William “Bill” Galloway was born to Jewel and Ira B. Galloway on August 25, 1941, in Mounds, Oklahoma.
His older brother Ira J. Galloway was born six years earlier. His parents were thrilled to finally have two sons as they had prayed for children to complete their family. His parents and older brother Ira preceded him in death.
Growing up on the farm in Oklahoma, Bill developed a love for horticultural as a young boy. Ira and Bill were active in the local 4-H Club and their animals were always winners at the County Fair. He was a perfectionist when it came to landscaping. He always gave his input with landscapers and found joy in landscaping his properties.
After moving to California, Bill attended Pasadena schools — Washington Junior High School, John Muir High School, and then Pasadena City College.
Bill proudly served in the U.S. Army from 1966 to 1968 and was assigned to a military intelligence division based in Saigon, Vietnam, for one year.
His last service took him to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he met his wife, Brenda. They returned to California where they created a beautiful life. Their 54-year marriage produced two sons — Joey and Stephen (Arianna); six grandchildren — Jessica (Brian), Jennae Rose, Joseph III, Alaia Jewel, Austin and Aydin; a soon-to-arrive great-grandson; and four grand puppies — Coco, Greta, Penelope, and Drake.
Bill had a strong faith in God and lived his Christian values as he enjoyed the blessings God bestowed on him and his family.
His real estate investments began at the age of 19 when he purchased his first property. While many people knew Bill as a successful real estate investor and manager, Bill began his professional life in drafting and structural engineering. He later worked for Home Savings as an appraiser and then for First Federal Bank of Santa Monica, where he managed various branches.
In 1976, he began his business as a real estate investor, which he named Summit Enterprises. Since 1976, Bill, Brenda, and now their children Joey and Stephen, and granddaughter Jessica have rented residential and commercial properties in the greater Pasadena community.
Over the years, Bill’s many honors and recognitions included: Community Service Award, Pasadena Museum of History; Citizens Community Award, Pasadena Police Foundation; Community Leader Award, Pasadena NAACP; Support our Schools Award, Pasadena Development Corporation; Student Plaza Award, PCC Black Faculty Union; and Homes for All Award, Habitat for Humanity.
Additionally, he was a member of the John Muir High School Hall of Fame, and he was acknowledged at Pasadena City College’s 75th anniversary as one of 75 distinguished alumni.
Bill and Brenda engaged in philanthropy both locally and on the national level. They endowed the Galloway Plaza, a beautiful sculpture garden, at Pasadena City College. Galloway Plaza is the first facility at Pasadena Community College named for an African American.
In May 2015, Bill was one of three honorees at Pasadena City College Foundation’s first scholarship fundraiser in honor of its 90th anniversary. Education was important to Bill, and he wanted to ensure that young people would have opportunities and access. He and Brenda established the Bill and Brenda Galloway Endowment for Education at the Pasadena Community Foundation, which supports educational organizations in Pasadena.
Bill’s civic involvement was boundless. He was a member of the Smithsonian National Board and a founding donor to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. He served on several boards and committees: Pasadena Development Corporation, board member; Pasadena City College Foundation, board member; Friends of Cleveland Elementary School, founding member; Los Angeles County Judicial Procedures Commission; Pacific Oaks College Advisory Committee; Pasadena Museum of California Art, founding board member; Pasadena Playhouse, board member; Pasadena Playhouse Diversity Project, committee member; Pasadena Police Citizens Academy, member; Pasadena Police Foundation, board member; Pasadena Chamber of Commerce; William H. Johnson Foundations for Arts, founding board member; California Council on Criminal Justice Commission.
His interests included gardening, reading, traveling, art collecting, and collecting fast classic cars. His car barn, where he housed his collection, was a treat to visit. Bill enjoyed traveling for pleasure. He always enjoyed traveling annually to Monterey Car Week to see the classic car race. An avid art collector, he maintained a beautiful art collection.
Just a few days ago, one of his friends observed how Bill would always want to know or say, “Are you good?” “Are you doing good?” and “You know I love you.” He would wait for a quiet moment to check on you as he sat in his chair. He genuinely cared and wanted to make sure you were okay.
Bill is survived by his wife of 54 years, Brenda; two sons, Joey and Stephen and daughter-in-law Arianna; grandchildren Jessica, Jennae, Joseph, Alaia, Austin, Aydin, grandson-in-law, Brian Hamilton and the grandpuppies — Coco, Greta, Penelope and Drake. And, of course, too many extended family members and friends dating back to Washington Junior High School.
A memorial service will be held this coming Wednesday, March 15, at Lake Avenue Church (393 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena) beginning at 11 a.m.
The Galloway family rests in God’s word, because they know that Dad is okay, he is good, and he is definitely loved as he rests in God’s arms.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
(2 Timothy 4:7 NIV)