John W. Galligan Sr.

John William Galligan, Sr. entered into eternal rest on Thanksgiving Day at the Galligan family homestead in Forestburgh, New York, where he had spent so much of his life surrounded by family. He was 84 years old and departed with peaceful contentment, dignity and grace.


Born on October 20, 1936, John was the second eldest son of Vincent C. and Florence Bushweller Galligan. He was raised in a proud tradition of public service, from which he developed a deep sense of community responsibility. He enlisted in the Army, earning commendations for his meritorious service, and later represented Sullivan County on its Board of Supervisors, on planning boards in Liberty and Forestburgh, and on the Forestburgh Town Board over the course of five decades. John was a member of the Board of Directors of the Jeff Bank for 44 years, having just retired in February 2020. He was grateful to be part of the Jeff Bank team, doing good work for his community. He found immense satisfaction in contributing to its legacy. John was a champion of the importance of true community banking and employee appreciation. 


Quietly and humbly intelligent, John studied land surveying under I. Samuel Levine, earning licensure on March 20, 1973, the same day as his great friend, George Fulton. He operated John Galligan Land Surveying in Monticello, developing deep expertise in complex real estate and regulatory issues. John’s meticulous attention to detail and commitment to research and accuracy are well-known among his clients and colleagues, many of whom served as his apprentices while earning their licenses. John was a professional, committed to producing maps and legal descriptions of the highest quality.  His work was widely known to be well worth the wait. He was proud of those he mentored, particularly the talented Alvin “Buzzy” Chase, a trusted, loyal confidante and friend to whom John’s family is very grateful.


On March 6, 1976, John married Geraldine Marie Miller, the love of his life He was so excited to marry Gerry that, unbeknownst to her, he invited nearly everyone he knew to the ceremony, overflowing the small home of his mother-in-law, Marion Miller, who had planned for an intimate gathering. Together, John and Gerry raised five children, for whom John exemplified the gold standards of generosity, humanity and integrity: Edward Michael (late Peggy), of Garland, NC, Tracey Ann Rock (William Rock), of Huntsville, AL, Kelly Marie (Joseph DiCapua), of Sea Cliff, NY, John William, Jr. (Mallery), of Glen Spey, NY, and Meagan Katherine, of Forestburgh, NY. John worked long hours, yet never missed the elaborate family dinners Gerry prepared nightly, during which he discussed with Gerry and each of his children topics ranging from world affairs and local politics to schoolwork and sports. He continued loving Gerry with every fiber of his being following her passing from brain cancer on December 8, 2017. 


John’s signature style was marked by his long, “wild” hair and booming, contagious laugh. He was principled, living by his Catholic values and his deep faith in the fundamental goodness of all of God’s creations. John found spiritual wealth in acts of generosity, large and small, and had an unparalleled capacity for forgiveness, mercy and love. He treasured many friendships, including his bonds with the late Judge Lawrence H. Cooke and all of those he regularly lunched with at Blanche’s and Tilly’s diners. 


In addition to his children, John is survived by the great joys of his life, his eight grandchildren, John III, Emmet, Lyla, Thomas, Jarod, Alexandria, Dylan and Alexa (Shawn Houghtaling), and his great-grandson, Mason. John marveled at their wonderfully unique personalities and accomplishments. He is further survived by his brothers, Vincent Galligan, Jr. (late Kathleen), and James P. Galligan (Ellen), and his sister-in-law Patricia Galligan, all of Forestburgh, as well as many loving nieces, nephews, family and friends. He was predeceased by his parents, Vince and Florence, his brother, Michael E. Galligan, as well as his sister, Kathleen, and her husband Gerard Greco. 


Visitation will be held on Wednesday, December 2 from 4 to 7 pm at the VanInwegen-Kenny Funeral Home, 401 Broadway in Monticello.  Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing guidelines must be met - a limited number of people at one time will be allowed in the funeral home, and facemasks are required. His funeral mass will be private, and burial will be held in the Spring at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Constableville.  


Remember John with acts of kindness. Memorial contributions may be dedicated to him at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (


Arrangements are under the direction of the VanInwegen-Kenny, Inc. Funeral Home of Monticello. For additional information or to send an online condolence, please visit


Mass for John Galligan we been also be held virtually at this link.