Kevin James Gallagher

12-Oct-1959 - 10-Jul-2022

Obituary Overview

In Loving Memory

Kevin James Gallagher died peacefully, but far too soon, at the Montfort Hospital, surrounded by the people he loved. He was 62 years of age. He lived a full life, and as a childhood friend from Prescott shared, “everyone whose lives he touched were better for having known him.”

Kevin was the beloved and loving son of Mary Lou (Merritt) and the late Dennis. He was a devoted brother to Mary Ellen and Kent (deceased); fun uncle and great uncle to Missy, Mark, Brody, Luke, Paisley, and Esme; much-loved son-in-law to Yvonne and David McWilliam and brother-in-law to Rosalind, Cicely and Jay McCafferty. His family was the core of his being; he deeply loved his wife, son and daughter – Moyra, Conor (Samantha) and Kate. He was a grudging pet dad to Mikei the cat but obsessed recent dog dad to Blu!

Kevin grew up in Prescott and lived his entire life in the Ottawa area. He attended South Grenville District HS and Carleton University and graduated from Algonquin College, where he studied and later taught public relations. For Kevin, the friendships made were the most meaningful and lasting part of schooling. Not only did Kevin meet his life partner at Carleton, but he and Moyra made life-long friends, many of whom were present at the end. One can only describe it as “Big Chill-ian”.

During his career, Kevin founded two companies. As a recent graduate and new entrepreneur, he was particularly proud when Com-Plus Strategic Communications beat out four more established PR firms to land the contract to promote the (then) new 911 service. After many years as the Vice President of Terra Choice, Kevin went on to start Greenleaf Environmental Communications, an environmental certification program for the marina sector. He would often say: “I have the best job. I get to wear shorts to work and walk around marinas all day”.

While his studies had nothing to do with the environment, his career and community work did. He was a dedicated board member of Friends of the Earth for 20 years. He prided himself on being a “translator” between the Birkenstock activists and the suit-and-tie bureaucrats.

Kevin's second greatest love was hockey, whether it was playing, watching, or coaching. He grew up playing in the Eastern Ontario Junior B league, first with the Ramparts and then the Saints. As a player, he is described as a “good playmaker, who played tough and never shied away from the corners”. He was strong on the puck and an awesome team player who looked after his teammates. With great ease he went from player to coach and he was a natural, starting with girls’ softball when he was still a teenager.

He began coaching hockey when Conor started to play. The Orleans Minor Hockey Association always held a huge part in his life, having coached hundreds of kids over the years. Some might describe his coaching style as almost Zen; certainly, he was calm and deliberate. Kevin saw his job as preparing kids for life, rather than just professional hockey – more beer league than NHL. As his health became more limiting in recent years, it was important to him to share his experiences and mentor new coaches. He also supported the league as a Vice President on the board.

Kevin listened more than he spoke, and when he did speak, he did so with intention. He was strong for those who needed him most and generous with his time and attention. He was calm, fair and honest - character traits that made him a great person. Kevin was a master of puns and bad dad jokes, and his immediate and extended followers on Facebook have already noted his posts will be missed. In-person, his sense of humour could be as dry as sandpaper; you couldn’t always tell if he was being serious or joking.

Kevin had a full life. A too damn short life. His friends and family are heartbroken by his loss.

A Celebration of Life will take place August 6 at The Prescott, 379 Preston St. Ottawa from 3:00 p.m. to close.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Friends of the Earth or KCA Right to Play Hockey in Kevin’s memory would be greatly appreciated. To donate, please click the Donations tab above to access the links.

Condolences from family and friends

Posted by Al Uhryniw | 09-Aug-2022

I met Kevin while covering the 1988 Grey Cup. We also worked together on the Easter Seals Superthon. I taught his son Conor at Algonquin College. To his family my deepest sympathies. He was a great guy, despite being a Sabres fan.

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Posted by Lea Gagne | 03-Aug-2022

Moyra and family, I am so sorry for this loss - much much too soon. Kevin was a force for good, and I remember so many great conversations in the cafeteria as we planned to take on the world with our PR superpowers. Sending much love.

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