The William E. "Bill" Gallagher Memorial Scholarship Fund provides an annual award to a graduating senior from Parkersburg South High School who plans to attend Glenville State College in Glenville, West Virginia, or Alderson Broaddus College in Phillipi, West Virginia. The fund honors long-time Wood County educator Bill Gallagher.
Bill was born in 1948 in New Martinsville, West Virginia, and was raised in Paden City. Bill was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, serving in Vietnam from 1969-70, where he received the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device, the Vietnam Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Combat Action Ribbons.
Bill attended Glenville State College, where he was a founding member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He received a Masters Degree in American History from West Virginia University.
Bill began his career in the Baltic Independent School District in South Dakota. He was a Wood County educator for 28 years, teaching at Lincoln Elementary and Blennerhassett Elementary Schools before serving the majority of his profession at Blennerhassett Junior High School (BJHS). Bill was a BJHS assistant football coach for 19 years. He was the organizer and chairman of the THANK-A-VET program at BJHS, a member of the BJHS Local School Improvement Council, and an avid supporter of all BJHS activities. He also was an enthusiastic supporter of the Parkersburg South High School marching band, the speech and debate team, and the track and cross country teams.
Bill was affectionately known as the "Santa Claus" and "mayor" of Woodcliff Acres. He was a parent supporter of the Mid-Ohio Valley Swim Association and Tina's Dance Studio One. He also was an avid supporter of the Alderson Broaddus Music Department and Campus Crusade for Christ. His hobbies included gardening, bird watching, carpentry, and European travel.
Bill died unexpectedly in April 2002 and was survived by his wife of 30 years Geneva and their two daughters. After his death, Dan Curry, who was serving as superintendent of Wood County Schools at the time, noted in the newspaper, "With his passing, Wood County loses one of the best, most caring professionals we'll ever know." Thousands of people attended his funeral services, which were held at the Erickson All Sports Facility.
This scholarship carries on Bill's legacy of caring and commitment to education in Wood County.