Son searches for family of father’s friend

Published 1:29 pm Saturday, January 11, 2020

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader

Greg Gallagher was cleaning in his mother’s basement when he came across a picture of his father during Officer Candidate School in 1942.

I did read somewhere in my father’s notes that the Officer Candidate School in Fargo closed down before all could graduate, at least from that one,” Greg said. “Whether certain men went on to other schools is another story.”

In the picture, two men stand side by said behind a highway sign ‘North Dakota – U.S. 81’ and behind them a speed limit sign for 20 miles per hour. 

The men are Officer Candidates Ray Gallagher and John Kellis. Ray is Greg’s father, of Alexandria, VA, and passed away in 2003 at age 89. John is from Orange, according to the words inscribed on the back of the photograph.

“Written on back of photo is ‘15 degrees below zero!  We ran inside right after the pix was taken!’,” Greg said on the phone.

Greg scanned the picture and emailed The Orange Leader in hopes of locating John Kellis or one of his family members.

“I hope someone who knows him responds to this submission, in which case I’ll send them the actual photo itself,” Greg said.


If you know John Kellis or related to him, email The Orange Leader at All emails will be forwarded to Greg.