Reader Recalls Gallaugher
(Editor’s note: The following letter was originally published in the Jennings Daily News on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013 with a typographical error that changed the meaning of a portion of the letter. The Jennings Daily News apologizes for the error.)
“How are the mighty fallen!” That was my first thought upon learning, belatedly, of Frank Gallaugher’s death. The expression was uttered long ago by David as a paean to King Saul, slain in battle. But, no doubt, it expresses the sentiment of so many whose lives were enriched by our dear friend Frank.
Your 16 July tribute summarized well what he meant to us: “Mr. Gallaugher was a mentor and role model to not only his family but the entire Jeff Davis Community.” Indeed he was.
Directors of the newly chartered Jeff Davis Bank and Trust were prescient in recruiting Frank in 1947 as their organizing CEO shortly after he returned from service in World War Two. There he remained for 35 dedicated years. The business community soon recognized his ability to help guide Jennings from the immediate post war period throughout the golden 1950s, so pregnant with possibilities, well into the early 1980s. Much of what was achieved sprang from his trestle board as master architect of the era.
Frank was an invaluable ally to my esteemed father Franklin Hildebrand, then editor and publisher of the Jennings Daily News. His wise counsel was especially pivotal when, in 1956, dad was weighing the unsolicited offer for the paper. “I simply advised what I felt would be best for the family,” he remembered later. No doubt many over the years were to benefit from similar advice.
Now that Frank is gone his absence is reminiscent of when a great oak disappears from the horizon, leaving a lonesome place against the sky – and in our hearst.
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