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Gone too soon, sports editor Ronnie Gallagher

Information can spread faster than lightning these days, but it took a while for what I was reading on the computer screen to sink in. Our former Davie sports editor, Ronnie Gallagher, had died that morning in Salisbury.
Hadn’t I just seen him a month earlier in apparently good health?
He had suffered a minor heart attack days before the annual high school football edition was to publish in mid-August. Surely, I reasoned, the stress had gotten to him. The football edition was always his pet. Two weeks later, he was rushed to the Salisbury hospital desperately and fatally ill. He died Aug. 30 at age 57.
Gallagher worked for the Davie County Enterprise-Record for 10 years, leaving in 1995 for the Post. He worked for us during a period when Davie High’s football team couldn’t seem to win eight games a season. It drove him crazy.
Only after he left did the War Eagles establish themselves as a perennial power, a regular play-off team.
Few people are as sports crazy as he was.
Few fathers are as proud of their brood.
Ronnie wrote about sports far better than he actually played. Looking to the next generation, he infused his sons with athletic genes. He married Catawba College field hockey star Joan Canavaciol, figuring — correctly — that his sons would be athletes. His older son, Jack, is a freshman member of the Methodist College football team. The younger son, Mackie, is a student at West Rowan High, the top football program in Rowan County.
Several weeks ago a photo landed on my desk of Jack and Mackie reading the Enterprise-Record during a summer vacation trip to Italy.
Their father left us too early. He had a rare enthusiasm for sports. Our annual football edition will always evoke memories of Ronnie Gallagher.

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