George Michael Galvin Sr.
Sept. 12, 1915-June 3, 2012
Palo Alto, California
George Michael Galvin Senior, a 64-year resident of Palo Alto, died in his home on Sunday, June 3, at the age of 96.
Born in Seattle, Washington, in 1915, Galvin spent much of his youth in the wilds outside Wrangell, Alaska, where his father had a mining company. He attended the University of Washington where he was a member of the Chi Psi fraternity.
Galvin was a veteran of World War II, serving as a Captain in General George Patton's Fourth Armored Division, which landed on Utah Beach in the second wave of the invasion of Normandy. Galvin's Eighth Tank Battalion also participated in the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp, and his photographs of that event today hang in the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. Galvin was a recipient of the Bronze Star for bravery, and two Purple Hearts for wounds sustained in action.
A lifelong airline executive, first with United Airlines and later Northwest, Galvin was a gifted storyteller in the Irish oral tradition and loved nothing more than entertaining friends and family with humorous tales. He was a person of unique character who possessed the ability to wrest humor from even the most ordinary circumstances. Galvin was a longtime member of the Saint Claire Club in San Jose and an enthusiastic horseman and member of the Frontier Boys California riding group.
Galvin, himself, might say he was a man who appreciated adventuresome travel, an entertaining yarn, a spirited horse and a good Cuban cigar.
Galvin is survived by his wife of 69 years, Jean Morrill Galvin, by his children Ann Laveroni of San Carlos, Susan McLester of Berkeley and Michael Galvin of Alameda, as well as seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren.