Thomas Gallaway

November 29, 1926December 29, 2020

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the peaceful passing of Thomas (Tom) Joseph Gallaway, 94, of Sydney at Harbourstone Enhanced Care on December 29 surrounded by his loving family. An amazing husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, uncle and friend, Tom lived a full life and was the last remaining member of his immediate family. Born November 29, 1926, in Sydney, he was the son of the late Bernard and Anastasia (Dawson) Gallaway and was a lifelong member of St. Theresa’s Parish. Tom attended St. F.X. University graduating in 1947 summa cum laude (highest distinction) with a Bachelor of Arts and later earned both his Bachelor and Masters in Education. He embarked on a teaching career that would span almost four decades and would leave an indelible mark on countless students and teachers. In this regard he was a visionary, challenging the status quo and championing underserved students and programs. He was a passionate educator who shone in the classroom. His success as a teacher led to roles as principal of Constantine Elementary and Park Junior High. In his successive role as Assistant Superintendent, Sydney School System, he was considered by his peers as a progressive thinker, who gave freedom to teachers to fulfill their dreams. Tom loved the Island he grew up on and its people. He came from a family that was immersed in the philosophy of the cooperative movement from its earliest years. As such, he was a lifelong member of the Sydney Credit Union and the Sydney Co-Op. Tom also contributed to hockey in Sydney and was honored for his outstanding 30 year contribution to the Sydney Recreational School Hockey League. Many people like to fish but Tom – he loved it. Loch Lomond, Rocky Boston, and Brierly Brook were a few of his favourite spots. He had immeasurable patience learning to tie his own flies particularly his favourite, the Royal Coachman. Tom loved working around the yard whether it was repairing a fence, trimming the hedge, or tending the flowers. He enjoyed the role of handyman and went to night school to learn how to finish his own basement and build furniture. The outdoor rink he built each winter was a source of pride and enjoyed by the entire neighbourhood. And boy was Tom competitive. He loved to play 45’s and Tarabish but hated to lose, mulling to himself after the game about moves he should have made. He was a diehard Montreal Canadiens fan and especially enjoyed bantering with rival Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins fans. Tom could often be found kneeling in front of the television offering advice to players or choosing instead to watch a replay of a game to control which parts to watch. If there ever was a morning person, it was Tom. His cheerfulness was a source of annoyance at the breakfast table. He had a lot of favourite things in his life – poetry, P.D. James novels, Captain Morgan, his rocking chair, and country music. He could sit in front of a fire or watch the ocean waves for hours on end and he loved to tell jokes. But what Tom loved most was his family. He met and fell in love with Marie, a nurse in Antigonish, while he was attending university. They enjoyed 53 years of marriage before Marie’s passing in 2006. The love of Tom’s life, Marie was his perfect complement. They led a life full of love and happiness enjoying long drives, dances, and regular trips to Antigonish and Ontario. They bowled in a teacher’s league for many years and enjoyed a decade of winters in Florida. Together, they raised six children in their home at 414 Cabot Street and provided the perfect balance of love, support, and rules to keep everyone on track. Tom’s children were his greatest joy, and he cherished his relationship with each of them while celebrating their accomplishments. He was a father who was always there when anyone needed a helping hand, a care package at university, or words of advice. He taught each of his children about kindness, generosity, and the importance of faith. He was a meticulous organizer and had a strong work ethic expecting nothing less from his children. Tom was on cloud nine when he went on a Caribbean cruise with his five children in 2011, an opportunity to enjoy each other’s company without the stresses of everyday life. His random letters to his family were legendary. Written from his experiences with a dose of humour and sarcasm it was Tom’s way to stay connected to the whole family. He was a gifted writer and orator speaking frequently at numerous events. Tom excelled in his role as Grandad. He was immensely proud of his grandchildren and great grandchildren spending many hours with them playing games and cards, fishing, watching movies, and attending sporting events. His age was never a factor in his ability to play games – whether it was crawling on the floor with a grandchild, hiking up a mountain, tossing a horseshoe or floating in a pool. Left to grieve are Tom’s five children Brenda MacIsaac (John V), Sydney, Raylene Melanson (J.P.), Moncton, Carol Ripley (Tom), Sydney, David Gallaway (Deanna), Halifax and Cathy Gallaway (Jeff), Halifax. Tom is also survived by 12 grandchildren, Cheryl (Chris), David (Lauren), Laura, Michelle, Patricia, Derek, Brett (Christine), Jocelyn, Craig, Clara, Justin, and Brooke and four great grandchildren, Sam, Jonah, Phoebe and Eve, in addition to many beloved nieces and nephews. Besides his parents and beloved wife, Marie, Tom was predeceased by his son Gerald, sisters Delores Fitzgerald, Margaret Marsh, and Agnes Miller and brother Bernard Gallaway.


In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Loaves and Fishes or a charity of your choice. Online condolences can be shared with the family by visiting TW Curry Parkview Chapel’s website. The family would like to extend its sincerest appreciation to the staff on Soldiers Cove, Harbourstone Enhanced Care, where Tom has resided for the past two years receiving exceptional care from the kindest and most compassionate caregivers. We are forever indebted to these staff members who have continuously gone above and beyond to ensure Tom was comfortable especially during COVID-19.



  • Bernard & Anastasia (Dawson) Gallaway, Parents (deceased)
  • Brenda MacIsaac (John V), Daughter
  • Raylene Melanson (J.P.), Daughter
  • Carol Ripley (Tom), Daughter
  • David Gallaway (Deanna), Son
  • Cathy Gallaway (Jeff), Daughter
  • Cheryl, Grandchild
  • David, Grandchild
  • Laura, Grandchild
  • Michelle, Grandchild
  • Patricia, Grandchild
  • Derek, Grandchild
  • Brett, Grandchild
  • Jocelyn, Grandchild
  • Craig, Grandchild
  • Clara, Grandchild
  • Justin, Grandchild
  • Sam, Great Grandchild
  • Jonah, Great Grandchild
  • Phoebe, Great Grandchild
  • Eve, Great Grandchild
  • Brooke, Granddaughter
  • Marie, Wife (deceased)
  • Gerald, Son (deceased)
  • Delores Fitzgerald, Sister (deceased)
  • Margaret Marsh, Sister (deceased)
  • Agnes Miller, Sister (deceased)
  • Bernard Gallaway, Brother (deceased)
  • He is also survived by many beloved nieces and nephews


  • Funeral POSTPONED

    Saturday, January 2, 2021



Thomas Gallaway

have a memory or condolence to add?

Tom Miller

January 13, 2021

I’ll never forget the annual hockey game at Uncle Tom’s place on the out door rink under the lights, with my cousins and friends. The celebration afterwards, the presenting of trophies (Tom’s bowling trophies were presented as hockey trophies) to the MVP and the winning team. Uncle Tom was my namesake and the reason I’m an ardent Canadiens fan. You will be sorely missed.

Patricia MacDonald

January 7, 2021

To the Gallaway Family
Your chosen family photo of your dad is the way I remember him!
Cherish this photo and the memories you have of this well respected administrator and gentleman!
My sincere sympathy on the loss of your dad!
Patricia MacDonald

Margaret Muise

January 6, 2021

To the Gallaway family.

So sorry to hear of Tommy's passing. Tommy and Marie were great friends of ours.
Marie and I worked together at St Rita's Hospital, and as young couples we had such a good time.

Thinking of Tommy and Marie brings back many wonderful memories of our times together.

Sincerest Condolences

Margaret Muise (nee Barrington)

Colleen MacPhee

January 6, 2021

Dear Raylene and all the family,
I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your father. My sincere thoughts and prayers are with you all in this difficult time

Ronald & Pat Dawson

January 5, 2021

We were so sorry to hear about the passing of Tommy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. I will always remember Tommy studying in the kitchen in his rocking chair. Our deepest condolences.

Susan Rouse

January 5, 2021

Dear Raylene - so very, very sorry to learn of your dear father's death. Sending you my condolences, love, and hugs. What a beautiful tribute to your dad. He was quite a guy!! And so handsome!! Hope to see you at the retired ladies' breakfast on the 25th!! xo

Laurianne Sylvester

January 5, 2021

Brenda, John, and family...

Sending my condolences to all of you during this time. I know how much you loved spending time with your dad, reading to him, telling him stories, and assuring him that he was so loved by all of you. I know you will miss him very much. Cherish all of the memories, photos, and videos that you've made over the years. I know there are many. He was very fortunate to live to be 94 and to have such a loving family to care for him.

John and Heather Calder

January 5, 2021

Please accept our sincerest condolences. Very sorry for your loss.

Pauline MacLellan

January 4, 2021

Dear Brenda and Family, please accept my heartfelt sympathy on the loss of a wonderful man, your Dad. He was very kind to me and I have not nor will I ever forget that. May God keep him in his loving arms! God Bless you all.

Brenda Forget mackenzie

January 4, 2021

Cathy and family my condolences he was great neighbor