Local Obituaries

Obituary: War veteran Harold ‘Hal’ Gillogly, 90, was longtime educator

Longtime educator Harold E. “Hal” Gillogly served as an Air Force pilot in World War II and the Korean War.
Longtime educator Harold E. “Hal” Gillogly served as an Air Force pilot in World War II and the Korean War. Gillogly family

Harold E. “Hal” Gillogly, a longtime educator who was an Air Force veteran of two wars, died Dec. 3 with several health ailments, his family said. He was 90.

For many of the same years that he was teaching and mentoring young people, Mr. Gillogly also was serving his country as a military aviator. Born in 1924 in Pueblo, Colo., he entered officer training school in the Army Air Force after graduating from high school and was commissioned as a second lieutenant at age 19.

During World War II, he piloted B-17s on combat missions and ferried damaged planes from England to the United States, his family said. He returned to active duty in the Korean War as a pilot stationed in the Philippines and Seoul.

He survived a midair collision in both conflicts, said his wife, Barbara.

“His crew bailed out, but he stayed and brought the planes safely down,” she said. “He didn’t talk much about his war experience; that generation didn’t.”

Between wars, Mr. Gillogly earned an education degree and teaching credential from University of Colorado at Boulder and began teaching seventh-grade math in the Carmichael School District, which later became part of the San Juan Unified district. After returning to California from Korea, he earned an administrative credential from California State University, Sacramento.

In the early 1960s, he worked as a principal and superintendent in the Pollock Pines school district in El Dorado County. He returned to the San Juan district as principal at Mariposa Avenue and Northridge elementary schools and retired in 1983. He went on to mentor student-teachers as an adjunct professor at CSUS until 1996.

“He was a great example of what a mentor-teacher should be – very knowledgeable, very enthusiastic and very kind,” said former teacher Heather Donelson, who was one of his students at CSUS. “He was very constructive and helpful in his criticism, but he always had a smile on his face. He obviously enjoyed what he did and was always happy to help you.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Gillogly continued flying in the Air Force Reserve and spent his last assignment interviewing prospective candidates for the Air Force Academy. He retired at the rank of major in the Reserve in 1984.

Although a love of flying kept him in the military for more than four decades, he was devoted to working with young people, his wife said. “He became an administrator, but he he always defined himself as a teacher,” she said.

Finding a balance in life as an educator and a warrior was not always easy for Mr. Gillogly. He was prohibited from talking about his work in intelligence matters while serving in Korea, and “he had a hard time with a lot of memories from the wars,” his wife said.

“He came from a generation where you were trained to do what you have to do,” she said. “There’s a job in front of you and you have no excuses, so you just do it. And that’s what he did.”

Mr. Gillogly had a son, Shawn, with his wife of 46 years, who is head of the gerontology program at American River College.

In addition to his wife and their son, he is survived by four children from a previous marriage, Gary, Sharon Clairmont, Michael and Kelly; two stepsons, Gary Gruwell and Joel Gruwell; eight grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

A service is set for 3 p.m. Dec. 17 at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, 6365 Douglas Blvd., Granite Bay. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American River College Gerontology Scholarship Fund, 4700 College Oak Drive, Sacramento, CA 95841.

Call The Bee’s Robert D. Dávila, (916) 321-1077. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Davila.