In memory of

Alan Galbraith

October 8, 1928 - January 31, 2017
From: Sac City, IA
Alan Galbraith

Alan Galbraith

Born: October 8, 1928
Died: January 31, 2017
Age: 88
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     Alan Dent Galbraith, age 88, of Sac City, IA, passed away on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, at Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City, IA, following a tragic accident.

     Alan was born October 8, 1928, to Earl and Irma (Dent) Galbraith in Newell, IA.  He received his formal education in the Sac Community Schools, graduating in 1946. Alan spent three years in the U.S. Navy, serving his country and earning the rank of Seaman, SN, and USN when he was honorably discharged October 12, 1949. Following his discharge he completed three years at Drake University, after which he returned home to work with his father in the grain and ice business.  Following this, he was employed as an office manager at the Emperor Stationary Company and the Noble Manufacturing Company both of Sac City.  It was during this time he followed his chosen field as a journalist (sports editor) for the Sac Sun newspaper, and managing editor of the Wall Lake Blade.

     On December 28, 1956 Alan was united in marriage to Bonnie Harrell.  They celebrated 38 years together until her death from cancer on February 14, 1995.  Bonnie brought to the marriage a son, Steven, now of Sisters, OR.  Soon to follow a set of twins were born, Tim of Sac City and Tom of Leawood, KS.  Alan would work with his sons in the back yard teaching them his pastime, baseball.  After the boys were done with the day's practice Alan would finish by throwing the ball up in the air until it went out of sight sending the boys scurrying to hide, not knowing where the ball may land.  It never landed more than three to five feet away from him.

     In 1967, he began employment with the City of Sac City as an operator of the water treatment plant and later becoming the superintendent.  He transferred to the Parks Department and took over the care of Oakland Cemetery until his retirement in 1993.  Also during this time he was the official weather observer for the National Weather Service until he passed on the job in the mid 2000’s.

     He was a member of the Sac City Fire Department since 1960 holding office as secretary and photographer.  He did not often actively fight the fires as he had issues with ladders, loved terra firma, the more firmer, the less terror.  He belonged to the Sac City VFW Post No. 590 where he held office in the local post and at the state level.  Being very patriotic he also belonged to the American Legion Post 195.  He continued his passion with athletics by becoming a certified official in 1954 for the Iowa High School Athletic Association and the Iowa Girls Athletic Union.  He umpired for better than 50 years only ending when as he put it: “Could no longer get out of the way of a sharp hit ball."  His son, Tim, had the privilege of being his partner for the last game he umpired.  Tim continued his officiating for better than 25 years.  His son Tom also has followed in his footsteps as an umpire and basketball official.  Alan also officiated track and worked as the clerk of the course. This was during the hay days of the Sac Relays when better than 50 teams would attend the two day track meet.  He was always there to insure all the contestants ran in their scheduled events.  Land events weren’t the only sport he officiated; he was the starter for the local summer swim team.  He wasn’t limited to local sports, he was a diehard Hawkeye fan, never missing a football or basketball game that was televised and one could always find out how the Hawks did by driving by his residence to see the position of the Hawkeye flag flying after the game.  He was honored to become a member of the Sac Community High School Hall of Fame.

     In 1953 he started to volunteer as a member of the chain gang at the local high school football games.  He and other fire department members worked the sidelines until he moved upstairs to the crow's nest to run the clock and scoreboard.  He participated in over 500 games over 50 years.  During the winter months he operated the clock, scoreboard, and announced at basketball games for over 40 years.

     Alan cherished his sons and his daughters-in-law: Steve (Lynda) of Sisters, OR; Tim (Tamy) of Sac City and Tom (Kim) of Leawood, KS; four grandsons: Mathew (Kristina) Jasperson of Boston, MA, Nichalos Galbraith of Sac City, Matthew (Melissa) Galbraith of Overland Park, KS, and Jordan Galbraith of Kansas City; three granddaughters: Anne (Drew) Persival of Portland, OR, Ashley (Jesse) Lorentzen of Jefferson, IA, and Kara Galbraith of Manhattan, KS; and he was anxious to meet his first great-granddaughter scheduled to make an appearance in March.  He will be deeply missed by all his family and friends that he made through out the years.

     He was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Irma Galbraith; wife Bonnie; and sister June Rose.


Gabby has always been dedicated to his family, friends, and community and held
true to the old adage: “An umpire may not be right but he is never wrong”.



10:00 a.m., Saturday
February 11, 2017
East Sac County Elementary School
Sac City, IA

5:00-8:00 p.m., Friday
February 10, 2017
Farber & Otteman Funeral Home
Sac City, IA


Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 9:36 AM
“So sorry to hear about Alan. I knew him through the VFW and Auxiliary. I remember how much he loved to participate in our Jail 'n Bail fundraiser over the years. Rest In Peace Alan”
- Carol Holmes
Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 4:05 PM
“I first met Gabby when I came to Sac City as a rookie teacher and coach in the fall of 1975. We became umpiring partners. As I moved on I would still work football, volleyball and track meets in Sac City as an official. Gabby was always there. After I went to work for the IHSAA we were always in contact with each other. He received his 50 year official award from the IHSAA in 2004. At the time of his death he was in his 63rd year as a registered IHSAA official. That is probably tied with one other person for being the longest registered IHSAA official in IHSAA history. When I would travel through Sac City I would give him a holler on the CB using his handle "Umpire." I was hoping to come to Sac for either the visitation or funeral but I am the head finish judge for the ISU Indoor Classic this weekend. I know where Gabby would expect me to be. In my travels around the state I have met many people important to their communities. Among all those people I would have to say that Gabby was the best when it came to supporting his school and community. I am sorry about his tragic death, but in my heart I am celebrating his great life. ”
- David Anderson
Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 12:53 PM
“I would like to send my Deepest Sympathies ! I'm sure he is Resting in " God's Arm's Now " ! May God Keep and Bless You.”
- Sherry Snodgrass
Monday, February 6, 2017 at 4:35 PM
“So Sorry to hear of your dad's accident. My family has many memories of your Dad officiating at many sports evens over the past years. We had a soft spot in our heart for him.

Prays to all of you,

Cathy Cook and Family
- Cathy Cook
Monday, February 6, 2017 at 2:43 PM
“Alan “Gabby” Galbraith, or as I knew him “Unc” was without a doubt my favorite Uncle and sadly the last of my close relatives to leave this planet and probably the last link to my immediate family. His irreverent sense of humor and endless stories were just a part of his persona. He shared his love of music, especially his prized collection of Spike Jones and the classic Beetlebaum recording with us as kids. His love of “red” motor vehicles is a clue to his passion for life. Having inherited his sense of humor I feel he still lives on. I miss our last lengthy conversation over breakfast in Sac City.”
- Charlie Brown
Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 12:16 PM
“Tim and family,
Thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. May you find peace and comfort in God's love for you all.
- Amy Putney Frehse
Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 12:16 PM
“we really enjoyed visiting with "Gabby" when he would have lunch at Doc's Place in Wall Lake. he had a neat scent of humor and very smart. He will certainly be missed by many.”
- Speed Herrig
Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 12:16 PM
“Our deepest sympathies to you Tim and your wife, along with the entire family of, with loss of your father! Have known your father for so many many years; and undoubtly he was a most respected and well thought of person, who will be greatly missed by so very many! In remembrance of your father, most sincerely, Martin & Sharon (Zimmerman) Pearson”
- Martin & Sharon Pearson
Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 12:16 PM
“So sorry for the loss of "gabby". He touched so many lives. May your memories lift you in the coming days. I am sure he is flying high!”
- Charlene Green
Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 12:16 PM
“So very sorry to learn of Alan's tragic passing. He was a kind man of great passion for history and I'm proud to have known. I cherished his Christmas card every year. Back with your lifelong love...May you rest in peace Alan.♡”
- Lori Campbell
Friday, February 3, 2017 at 1:17 PM
“We are so sorry to learn of Alan's tragic accident. I admired him for never quitting his search for knowledge. We debated many subjects at the library and he always defended his position fervently. I especially enjoyed our "Sac history" discussions. He will be missed.
- Larry and Nancy Domino
Friday, February 3, 2017 at 1:17 PM
“Tim and family,
Sincere sympathies at the sudden loss of your father. May all your wonderful memories come alive and may God grant you peace and understanding at a very difficult time.
- Diane Johnson
Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 4:04 PM
“I did not know him very well, but my mom spoke very kindly about him. He was kind of enough twenty-seven years ago to help my grandmother (his sister, June) pick me up from and take me back to the airport in Omaha when I visited in 1990. So sorry to the family for their sudden loss.”
- Robert K. Eichhorn
Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 3:27 PM
“tim & tom I always enjoyed visiting with your dad he was a great person he will be missed by all who knew him”
- charlie "tuna" Schnirring
Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 3:27 PM
“We are so saddened to hear of Gabby s passing. I sure remember him umpiring for All of our boys 😊he will sure be missed by everyone in sac city. We have prayed for Gabby and your family ”
- Gene &Bonnie Simpson
Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 3:27 PM
“We extend our deepest sympathy.”
- Todd and Teri Luckow
Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 3:27 PM
“My sincerest condolences to the family. I was privileged to know Alan through the VFW. He was a kind and thoughtful man. I will miss him. Rest in peace Sailor.”
- Carol Whitmore
Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 3:27 PM
“Our condolences to the Galbraith family for their loss. Alan was so full of information on so many topics. At the age of 88 years old Alan still had the ambition for researching and obtaining information not only for his own knowledge but to use in the many articles he wrote. Thank you Alan. You will be deeply missed by so many people. Our thoughts and prayers to the families.”
- Rolf and Deb (Campbell) Barron
Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 3:27 PM
“Tim, Tom and Steve,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you. I admired and loved your Father so much. His emails, letters and sound advice meant so much to me! Love, Sara Brown Eichhorn and Tom Eichhorn”
- Sara Brown Eichhorn
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