Jake Galliher, a U.S. airman who was killed in a November Osprey V-22 crash in Japan, was honored at a funeral service in Massachusetts on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023.

Jake Galliher, a U.S. airman who was killed in a November Osprey V-22 crash in Japan, was honored at a funeral service in Massachusetts on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023. (GoFundMe)

(Tribune News Service) — A female singer’s live rendition of “Let It Be,” by The Beatles washed over a crowd of mourners inside a Dalton church as they followed the draped casket of Jake Galliher, the 24-year-old U.S. airman from Massachusetts killed in November, out the double doors for his burial on Wednesday afternoon.

“All I can say is wow,” Fr. Christopher Malatesta had said at the beginning of Galliher’s funeral Homily for the fallen husband, father and son.

“What an incredible, strong family he has; what an amazing group of friends ... All I heard at the wake yesterday (Dec. 19) was the military men and women complimenting his family and friends, and family and friends complimenting the amazing people he served with,” Malatesta said.

The 24-year-old airman died Nov. 29, along with six of the seven other airmen aboard the lost Osprey V-22, whose bodies have been recovered as of Dec. 14. The eighth airman is still missing and is presumed dead, the Air Force said.

Galliher left behind his wife, Ivy Groshong-Galliher, and their children, 2-year-old Malcolm and 9-week-old Killian, whom he’d lived with in Japan during his military service.

The young man also left his father, Jon Galliher, and his wife, Virgin, his mother, Kim Krautter, and her husband, Tor Krautter, and sisters Courtney Beauchamp and Jadyn Galliher, who were in attendance at the funeral.

Galliher’s funeral began at 11 a.m. at St. Agnes Catholic Community in Dalton with friends, family and loved ones filling the pews alongside rows of uniformed comrades. About a dozen white flower arrangements lined the altar underneath two screens displaying a picture of Galliher.

Dignitaries in attendance included Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Edward Markey, Congressman Richard Neal and Consul General Kotaro Suzuki from Japan.

“[Jake] has been described by the military as being the best 1% of those who serve. I’ve also heard him referred to as ‘Jake from State Farm,’” the priest said in his Homily, eliciting a light rumble of laughter in the pews.

“Most people in our community will remember him from growing up in this area as a bright-eyed, good- looking youth that was popular, smart and excelled in sports; a natural-born leader, and good and loyal friend,” the priest continued.

“The people of our nation and the world will remember him as a hero that gave his life in our service ... No young wife, children or parents should ever have to say goodbye to someone so young,” the priest said, adding that Galliher loved being a husband and a dad.

Malatesta recited the Airman’s Creed, which Galliher had taken in his service as a statement of the values and honors the duties an airman upholds. The priest said Galliher emulated those qualities, especially in the way of leadership and integrity.

“The Air Force has defined in Jake what most of us already knew. He was outstanding and spectacular. He was fun and lovable. He was truly honorable,” Malatesta said.

“He was a leader ... He cared for others. His call to service was humble acknowledgement that his life was bigger than himself,” the priest said.

A rendition of “Hallelujah” by Rufus Wainwright closed out the Homily after the priest thanked Galliher for giving his life in service and for the betterment of his loved ones’ lives.

Galliher’s services concluded just before noon on Wednesday, following more readings, a communion service and songs. His family went to the private burial that immediately followed with a Celebration of Life ceremony.

©2023 Advance Local Media LLC.


Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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