William Galloway Jr.

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 14, 2009

William A. Galloway Jr.
WAKEFIELD—William Alfred Galloway Jr., 76, a visionary businessman and innovative co-owner of the Virginia Diner Inc., died Oct. 13, 2009.
Survivors include his wife of 49 years and his partner and co-owner of the Virginia Diner Inc., Mary Ann Pettit Galloway; two daughters, Elizabeth Ann Galloway of Victoria; Christine G. Epperson and husband Jay of Ivor; a son, William A. Galloway III and wife Martha Marie Wallace of Nags Head, N.C.; grandchildren, PFC Matthew Irvin Jenkins and wife Sarah Irene, Elizabeth “Bess” Jenkins, Emmette and Joshua Epperson, Ashley Massey Galloway, Bobby Galloway and Faith Galloway.
He was predeceased by a grandson, Will Galloway IV.
Born on May 20, 1933, in Birmingham, Ala., he was the son of the late William Alfred Galloway Sr. and Elizabeth Edwards Galloway.
Mr. Galloway was a 1951 graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School in Richmond and proudly attended the University of Virginia.
In 1959, he met his wife to be, Mary Ann Pettit, in a classic carpool romance when both worked for Reynolds Metal Corp. on the southside of Richmond.
She carpooled with him and other work colleagues and a romance soon blossomed.
The couple was married in 1960. After the marriage, he moved on to a job as a salesman with Addressograph-Multigraph Corp. of Richmond.
He continued to gain experience as a salesman and businessman as an employee of the National Cash Register Corp.
In 1976, they purchased the Virginia Diner in Wakefield, a small café and gift shop and motel by the side of the road on U.S. Rt. 460. Bill, with a vision that was 10 years ahead of his time, immediately began to modernize and expand the operation of the Virginia Diner Inc. into a multi-faceted restaurant and peanut business.
Under their leadership, the Virginia Diner Inc. has grown into the landmark business that it is today, known around the world. It has been said that the Virginia Diner was a “little diner that thought it could, and Bill made sure it did.”
Active in all areas of his community, Bill was a dedicated member of the Wakefield United Methodist Church, serving on the Administrative Board in the areas of Building and Grounds, and Finance.
He was the first president of the Atlee Recreation Association of Hanover County, a member of the Board of Directors of the Wakefield Foundation, an active member of the Wakefield Ruritan Club and a former Ruritan of the Year.
He was a founding member and first president of the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce and served on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Restaurant Association.
He was a member of the Wakefield Masonic Lodge #198 A.F. & A.M.
Throughout his life, he was a major advocate for cancer research and was an active fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and the St. Jude’s Children’s’ Research Hospital. An avid sailor, Bill was a former member of the Hampton Yacht Club.
A funeral service will be held at the Wakefield United Methodist Church at 3 p.m. Friday with Pastor G. C. Branton III and the Rev. Jay Butcher presiding.
Immediately following the funeral service, the family invites everyone to a reception in the fellowship hall of the church. Burial will be private.
The family will receive friends at the Wakefield Foundation Thursday evening 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Memorial donations may be made to the Wakefield UMC Building Fund, P.O. Box 87, Wakefield, VA 23888; Wakefield Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 318, Wakefield, VA 23888; Wakefield Foundation, P.O. Box 8, Wakefield, VA 23888; or Waverly Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 583, Waverly, VA 23890.
The Purviance Chapel of J. T. Morriss Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Wakefield, is handling arrangements.
Condolences may be posted at the Web site at www.jtmorriss.com.