Security officer dies of heart attack www.privateofficer.com
Orell “Buddy” Galloway Jr., a senior security officer at the Woodruff Library, a humor-loving family man, died Sept. 18 at his home in Stone Mountain. He was 73.
Buddy died from a heart attack, said his daughter Melissa.
The well-known security officer has worked at Emory for 15 years and had been planning to retire in January.
Before his job at Emory, Buddy worked as an accountant and an office supply specialist.
Melissa said her father loved fishing and sports and was a dedicated fan Georgia sports teams. He was also a little league team coach for his son with his first wife.
Buddy loved his family and had a strong work ethic, according to Security Specialist Sandra Jefferson, who worked with him in the library. She said that Buddy talked about his family often, always updating coworkers on his grandchildren’s latest achievements.
“He had a passion for his family, especially his grandkids,” Melissa said. “He would give his children anything.”
James Yen (’09C), who worked the graveyard shift for three and a half years with Buddy, said that Buddy acted as a father figure to him, whether it was buying him a can of soda when Yen was tired or talking him through a bad break-up.
“He’d cheer me up, give me a lot of ‘back-in-the-day’ advice. [Buddy would say] ‘Just have faith,’” Yen said. “I remember that very distinctly. ‘You’ve got to have faith,’ he said to me, ‘and things will turn out alright.’”
Senior Security Officer C.J. Jones, who spoke at the funeral, said that Buddy genuinely cared about the people around him.
“When I first got here, he was my first partner. I remember him always offering me a few dollars to get lunch,” Jones said. “He would always help a person out if they needed help.”
Melissa said that Buddy was the type of father she could go to for anything. She said that there was nothing she couldn’t talk to him about and that she could call him even when he was at the library at 3 a.m. if she had a problem.
Although Melissa said her father was always there if she needed to talk, he didn’t always tell her what she wanted to hear.
“He would always give it to me straight,” she said. “If I was being a little brat, he would tell me. Me and my sister, he kept us in line.”
Buddy was like that with everybody, Melissa said, and sometimes it could create tough situations. But her father would never sacrifice his morals or principles just to be on somebody’s good side, she said.
It was this honesty and integrity, that Melissa said she valued most about him.
“He was the most honest person I’ve met in my entire life,” Melissa said. “To this day, even though he’s gone, I still want to make him proud of me.”
Melissa said her parents made sacrifices to give her and her sister everything they needed. This selflessness has made her want to be a “new mom,” she said. She said that she wants to be the same kind of parent to her son as her father was to her: both a dad and a best friend.
Buddy’s coworkers remembered him for his sense of humor, Jones said. He said that Buddy was always quick with the one-liners and was always joking around.
Yen said that he used to tease Buddy for his “old-school ways.” He said that Buddy used to shake Yen’s hand, but that in time, Yen had seasoned the security officer to perform a “chest bump” as a greeting instead. The age difference, Yen said, was reason for the two to joke around with each other.
“I’d be like, ‘Hey Buddy, I went to this party last weekend, did you catch that party in the 1800s?’” Yen recalled. “He’d say, ‘Oh, yeah, we went to the circus and I was fascinated by the bearded lady.’”
Buddy was born in Conyers, where he grew up in a country-like environment, Melissa said. She said that as a child, her father lived on a farm.
“He loved cornbread and milk. He liked anything sweet — he liked his cake, any kind of cake,” Melissa said. “But cornbread, that was his staple food.”
When he was young, Melissa said, Buddy shot at squirrels and birds with a BB gun like the other boys his age. He used to say that if there was one thing he could take back, it would be the animals’ lives, she said. She said that he loved animals.
“All the animals loved him back — cats, dogs, raccoons, didn’t matter what the were. He even had a stuffed beaver in his car,” she said fondly. “He passed away in his favorite place, his rocking chair overlooking the bird feeder.”
According to Melissa, her father was known as “Buddy” for as long as she, or anyone, can remember.
“I know he didn’t really like his first name, Orell,” she said, “so he’s always just been Buddy. Somebody at some point must have decided it.”
Jones said that Buddy wore the name perfectly.
“It fit him well,” Jones said. “That’s just how he acted — like everybody’s buddy.”
Buddy is survived by his wife Lynn, daughters Melissa and Christi and four grandchildren.
Yen said that having Buddy as a friend was “really special.”
“Once he gets to know you,” Yen said, “he’ll just cheer you on for life.”
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