Danny Brisland Gallacher | PostIndependent.com

Danny Brisland Gallacher

Danny Brisland Gallacher, long-time resident of Glenwood Springs, died Sunday, June 8, 2003, at Valley View Hospital. He was 80.

He was born in Greenock, Scotland, on Dec. 31, 1922, to Mary Brisland and John Gallacher.

In 1923, the Gallacher family immigrated to the United States, settling in Brooklyn, New York, where John worked as a ship fitter. Mr. Gallacher was the second of eight children.

At 16, he took a job in the shipyards of Brooklyn alongside his father, working as a ship fitter until he joined the Navy with the outbreak of World War II. He served as a pharmacist mate aboard a minesweeper in the Pacific theatre. Word has it that Danny was seasick from the moment he set foot on his assigned craft until the day he was discharged.

In 1945, the Navy sent Mr. Gallacher to Glenwood Springs to serve in the Navy’s convalescent hospital at the Hotel Colorado, where he met “a tall, gorgeous, singing cowgirl.”

He married that cowgirl, Mary Eileen Frost, on March 31, 1946, at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Glenwood Springs.

Mr. Gallacher was then reassigned to St. Albans, N.Y., where the couple’s first son, Walter John, was born. They returned to Glenwood Springs in 1948.

In 1950, they bought a house on three acres at No. 2 Linden Road, where they raised their four sons. Sitting at the base of Iron Mountain, the Gallacher family’s backyard offered an unending source of youthful adventure and exploration for the Gallacher boys. The family swimming pool became a gathering place for friends and family during the hot summer days.

In the mid-1950s Mr. Gallacher opened the first Sinclair Service Station in Glenwood at the site of what is now Gilco Mart. He operated the station until the early 1960s, when he and Mary bought a piece of land on South Grand Avenue and opened the “Highland Creme Dinette” (currently the 19th Street Diner). It became a popular coffee shop and lunch counter along the route to Aspen. The business also served as a proving ground and training center for the couple’s four boys. Over the years they expanded the dinette into a full service restaurant and bar.

Mr. Gallacher always had other work to make ends meet. He moved an occasional house, contracted to truck the U.S. mail twice a day from Glenwood to Aspen and, in his later years, worked at Turtle Liquors.

Mr. Gallacher worked hard all his life and was an honest man. He always reached out to those less fortunate, setting a fine example for his sons.

He was one of the founders of Glenwood’s first alcohol and drug detoxification center and worked there as a counselor. He loved the mountains of the West and often said that when he arrived in Glenwood Springs, he had found his heaven. He was brash, outspoken and loved by many.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Frost Gallacher, in 2001.

Mr. Gallacher is survived by sons and daughters-in-law Walter Gallacher and Sarah Hess, and Patrick Gallacher, all of Glenwood Springs, Daniel Gallacher of Missoula, Mont., and Michael Gallacher and Betsy Cohen of the Missoula Valley; by brothers John Gallacher and Peter Gallacher; by sisters Ann, Peggy, Betty, Maureen and Eileen, all of the East Coast; by grandchildren Mya and Dylan Gallacher and Gabriel Gallacher of Glenwood Springs, LaKasha and Bonnie Gallacher of Florida, and Rhiannon and Evan Gallacher of Missoula; and by the Bershenyi and Kistling clans, an essential part of Danny’s immediate family, living throughout the western U.S.

A celebration of Danny Gallacher’s life will be held at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 18, at Veltus Park in Glenwood Springs.

In lieu of flowers, the family hopes you’ll “pass along a hatful of peas” (help someone less fortunate than yourselves).

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