Dr. Ronald Galbreath, 77

Beloved husband, father, grandfather, Christian, athlete, educator, coach, mentor, patriot, and friend, Dr. Ronald Galbreath, passed peacefully to his eternal reward on Saturday, December 9, 2017 surrounded by his loving family.

Ron was born August 12, 1940 in Wampum, the son of the late Charles T. and Helen M. Newbold Galbreath.

Ron was a long time professor and basketball coach at Westminster and Geneva Colleges. He was a member of the Chippewa United Methodist Church.

Survivors include his wife, Patricia Donnelly Galbreath and three daughters, Kathy (David) McCommons of Ellwood City, Kim (Dan) Bowman of Greensburg, Meg (Neal) Waldron of Hollidaysburg; two brothers, Tom (Betsy) Galbreath of Austell, GA, Ken (Judy) Galbreath of Alexandria, VA; and eight grandchildren, Haley, Molly Madylin, Tricia, Sarah, Meredith, Drew, and Kya.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 16 at 2 pm at the Metheny Field House, Geneva College. Private funeral services were held at the Marshall Funeral Home, Wampum followed by interment in Clinton Cemetery. Online condolences may be sent to marshallsfh.com.

Memorial contributions in Ron’s name may be made to the Pine Valley Bible Camp 504 Chapel Dr. Ellwood City, PA 16117.


30 thoughts on “Dr. Ronald Galbreath, 77

  1. Great humanbeing !!! Positive influence on many lives !!! What a talented, special person…miss you my friend !!! GOD BLESS YOU and your family

  2. To Patty and family
    So very sorry to learn of Ron’s passing. I had a very high degree of respect for him and the influence he had on the lives of so many.
    Ellen Donnelly

  3. So sorry for your loss.Your husband was my teacher in 7 th grade.My husband cut your mom’s grass.on California ave.He was a wonderful person

  4. To all the Galbreaths…What a great Christian leader Ron was! He had such a positive, motivating personality, that had a huge impact on me as a teacher, coach, father, & husband! He is one of my daughter, Kate’s, favorite people because of his caring, Christian example.

    It was an honor to know him & all the Galbreath family. Know that he is with God, now and may God’s peace be with you all! Our deepest sympathy…

  5. Our deepest sympathy and love to you Patty, your daughters and family following your sudden loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Ron was such a wonderful kind man who was loved and respected by all who knew him. May the memories you shared, that can never be taken away,
    help to sustain you in the days and months ahead.
    May the Lord bless you and keep you…the Lord make His face shine upon you and give you peace. Love, Elaine and Emily Frasier

  6. My connections to Ron are through sports, but I most admired the way he conducted his life. We lost a great athlete and coach and a better man. My heartfelt condolences go to Patricia and the entire family. Also to Ron’s brother-in-law Bill (a teammate at IUP).

  7. To the Galbreath family.
    Words cannot describe the many ways Coach Galbreath touched the lives of so many people. I consider myself a very fortunate person to know and play for coach. He was a true example of a man. I am deeply saddened to hear of his passing, I know he loved his family and will truly be missed. May the Galbreath family be strong during this time, and may God keep you.
    Kevin (1987) and Lenell Reid and family

  8. Ron was my phys. ed. instructor at Westminster College and an inspiration to me in my basketball coaching career. I learned more than basketball from Ron when I worked at his summer camps. He inspired everyone he came into contact with to be a better person. He was the ultimate gentleman, teacher, coach and friend. I feel blessed to know him and to say he was a huge influence in my life. God bless Ron and all of his family.

  9. Pat and family,

    We remember Ron and our time spent at Westminster College well. We enjoyed the times we played tennis, worked the basketball camps and the time spent together. We offer our sincere condolences and appreciate for the time spent with Ron and your family.

    Randy and Laura Kegerreis

  10. Dear Pat & Girls,
    I am so sorry to hear about Coach Galbreath’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. I have many fond memories of Coach. From being from the old neighborhood, I babysat the girls (Kathy & Kim) during all those Clarion State College Basketball games and him walking me home after the game to my house squeezing that tennis ball! 🙂 I attended at least 4 of his girls basketball camps. He always seemed to use me as an example of the “sure shot” saying that I was a great defensive player, but just can’t shoot worth a darn. He was right and that makes me laugh. Anyway, my deepest sympathy from my self and my husband, Gary Walters. Gary was one of his basketball players from Clarion State College. Ron awarded him a basketball scholarship for his education at Clarion. He is so grateful to Ron. Again, deepest sympathy for your loss. The world has lost a great leader.
    Jan (Cherico) Walters

  11. My deepest sympathy and condolences to the entire Galbreath family. I was a teammate of his brother Ken at Geneva College and got to know Ron. Not only was Ron a great athlete, but a great human being dedicates to education and sports. He will be missed

  12. As a former Westminster basketball camper (seemingly my whole childhood!), I am so saddened by Coach’s passing. On Sunday (unaware of this news), I was going through old t-shirts from childhood and have saved all of my Ron Galbreath Basketball camp shirts and was reflecting fondly over my years there with friends and teammates. I don’t have many vivid childhood memories, but those from camp are clear. I still don’t think we ever saw Coach miss a free throw. He motivated us, praised us, and helped us along in his calm and caring way. When we got too competitive, he reminded us about perspective. I remember seeing him in the dining hall and thinking how weird it was to see him in “normal clothes” and outside of the gym! We used to think he had a bedroom there! Pictures from camp are forever treasured in my senior memory book. I feel so blessed to have been a regular camper at Coach’s camps, and will never forget all he did for us as children. They don’t make ‘em like Ron Galbreath anymore. My sincerest condolences to the family. He was truly an incredible person and coach.

  13. Mrs .Galbreath and family;
    My deepest sympathy and prayers to all of you on behalf of Coach Ron.
    I played for coach in 1979-80 at Westminster College.
    What a wonderful coach and person.

    God Bless him.

    Dr. Howard Slemons

  14. Dear Pat, I was so sorry to hear about Ron and my heartfelt sympathy goes out to you and hope you will get along OK during this time of sorrow. Sincerely, Shirley Stein

  15. Ron was a good friend, great coach and valued member of the Pennsylvania Basketball Coaches Association. The basketball community has lost a TRUE CHAMPION. We will miss him!

  16. Dear Patty,
    My thoughts and prayers to you and your family. We haven’t seen each other in years, but I remember when you meet and married Ron. He was a wonderful, warm man with such great talents. God bless all of you in your time aff greif.
    Kitti Zeigler Taylor

  17. The world needs more like Coach Galbreath! What a great man!! He coached our daughter at Geneva. She learned so much from him, for life on and off the court. Everyone that ever met Ron, loved Ron! He will be surely missed. Love to Pat and his family. Cindy Clarke

  18. Mrs. Galbreath and family,
    Coach Galbreath was one of the first people I met when I walked onto Westminster College’s campus in the fall of ‘82. He quickly became one of my favorites and many of my fond memories of the five plus years I spent there include Coach. His faith, his warm and always encouraging personality, his love for basketball and racquetball and of course his love for his beautiful wife and daughters resonate in my memory and in my heart. My then future husband, Kevin, met Ron when he was in middle school and attended basketball camp. He has fond memories of playing one on one with Him and not only learning more about the game of basketball, but also about life and how to live it.
    Kevin and I were both so grateful to recently reconnect with both you and Coach while our son played at Geneva. It was so wonderful to just sit and talk and reminisce. We will be at my nephew’s wedding on Saturday and are sad to have to miss the memorial service. We are praying for your comfort and peace and that you are blessed by the assurance that Coach is walking the streets of gold with his Lord and Savior (and I’m pretty sure that he has been doing some drills and shooting some lay ups too! ?) and that you will one day be reunited.
    Love, Kevin and Judy (Mack) Gribbin

  19. To the Galbreath and Donnelly families
    My father used to take me to Wampum basketball games and later on Westminster games. I always admired the way Coach Galbreath handled himself in all situations and the way he competed. In his first year of teaching at Lincoln, I was in his American History class. He was an excellent teacher. I remember after a difficult loss in a football game, he passed me an encouraging note in class very inconspicuously which read, ” Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.” That was 1962. I still have the note. My deepest condolences on his passing. Our entire community is diminished.

  20. I knew Ron all my life, having grown up in Wampum. He and my sister, Rita, graduated together. What wonderful tributes people have written about him. He will be missed by many. . Ellen (Zieve) Goodman

  21. My thoughts and prayers go out to Dr. Galbreath’s family. He was a friend and mentor. He lived his life by being a positive influence to all with whom he came in contact. He will be missed.

    With sincere sympathy,
    Bernie Jubeck

  22. Patty and family,
    We hold wonderful memories of you and Ron in the New Wilmington years and then your time at Geneva. When we would run into each other for catching up, it always felt like we had been together the day before!! The two of you always made us feel so special. We always joke that Ron was relentless in recruiting our granddaughter Valerie to Geneva and are so grateful she took him up on it! When he came back after his first stroke, he continued to encourage her through her last years at Geneva. We hold dear a photo taken with Ron, Val and us in her senior year. Thank you so much for your friendship. We will continue to keep you and your family in our prayers. We are committed to a wedding today so sorry we will miss the service for Ron but will be there in thought and prayer.
    Love, Gretchen and Hank

  23. Mrs. Galbreath, Kathy, Kim, and Meg –
    I was very sorry to hear the news about Coach Galbreath’s passing. I always admired Coach and his approach to life. He set a great example and standard for the many people he touched. My deepest condolences and sympathies to the Galbreath family.

  24. Galbreath family, the loving kindness of God can sustain you through this difficult time and in the days ahead. The passage in Psalm 147 verse 3 assures,” He heals the brokenhearted; He binds up their wounds.” May you have a measure of comfort in the support of each other and sharing loving memories.

  25. A great friend and the greatest organizer we’ve ever known!
    Our deepest sympathy to the family.
    Bob & Mary Ellen Connelly

  26. My deepest sympathy to the Galbreath family. Ron was one of the most amazing individuals I had the honor of calling my friend. The ultimate role model, teacher and person who has influenced so many and loved by so many more. You will be missed my friend but not forgotten.

  27. Galbreath Family:
    Our sincere condolences for your loss. We remember Ron as a consummate gentleman, role model, friend and leader. He was always happy and humble. Ron was so complimentary of others, never missing an opportunity to support and help build people up those around him. Our family will try to live life with the energy, dignity, love and honor shown to us by Ron. He will always be remembered.
    Buz and Kathy Swanik
    Brenden, Alexandra, Gabrielle

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