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Jay Galloway remembered as a ‘delightful man’

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, at 12 a.m.

Jay Galloway spotted his future wife as she walked out of The First Place.

Hello, he said. Does the shop sell tennis attire?

A few sweaters, store owner Helen Galloway told the handsome petroleum engineer. She led the gentleman inside.

“From that evolved the most wonderful friendship, love and then marriage,” Helen Galloway said, remembering the couple’s Feb. 25, 1976, wedding.

“We’ve had the most delightful life. I shall miss him forever. He’s a dear heart.”

Jay Galloway, Kansas oilman and ardent supporter of local charities, died Thursday following a battle with dementia. He was 84.

Services are scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday at East Heights United Methodist Church, 4407 E. Douglas. A reception follows at Wichita Country Club, 8501 E. 13th St.

Mr. Galloway was born May 23, 1928, in Halstead to George and Mae Galloway. As a teen, he attended East High School then Wichita State University. He soon transferred to the University of Oklahoma to pursue petroleum engineering, earning a degree in 1951.

Three decades later, Mr. Galloway took over his father’s oil business, Galloway Drilling Co.

A dedicated businessman, he continued to spend time in his office following his retirement.

He also visited The First Place often.

“The girls here at the store always called him Saint Jay,” said Sue Dower, a store employee and longtime friend of the Galloways. “He was just a saint. He was a delightful man when he came into the store.”

Mr. Galloway was an avid golfer, a member of Wichita Country Club and Sigma Nu fraternity and a fan of OU football. He supported several local organizations, including East Heights United Methodist Church, the Wichita Crime Commission, Friends of McConnell and the Sooner Club of Wichita. He also championed the Wichita arts community and hosted numerous social gatherings with his wife at the couple’s Wichita home.

Tom Dower said Mr. Galloway’s jovial demeanor often emerged during the parties.

“He was a good guy, a kind guy” with a good sense of humor, Dower said.

“He always said, ‘Since being married to Helen I’ve had more dinner standing up than sitting down.’ ”

Yet Mr. Galloway remained modest.

“Never did he ever want attention,” Helen Galloway said of her husband. “In his quiet, beautiful way he made so much happen for Wichita.”

Mr. Galloway is survived by his wife, Helen; children, Casey Galloway of Scottsdale, Ariz., Lance Galloway of Topeka, Buff Dodson of Wichita, Kara Haverty of Leawood, Michael Galloway of San Diego, Brad Galloway of Partridge, Kerrie Tonn of Hutchinson and their families; a brother, Tom Galloway of Oklahoma City; a sister, Ann Salome of Lawrence; 14 grandchildren and many friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, George and Mae Galloway of Scottsdale, and a sister, Carol Hessling.

Memorials may be made to Wichita Center for the Arts, 9112 E. Central; GraceMed Health Clinic, 1122 N. Topeka; and East Heights United Methodist Church, 4407 E. Douglas.

Arrangements are handled by Downing and Lahey Mortuary East.

Reach Amy Renee Leiker at 316-268-6644 or aleiker@wichitaeagle.com.

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