatur GA while Ed finished his Bachelors in Industrial Engineering and Jackie taught 1st grade at Forrest Park Elementary. The tiny apartment was great for newlyweds as one had to squeeze by another when going from one end of the kitchen to the next. Ants enjoyed the top of their wedding cake, which they’d thought they would save! Things apparently went well as Edward W. Gallaher Jr. was born May the 4th, 1955.

Ed Sr. finished his degree and joined the Army. For a bit, Ed and Jackie (and little Ed) lived in a tiny apartment at 2-Notch Road in Columbia, SC, while Ed did Basic and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Jackson. “Oh, those sand hills!” Then he was stationed for his first duty station as a 1 year hardship tour in Iceland. As a hardship, family travel and base housing are not an option. Upon arrival, Ed was picked out by a sergeant there to help him in the training center, which just happened to include a movie theater with the only CinemaScope lens on the entire island of Iceland and did films for entertainment as well as training. Near Christmas day, 1955 – Ed sent tickets and Jackie and little Ed flew on a DC3 to be with him in Iceland. Back then, the flight was non-pressurized with no Oxygen so they flew the entire way no higher than 10,000 feet. Jackie often said, “If he wasn’t there when I got there, I was not going to get off of that plane.” Well, Ed was there! He had earned enough for the tickets by selling popcorn and candy at the base concession/movie theater. The training area also had a shower, which was handy since Ed and Jackie (and little Ed) shared a single room in a house off base and shared a half-bath with 4 other tenants! So the shower at the ‘moomie’ house, as little Ed called it, was a blessing.

After a year in Iceland, Ed & Jackie returned to the Atlanta area (Brookline Drive) where Ed finished his second degree – a BS in Industrial Management – From Georgia Tech. Jackie answered an ad from a window downtown looking for a receptionist/typist – and she nailed the job, working for Otto the Orkin Man https://www.youtube.com/watch… (yes, the real, original Otto). There was a sign also for a garage apartment for rent in a florist’s shop. There they lived, blessed by the kindness of the owners of the shop. When Ed graduated in 1959, he got a job with Mead Paper Company and Jackie and he moved to Chillicothe OH, bought a house in the Chillicothe Manor and had Kathy Lynn Gallaher (Loyd) and Thomas A. (Tag) Gallaher in 1959 and 1960, respectively. While Ed was working for Mead, Jackie was teaching school (head start classes). The family stayed in that area for about 6 years, including their last year or two at a home on Graves Road, including a pond, a stable and an ornery pony named Dusty (a gift from the family doctor). This time included great visits with Ed’s first cousin, James Gallaher (Uncle Jimmy) and his wife, Posie. They had three kids roughly the same age as Ed & Jackie’s, so summer visits spent on their farm were lovely. The kids all have memories of playing in the pond with a (usually submerged) canoe. Uncle Jimmy would sometimes shout “Buddy Check” and each kid had to be paired up hand in hand with their swimming buddy before he’d count to five! Also in the manor, Ed & Jackie’s across-the-street neighbors, Nancy and Bill Bogan, had kids with ages similar to theirs, so a great friendship was born there as well. It should be noted that it was here that Ed & Jackie got their first of several Dalmatian dogs, named Chief. Chief and little Ed were close companions but Chief was also a bit of a rogue, sometimes creating brand new breeds of dogs, including the Dollies down the street (seemed a better name than Collations – a Collie/Dalmatian mix).

In 1967, Ed landed a job with Bergstrom Paper Company and the family moved up to Neenah, Wisconsin, staying there from 1967-1972. Here Ed and Jackie became good friends with Jean and Cecil Hess. Ed and Cecil worked together at Bergstrom and Jackie and Jean worked together with adults with severe mental and developmental challenges. Ed and Jackie remained friends with Jean and Cecil throughout their lives. Ed supported Jackie enthusiastically during this time as she finished her BS in English at the University of WI, Oshkosh (while raising 2 grade school children and one high school child!). Here, also, Ed & Jackie became ardent Green Bay Packers fans (and Jackie was one of their most vocal cheerers through the rest of her life)! Those were the days of Bart Star, Fuzzy Thurston, Ray Nitschke and other heroes of old.

Throughout the early years, Ed and Jackie always did family vacations – carrying their family across the US in various Dodge Station Wagons and even a pop-up camper for one memorable trip. In addition, frequent visits to see family in Oak Hill WV, and many a summer enjoying long warm days on Summersville Lake, WV, which Jackie & the kids dearly loved. Ed wasn’t a big fan of swimming but he would spend summer after summer on the water and would tow his kids skiing behind the boat for hours. When he was tired of towing, he would start going around in circles to make big waves and finally shake his kids off the line, a challenge that they loved!

During those early years, Ed always would save his per diem while he travelled on business, eating on the cheap, so that he’d have enough money when he returned to hire a baby-sitter and take his bride out for a date. And he reminded us about the importance of taking care of one’s love. Ed travelled a great deal with work and remembered when the O’hare Airport was just a few Quonset huts! He was also one of the first ‘million milers’ with Delta and would tell future generations with a gleam in his eye, “Back when I was flying all the time you actually had to fly a million miles to get that award!”

In 1972, Bergstrom tasked Ed with taking over management of a paper plant in West Carrollton (Dayton) OH, and the family moved briefly to West Carrollton and then to Oakwood, on the south end of Dayton, OH. Ed said that Bergstrom’s purchase of the plant was a terrible mistake as the plant’s machines were too large and fast to run on a high percentage of waste paper (recycled paper, which was Bergstrom’s niche). Bergstrom needed pulp, which Kimberly Clark had but Bergstrom didn’t! There were other challenges there including a wild-cat strike during his first year there.

Ed and Jackie became friends with William and Helen LeMay, who they met through the Oakwood United Methodist Church, where both families worshiped. In time, William enticed Ed to join him at Baxter Travenol and Ed learned the business of manufacturing Vinyl & Latex examination gloves (as well as the bodies for Stretch Armstrong!). By 1978, Ed and Jackie had put together a plan to start their own company called Phoenix Glove Company, pooling their life savings, building a business plan and, a few days before Tag headed off to his first year of college, they headed to South Carolina to start their company!

Ed was friends also with Arthur Parsons, a local banker in Andrews, SC, who became a mentor in finance and made many important introductions for Ed. He and his wife, ‘Becca, lived diagonal from Ed and Jackie and were good friends through the years. In Andrews, Ed and Jackie built their dream house and called it Rivendell. They became part of the heart and soul of the community in Andrews and of their local church, Trinity United Methodist. I know they were blessed by too many good friends to mention and I believe they blessed the community as well.

Ed and Jackie lived just under 4 decades in Andrews, from 1978 to 2016. They were very involved with the community and the company Ed started thrived, employing some 600 people at one point! More than a few folks have thanked “Mr. Ed” and “Ms. Jackie” for the opportunities that Phoenix offered and the great work ethic and habits that most employees developed in that environment. Jackie stayed involved with the local library and she and Ed both partnered with “Andrews Good ‘Ol Days”, and were key in convincing Chubby Checker to come to Andrews for many a year for this town-wide fund raiser for the library association.

During this time they lived a grand, joyous life!

They travelled broadly, including Asia, Australia and Europe, settling eventually into an annual trip to France where they would split their time between visiting good friends, the Binners and Cotins, in Ammerschwihr in the Alsace and spending time at Hotel Du Casino, at the west end of Omaha Beach in Normandy. Ed and Jackie tended to create lasting friendships wherever they went and these friendships often echoed throughout the family. In Hamburg Germany, they befriended Lucas & Uli Garabet who remained friends through the years and hosted son Tag and his wife, Jeannie, for a visit and dinner when they were in the country in 2015. Similarly, their relationship with the Binners has translated now into 3 generations, with various family members visiting the US and France and staying in touch frequently. And in Omaha Beach, where Ed and Jackie stayed every year for some 30 years, they became close friends of the proprietors of Hotel Du Casino, Mr. & Mrs. Clemencons, including their now grown Daughter, Julia and her husband. They also brought 3 additional generations of their own family to France and especially to Normandy – visiting battle sites, telling stories, walking the vast beach, attending retreat at the Military Cemetery at Colville Sur Mer and ensuring these generations, too, shall never forget.

Speaking of lasting friendships, Ed & Jackie’s friendship with Cecil & Jean Hess lasted well beyond the Wisconsin days and Bergstrom Paper. When Jean and Cecil moved to the then-rural east side of Atlanta and started a Christmas Tree Farm, Hess Tree Farm, Ed and Jackie were right there to help and started yet another family tradition. Large parts of the Gallaher family would come to the Hess Tree farm for Thanksgiving and help kick off the Christmas Tree selling season there. Amid much garland making, tree shaking, hay riding, tree wrapping and loading, wreath making and decorating, was an abundance of laughing, eating, drinking, storytelling and enjoying each other’s company!

Ed and Jackie also made it a point to spend time with their young granddaughters, even though they didn’t live nearby. Just like his professional investment in people, his financial investment in his company, his heartfelt investment of time and giving at Trinity UMC, his and Jackie’s intentional investment of time with their granddaughters was also a gift and also brought dividends of love. We have many pictures of Ed and Jackie with their granddaughters, playing in the playhouse or joggling on the joggling board.

With even more love to share, they had 2 Rotary International exchange students join their homes over 2 years, but those relationships also lasted even to now – Hugo Miura, from Brazil and Verona Meier from Germany. Hugo was very involved in the music program at Trinity and has been back to the US twice to visit Ed & Jackie (and the rest of us). Verona remembers Ed’s patience as he was teaching her how to drive in the US – and Ed remembered having to teach Verona a few alternative “choice words” for use in a small town in South Carolina! Verona and Hugo are both part of an ongoing, fun conversation with the entire Gallaher family.

Ed’s last decade was focused almost entirely on taking care of Jackie as he walked her home along that long, arduous path of Alzheimer’s disease. This included a move from Andrews back to Dayton, OH, in 2016 to be closer to family. Ed loved his wife more than anything else on this earth and taught us all a great deal about standing by your loved one. In her last days, he said to her “Jackie, I’ve been thinking about it and I just can’t think of anything that we wanted to do together and didn’t do.” And he was there holding her hand and sleeping by her side each night as the end drew near. Ed continued on this earthly plane for 3 years and a 3 months after Jackie died. He said “Well, it’s what Jackie would expect of me”. But his life was just not the same without her. In September 2021, he enjoyed a “Last Trip” to Hotel Du Casino in Normandy where he and Jackie had visited so often, this time with Kathy and Tag.

Ed fell in early June and spent nearly 2 weeks in Hospice in Dayton OH. Those 2 weeks gave time for family to spend time with him and say good-bye. Even in dying, Ed continued to teach us, living his life as an example. He taught us to be bold and unwavering in what matters the most. He taught us to have absolute faith. He had no fear of death – not even at the end – but wholly trusted the promise of eternal life through his faith in Jesus Christ.

For those of us left behind, we will miss him. Yet his life is something to remember and celebrate and we know that he’s where he really wanted to be – In heaven, dancing with Jackie and praising Jesus and the Father, filled with the Holy Spirit.

John Bailey Hedrick


John Bailey Hedrick
March 18, 1945 — June 19, 2022
Beckley, WV
John Bailey Hedrick, 77, of Beckley passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family at Bowers Hospice House on June 19, 2022. John was born in Baltimore, Maryland on March 18, 1945, to the late Dr. John A. Hedrick and Natalie Bailey Hedrick.

John graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School Class of 1963 where he was recognized as one of West Virginia’s All-State baseball pitchers. He then graduated from Greenbrier Military School in 1964 and went on to attend Marshall University.

John began his career with Gates Engineering in Beckley, WV and later joined Fairchild Incorporated. Years later, he partnered with three outstanding men; Jack Phillips, Jim Phillips and Tom Cushman at Phillips Machine Service where he continued his career.

John was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. John A. Hedrick and Natalie Hedrick McKinney, his sister Connie Sue Concepcion and brother-in-law Dr. Roberto Concepcion. Those left to cherish his memory are his wife Susan Buzzard Hedrick, his son John Christopher Hedrick (Leslie) and daughter Natalie Hedrick Fey (Jeff), his adoring grandchildren, Jack Bailey Hedrick, Caroline Elise Fey and Cameron Jeffrey Fey all of Charlotte, NC. His brother, James Robert Hedrick of Arvada, Colorado as well as many special nieces and nephews.

John was a generous, loving husband, father and grandfather. John was a true gentleman who never met a stranger. His kindness and respect for others was exemplified in how he treated people.

Services will be held at the Beckley Presbyterian Church at 11:00 am on June 29, 2022.

Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church.

Parking will be permitted behind the church in the WVU Tech parking lot.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to:

Bowers Hospice House

454 Cranberry Drive

Beckley WV 25801 or charity of your choice.