Known to his family and friends as “Bill,” he was born on Feb. 20, 1929, to Edmund Eugene and Mary Felicy (Jacquinot) Gahagan on the family farm in Walnut. He farmed there until he retired to live in town. He attended Raymond School and Mound Valley until the seventh grade, at which time he began farming the family farm because of his father’s failing health. He raised many cattle and hogs along with his yearly crops. He was a lifelong member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Walnut and later after its closing attended St. Ambrose in Erie.
Bill loved his family and took good care of them. He stayed involved in their lives and spent many hours attending not only his brothers and sisters’ athletic events, but those of his nieces and nephews as well as countless neighborhood youngsters who played games in the surrounding area. Bill was an athlete in his day and loved to play softball, bowl and play pool and also coached little league for several years. In the middle of the afternoon, you could often find Bill at the card table — another one of his favorite pastimes, and many a person learned to play five-card cutthroat pitch from Bill.
He loved a good meal and always appreciated all the treats dropped off by his Walnut family. Good times included family get-togethers as well as visits and meals with his “extended” family. Bill loved little children, and the little ones in Walnut certainly knew who he was and shared their love with him.
Survivors include two brothers, John “Jack” Gahagan of Benton and his wife, Rita, and Leonard Gahagan of Chanute and his wife, Melba; a sister, Frances “Fran” Will of Oklahoma City and her husband, Jim; two nieces, Ruth Kindall of Parsons and her husband, Jim, and Jan Pippig of El Dorado and her husband, Mike; five nephews, Ed Spielbusch of rural Parsons and his wife, Kim, Steve Gahagan of Benton, Bob Gahagan of Kansas City and his wife, Karen, Brian Gahagan of Chanute and his wife, Amanda, and Tom Gahagan of Jacksonville, Fla.; and five great-nieces and eight great-nephews along with many dearly-loved cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Mary Jo Spielbusch, and brother-in-law, Gene; and his niece, Cherie Gahagan.
The funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Walnut. Burial will be at St. Patrick’s cemetery in Walnut. The rosary was prayed on Monday at St. Patrick’s, with the family receiving friends before and immediately following.
Memorials are suggested to Walnut Community Services to maintain St. Patrick’s Church and may be dropped off at or mailed to Carson Wall Funeral Services, P.O. Box 942, Parsons, 67357.
Online condolences may be left at www.wallfuneralservices.com.