In Loving Memory of Joy A. Gallagher

May 24, 1952
Bridgeport, CT
April 21, 2019
Fairfield, CT
Funeral Home

Spear-Miller Funeral Home

39 South Benson Road,
Fairfield CT US 06824


Friday, 4-8 PM

39 South Benson Road,
CT 06824

April 26, 2019


St. Pius X Church

Mass of Christian Burial

834 Brookside Drive,
CT 06824

Saturday, April 27, 2019 1:00 p.m.


Family Gathering


Connecticut Challenge

250 Pequot Avenue,
CT 06890

Joy A. Gallagher

Joy A. Gallagher, loving Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Sister, and friend, age 66, a lifelong resident of Fairfield passed away with family by her side, on Sunday, April 21st, 2019. Joy isn’t just a name, it’s what she brought to this world. The love she shared, and her acts of kindness were an inspiration and she made dreams come true in the brightest ways. Joy embraced life and showered her love on everyone she met. Her strength and will, coupled with her vision created a magical world of love and serenity. Joy’s energy was boundless, and her infectious smile and laughter brought joy to all those around her. She was the captain of the ship and her ingenuity and artistry made everything so much more beautiful. Joy was a dynamic force in this world. As an elementary art teacher for 26 years, Joy inspired young people in so many ways by teaching them to always think outside the box and never be afraid to fail. The accomplishments she was able to glean from her students continually astounded everyone. Joy forged friendships that were life-long and was determined to live life to the fullest. Our world sparkles because of the love, understanding, patience, and wisdom she both taught and practiced. Joy loved every form of artistic expression and creativity and practiced painting, drawing, weaving, pottery, and beadwork with remarkable success. She loved the seashore, her art studio, her vibrant gardens, birds and animals and saw beauty in everything that most would pass by. Her spirit wove its way through all aspects of life with passion and vitality. Joy’s love and devotion for her family and her friends was limitless. Her compassion and kindness for others made a better life for everyone she was in contact with. Joy shall be reunited above with her beloved parents, Virginia N. Smith and James Smith. She is survived by her loving and devoted husband James G. Gallagher, her son James J. Gallagher and his wife Caitlin, her granddaughters Sammy and Bailey, her sister Cindy Brauer and her husband Jeffery Brauer, their children Heather Brauer and Timothy Brauer and his wife Brittany, and countless nieces and nephews. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 1:00pm at St. Pius X Church, 834 Brookside Drive, Fairfield. Friends may greet the family on Friday, April 26, 2019 from 4pm-8pm at the Spear-Miller Funeral Home, 39 South Benson Road, Fairfield. In lieu of flowers, we ask for support for Connecticut Challenge, 250 Pequot Avenue, Southport, CT, a foundation near and dear to Joy’s heart. For information or to leave online condolences, please visit

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12 Guestbook Entries for Joy A. Gallagher

  1. Aunt Joy was incredibly caring and loving and I know she will be looking out for all of us up in heaven. I have countless memories of Aunt Joy from the time I was a student in her art class, to Jimmy on his dirt bike racing me in my go-kart, to a kid learning to swim in her backyard pool, to when I had kids of my own that got to start swimming in that same pool. She welcomed my wife, Brittany, into our family with open arms and they shared a connection with arts and crafts. The love Aunt Joy and my mom had for each other was unwavering and just simple shopping trips, sometimes lasting most of the day, meant so much to my mom to spend that time with her sister and I am sure they meant just as much to Aunt Joy. My sister, Heather, and Aunt Joy shared in the gift of chatter and both were very thoughtful. I can’t pinpoint one memory of Aunt Joy that was most memorable, because they were all memorable. Aunt Joy, Uncle Jimbo, and Jimmy have been a big part of my life since I was born, the last couple days without Aunt Joy have been difficult, but I know she is still with me in spirit. I will always remember spending holidays and celebrations with Aunt Joy, Uncle Jimbo, Jimmy, Gramma, my sister, my mom, and my dad during my childhood.

    Aunt Joy, I love you, we all love you.

  2. I believe that Joy’s love and spirit lives on forever. She was a beautiful soul and will be missed by so many people that loved her. I looked up to her as she was my best friend forever, Cindy’s older sister. May Joy rest in peace knowing that she will be forever loved. Love and hugs Judy

  3. Dear Gallagher family. We are devastated by the loss of Joy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire family. Much love, The Martins

  4. My Aunt Joy was my childhood best friend, my partner in creativity, my shop till we drop buddy, my dream believer, and my circle of trust. Really, she is the only person I’ve ever known who could keep up with me – and the bond we shared in our 72-hours-in-a-day world was unlike any other. Earlier this year, I told someone that my aunt was my spirit animal. I’ve never admired and strived to be so much like anyone in my life, as I have her.

    Aunt Joy and my Mom were two peas in a pod, I feel so lucky for the million memories with them as a duo by my side. Aunt Joy created a magical childhood for Jimmy, my brother, and I with her creativity. There were always art projects to do, candy to eat, stories to share, and laughter to be had. Shamrock hands on St. Patrick’s Day, cookie dough on snow days, being the art project guinea pig, french braided hair, day and nights in the pool, skipping stones at Sasco, ice cream runs, a lifetime of shared holidays, setting up and hanging out for her elementary school art shows… The memories truly are endless, and my mind comes across a different one ever few minutes. These last few years I have had even more adventures with Aunt Joy and Uncle Jimbo when they would visit Seattle to see Jimmy, Caitlin, and their amazing daughters. Those granddaughters wowed her, they rocked her world and her theirs. She cherished every single moment she had with them and loved them fiercely. Joy’s presence made our family come alive with her unique spirit, unconditional love, and contagious sparkle.

    I love and miss you more than words in this world. Dance in the rainbows and sparkle with the stars, Joy, I’ll keep looking up to you as I strive to live as boldly as you taught me.

  5. In processing this loss, one thing that stands out is something I don’t remember – I don’t remember “getting to know” Joy. We met and she immediately accepted me. We were fast friends and we were family. My husband, Timothy, and his sister, Heather, were blessed to have had a second mother in Joy, and my children were equally blessed to have another grandmother. Joy was a bright light in this world, and I am so blessed to have known and loved her and to have been loved by her. Her love was so vast and so fierce that it cannot help but to live on in all of us.

  6. To the Family of Joy A. Gallagher,
    So sorry to learn about the loss of your Dear Loved One, Joy. Please know that so many people share your grief with you to help you through this difficult time of sorrow. Please accept my deepest condolences as we await the time when Christ Jesus will awaken all those who have fallen asleep in death; including your Beloved, Joy.
    (John 11:41-44)

  7. Our thoughts and prayers for the family of Joy Gallagher. We first met Joy as the art teachers at NSS. She was a wonderful art teacher for Matt & Brian. We continued to see her over the past years and she was a kind and caring person that will be missed.
    With sympathy,
    The Gilbane Family

  8. She was the kindest art teacher! Everyone loved her. She was always happy, smiling and I’d always look to see what color high top Reebok sneakers she had on thay day because she had them in every color of the rainbow. I still have drawings I made in her class. She’s someone you can never forget <3

  9. Joy was an artistic inspiration to us all. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this difficult time.

  10. Joy was a wonderful person and wonderful teacher at NSS. She always remembered her students and always had a smile on her face. She will be missed.
    Linda, Caitlin & Brendan Quinn

  11. My dear friend, I have no words to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. I did not know Joy except through your words about her. You always spoke about her as if you were recently married. It was obvious you loved her very much, and you were so in love with your entire family. I know you had a very special relationship with Joy, one that many people may never experience. I can’t imagine the pain you are feeling now. I’m so sorry I missed the obitiuary and her services. Know that I am here for you and only a phone call away.