Published October 14, 2022
ROSWELL—Deacon Alexander Stephen “Al” Gallagher, of Roswell, died on Oct. 4. He was 83 years old.
He was born Sept. 18, 1939 in Staten Island, New York, the son of Violet and Alexander Gallagher.
Deacon Gallagher was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy Gallagher, and his mother and father. He is survived by his two brothers, Jack Gallagher of Davenport, Iowa, and Tom Gallagher of Mahwah, New Jersey; son, Ed (Colleen) Gallagher of Cumming; daughter, Linda (Michael) DeCamp of Ellijay; son, Mike (Lynn) Gallagher of Arlington, Massachusetts; son, Ron (Margaret) Gallagher of Norcross; daughter, Debbie Gallagher of Roswell; nieces, Pam and Sue (Burt); 18 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
Deacon Gallagher (known as Sandy to family and friends) was raised on Staten Island. While in high school, he met his future wife Dorothy Swanton, who after discerning becoming a nun for a year in France finally decided that wasn’t her true calling. She returned home to find him waiting on the dock with a ring. They were married in June 1961.
For his career, he started in insurance claims, then eventually transitioned to banking software training and support. His career advancement took him and family to Saginaw, Michigan; Carol Stream, Illinois; Cape Elizabeth Maine, back to Illinois and eventually to Roswell.
In Roswell, he watched his children grow into adulthood and start families of their own. He also found a great group of friends and faith community at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Alpharetta. Through involvement with the church and community there, his journey in faith took a significant turn, and he heard and accepted a calling to the permanent diaconate, becoming ordained as a deacon in 1987.
Deacon Gallagher first served at St Thomas Aquinas, then at Holy Family Church in Marietta, all while assisting in the formation of other future deacons as well as volunteering with the Metropolitan Tribunal. He retired as a deacon in 2021.
Visitation was held on Friday, Oct. 14 from 4-7 p.m. at Roswell Funeral Home, 950 Mansell Rd, Roswell. A funeral Mass was celebrated on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 10 a.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas, Alpharetta, followed by a reception in the parish hall. Interment was at Green Lawn Cemetery.
Contributions may be made in his honor to DOT Ministries at dotministries.org.