Stillwater News Press


April 14, 2014

Wayne Elton Galleher

Wayne Elton Galleher, 83, died on April 12, in Stillwater. While he requested no service or memorial be held, a celebration of life will take place in the near future at Eden Chapel United Methodist Church. Strode Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

He was born on Feb. 26, 1931, in Marion, Ohio, to Louis Caleb Galleher and Opal Odetta Long. He married Ruth Hargrove McCoy, June 10, 1961, in Pacific Palisades, Calif. Their marriage endured 43 years, 10 months and 20 days until her death in 2005. She was greatly missed.

He attended 12 schools in Ohio before graduating from Lehan High School, Canton, Ohio, in 1949. Wayne excelled in music school and played in many dance bands in central Ohio. Upon graduation, he and his twin brother enlisted in the Navy.

He served honorably three years, nine months and four days. Wayne attended the Navy School of Music becoming a fleet musician aboard the USS Princeton where he served as division petty officer for 22 months and 11 days during the Korean Conflict.

Following discharge in California in 1953, he entered Pasadena City College. His honors include: president of Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society; tapped Omicron Mu Delta for distinguished service to school and community; president and director of Hi-Liter Club and Stage Band; marched in the first of seven Pasadena Rose parades. He attended UCLA from 1955-58 receiving a bachelor’s degree in music.

His activities include: band manager of UCLA Marching Band under Clarence Sawhill; performed in orchestra under Lucas Foss; president of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Honorary Music Fraternity; member of UCLA varsity band. He pursued graduate work at UCLA in 1960-61. He received his master’s degree in music at California State College, Los Angeles in 1968.

He began his teaching career in Oklahoma 1958-60; returned to California as supervisor of music at the UCLA Lab School. After marriage in 1961, Wayne and family moved to Pasadena, Calif., where he taught instrumental music in Pasadena City Schools from 1961-1978. He moved to Stillwater, in 1978 and taught in the Stillwater Public Schools from 1978-1998. He was honored to be selected a school ‘Teacher of the Year’ in Pasadena and Stillwater.

Memorable highlights of an active career in music are: performing for Igor Stravinsky, meeting Jascha Heifetz and auditing his masters’ Class at UCLA; his Pasadena Band performing in the 1977 ‘Freaky Friday’ starring Jodi Foster; working with the Pasadena Boys Club in the 1960s.

He enjoyed 20 years of performing with the Stillwater Community Band under four directors, and performing with bands, orchestras, choirs, dance bands, and stage bands through 60-plus years of music. Most important to him was his love of teaching young people to appreciate and enjoy the art of music.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Ruth and Wayne Galleher Endowed Music Scholarship with the Oklahoma State University Foundation at or by mail at PO Box 1749, Stillwater, OK 74076-1749.

Condolences may be emailed to the family and an online obituary may be viewed by visiting

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