Amherst Magazine

Stephen K. Gallagher '82

Deceased February 25, 2014

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In Memory

Stephen Karel Gallagher died unexpectedly on February 25, 2014. A brain hemorrhage took him from this life.

Stephen was raised in the projects in New York City but always dreamed of farming, as he spent many summers as a child with his paternal grandparents, who were Connecticut farmers. He started college at Amherst and received a bachelor's degree in economics and American history at Columbia University. Stephen founded a beautiful community garden in the early 1980s in New York City at 138th St. and 12th Ave., and he took great pride in knowing that it survives to this day. He worked for the NYC Parks Department for a while, then moved to Connecticut, where he managed the city of New Haven's recycling program. He also spent some time farming in Voluntown, Connecticut.

Stephen moved to British Columbia, Canada, in the late 1990s and founded Nathan Creek Organic Farm, named for a creek adjoining his property. He ran the farm as a community supported agriculture (CSA) farm. At one point, Stephen's farm had the highest CSA membership of any farm in lower British Columbia. He continued farming until he died. Stephen loved to grow fanciful plants that were "different"—pyramid-shaped cauliflower, Asian mizuna greens. He loved introducing people to new foods.

Stephen was a dreamer, and his sweet spirit was infectious. At Amherst, he was beloved. If you wanted to have fun, to be where the action was, you sought out Stephen. Stephen also had a very deep, solemn, soulful, and spiritual side. He took very seriously, throughout his life, what he believed was his responsibility to this world in his words, thoughts, and actions.

Stephen never married and had no children. He is survived by his brother, Michael, of Hopkinton, Massachusetts, and his mother, Kris Wynne-Jones, of New York City.

Sharon Miller '80

 

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