Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Park Bench Gifted to Remember Dick Gallivan's Dedication and Service
Alongside family and friends, members of the Geneseo Rotary came together in the Village Park Monday to dedicate a bench in honor of the late Richard “Dick” Gallivan. To many, Gallivan was not just a rotary member but a man that was loved by many in the community.

“Dick Gallivan has been a pillar of the community for many years, devoting his time to many organizations. We felt it only fitting that we dedicate a memorial bench to his years of service,” said Bonnie Swanson, treasurer of Geneseo Rotary.

Gallivan died Jan. 31, 2021 at the age of 82. He was survived by his wife of 44 years, Sally, along with many children and grandchildren.


Gallivan was a graduate of Bishop Timon High School in Buffalo and earned his bachelor’s degree from Buffalo State College. He was a former member of the Buffalo Fire Department and retired as a captain of the New York State Police. After retiring, he worked at Hunt County Realty in Geneseo and served on village’s Board of Trustees. He was a member and past president of the Geneseo Rotary Club where he was presented with the Paul Harris Fellowship Award. He was longtime Rotary Summer Festival chairman and Summer Concert Series chairman. Gallivan also served as superintendent of Temple Hill Cemetery in Geneseo.

“The summer festival that we do every year — he was critical in helping to pull that together, among many other things that he did in the community,” said Swanson.

Gallivan’s son, Patrick, who represents New York’s 59th Senate District in the New York State Senate, attended Monday’s dedication ceremony and spoke about his father.

“It is a great tribute to his contribution to the community,” said Patrick Gallivan. “He was described to me by many others as a civic hero and he loved the community and was so involved in the summer festival that I think it is really appropriate to have something in the park in his memory that will live on.”

Geneseo’s Summer Festival has been going on in the village park since 1982 and is something that Gallivan was deeply involved in.

“I worked closely with him through all of the festivals that we did together and one of the things that I remember clearly was every year before the festival he would be under this cabin and repairing a plastic water pipe that had frozen over the winter,” said Steve Wiener, a past Geneseo Rotary president and member since 1987.

From fixing pipes to helping people in any way he could, many say Gallivan did so much more for the area beyond being involved in Rotary.

“He was involved in so many community activities,” said Carol Carey, another past president of Geneseo Rotary. “To have a bench in the park where people are going to be able to see this for years to come, is the right thing to do.”

Mondays’ bench dedication was just one small step that people who knew Gallivan hope will help to pay tribute to a man who was a big part of the Geneseo community.

“It is interesting that he was involved in the community and he did that very quietly. He stepped up and put his money where his mouth was to help make the community a better place,” said Patrick Gallivan. “He wasn’t really talking about it but instead teaching us by example and what a great example he was and we miss him, of course.”

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