Sept. 20, 1928 – May 17, 2016
Willard John Gallagher, a World War II veteran and retired employee of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, died May 17 at Northgate Health Care Facility in North Tonawanda. He was 87.
The Buffalo native joined the Marine Corps in 1945 and trained with the division that was preparing to invade mainland Japan. But after Japan surrendered following the dropping of the atomic bombs, the Marines group was diverted to mainland north China to protect and ensure the withdrawal of Japanese occupation troops from the region.
Mr. Gallagher was honorably discharged in 1947 and for several years, he lived in San Diego. When he returned to Buffalo, he joined the Army Corps of Engineers in 1959 and was assigned to the final stages of the St. Lawrence Seaway dredging project in Massena.
Mr. Gallagher then worked in many river and harbor projects for the Army Corps and finished his career assigned to the Black Rock lock.
He retired in 1988.
A memorial service with Marine Corps military honors will be held at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Kolano Funeral Home, 396 Amherst St.