Charles M. “Chuck” Gallagher, 77, passed away in the early hours of September 25, 2019, in his Flying Hills residence.
Born in Allentown, Chuck was a son of Stella (Silvius) and the late Charles H. Gallagher. On August 3, 1968, he married the love of his life, Ellen (Brownmiller), with whom Chuck shared 51 years of marriage.
Chuck attended Bishop Egan and Delhaas High Schools in Bristol Township, PA, and served his nation honorably in the U.S. Air Force. After leaving the service, he received a Bachelor of Science degree from Kutztown University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Excelsior College, Albany, NY.
In 1968, Chuck walked into the newsroom of the Reading Eagle as a police reporter, beginning a 40-year career with the Eagle, retiring in 2008 as Editor. Chuck pushed for innovation and initiatives to attract younger audiences to the Eagle, including the establishment of the Weekend and Voices Sections. Described as a “quintessential newsman,” Chuck laid the foundation for journalistic excellence and leaves a legacy of award-winning journalism. In October 2005, he received an Emmy Award from the Mid-Atlantic National Academy of Arts and Sciences for participation in Channel 69 programming.
Chuck believed not only in journalistic excellence, but also in creating opportunities for youth. His contributions to education were recognized by the Berks Education Association and the Reading/Berks Human Relations Council. He established the “Best of Berks” scholarship program for high school seniors. He created opportunities in youth sports as one of the founders of the Exeter Youth Soccer program and the Topton Babe Ruth League. Chuck coached baseball in Topton and Exeter Townships.
A dedicated thespian, Chuck’s love of theater began as a young man. He performed in more than 40 productions with Allentown Little Theatre Co., Whitehall Players, Kutztown University, Lafayette College, Reading Community Players, Green Hills Theater, Reading Civic Opera Society, and Albright College. Chuck was a co-founder of Shoestring Productions, an amateur theatrical production company, and was an accomplished director, directing plays for the Reading Community Players, Genesius Theatre, and Shoestring Productions.
After retirement, Chuck continued his community involvement. He served as president of the former Giggleworks, a proposed children’s museum; on the board of directors of the Reading Symphony Orchestra and several of its committees; editor of the former Stepping Stone, a children’s environmental quarterly publication; served on the committee for community service for St. Joseph’s Medical Center; and on the editorial review board for Kutztown University’s alumni publication. Chuck hosted Berks Perspectives on BCTV, and for many years he gave previews of upcoming stories on 69 News. Most recently, Chuck served as the narrator for the Reading Philharmonic Orchestra.
In addition to his wife and mother, Chuck is survived by his children: Julia A., wife of Dale Stern, of Shillington; Andrew C., husband of Margaret, of Fredericksburg, VA; and Thomas J. Gallagher of Budapest, Hungary; four grandchildren: Michael Arndt, Haley Arndt, Baylor Gallagher, and Ellen Gallagher; his brothers, James R., husband of Kelly, of Lancaster; and Joseph P., husband of Linda, of Catasauqua. Chuck is also survived by his many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 5, 2019, at 11:00 A.M. in the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Berks County, 416 Franklin St, Reading, PA 19602. Friends and family are welcome to call in the church from 10:00 A.M. until the time of service. Parking is available in the Cherry Street Parking Garage.
In lieu of flowers, Ellen asks that any who feel moved to offer contributions in her husband’s memory do so to the Reading Symphony Orchestra, 100 N. 5th St., Reading, PA 19601.
Condolences in Chuck’s memory may be expressed at www.kuhnfuneralhomes.com. The Edward J. Kuhn Funeral Home, Inc., is assisting with arrangements.