July 5, 2023-The Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) is mourning the loss of Robert Galloway on June 11 at the age of 89. He was born in Dumbarton, Scotland on July 3, 1933. On May 25, 1968, Robert married Christine Livingstone in Scotland. The two met at a bar in Queens and they were happily married for 51 years, until Christine predeceased him on July 21, 2019.
Prior to emigrating to the US, Robert served in the British Army as part of the Seaforth Highlanders, 1st Battalion serving Gibraltar. Upon completing his tour in the Army, he returned to Scotland and began his five-year apprenticeship as a painter. When he finished his apprenticeship, he began his career in painting as a ship painter.
In 1962, he made the move to come to the US and as the story goes, he began working immediately as a union painter. Career-wise, he eventually went into business with his partner, David Sullivan, creating Old Firm Contracting. The company got its name from the intense Old Firm derby between Celtic and Rangers in Scottish soccer. Robert was a Celtic fan and David a Rangers’ supporter but they were very close friends and everybody at the company got along.
Robert and Christine were very proud to have been founding members of the Beacon Soccer Club in 1978 along with Patrick Kerr. Keeping the philosophy of the club’s founders 45 years later, all coaches remain volunteers.
If there was soccer being played in Beacon, you were guaranteed to see Robert there including just two weeks before his passing. He enjoyed his years of coaching in Beacon and also at Dutchess Community College in the early 1990’s after they asked for his help in revitalizing their program. His favorite players called him Gramps and he found such joy in watching/coaching his grandsons and his great-grandchildren. Along with his passions, he was very proud of his Scottish roots and was a member of the Dutchess County Scottish Society.
Ironically, Robert passed a day after former Ulster Community College men’s coach George Vizvary died as the community college teams they coached are rivals.
Robert’s daughter, Jacqueline Arroyo, explained, “My father quietly went about doing things but everybody knew who he was. Many of his former players came to the funeral home and said what a dramatic impact he had on their lives. He especially had a knack for boys without Dads without being preachy.”
Both Robert and Christine were also involved in volunteering for the East Hudson Youth Soccer League (EHYSL) and both were inducted into that league’s Hall of Fame, Robert in 2006 and Christine a decade earlier in 1996.
Longtime Beacon Soccer Club President Rheyan Cader gave the eulogy for Robert, stating, “Soon after I started dating my beautiful wife Saundra, she shared that a water leak in an upstairs bathroom sink had seeped through and stained the ceiling in her living room. I offered to try to repair it but she very quickly, too quickly, said no. She said that she had already reached out to her friend, Jacqueline, and that Jacqueline’s Dad was going to stop by the next day at 9:00 am to take care of it. She asked instead if I could be there to let him in as she had to work. My fragile ego was bruised but I obliged.
9:00 am the following day, the doorbell rang, I opened the door totally unaware of the impact that this man would have on my life. I showed him the damaged ceiling which he thoroughly assessed, and then just for good measure assessed again. He made his way outside to his white station wagon, gathered his supplies, which were neatly arranged into crates and returned, setting to work meticulously preparing the work area. Every exposed surface was carefully protected. Mr. G completed his prep work, hoisted his ladder, and set to work. Wow! Precision, as one carefully planned step was followed by the next. I was watching a master at work. And then, just like that, he was done. The final work product was perfect with no visible signs of the previous damage. After a quick yet extremely thorough clean-up, he looked me in the eye, firmly shook my hand and he was gone.
At that moment, I realized two things:
1) Saundra definitely made the right choice in having Mr. G do the work.
2) That this man was not only a painter, Robert Galloway was a true craftsman.
In fact, Mr. Galloway exemplified the true meaning of craftsmanship. He approached every task with meticulous precision, thoughtful consideration and unwavering pride.
He showed up when he said he would, leaving no room for doubt or uncertainty. His commitment to leaving things better than he found them was a testament to his character and work ethic. Robert’s craftsmanship extended beyond the realm of work, permeating every aspect of his life and leaving an indelible mark on all who knew him…
Mr G. Your life was a masterful performance that was played with a high level of intensity and passion, you left it all on the field. You will forever be our Most Valuable Player.”