Cover photo for Paul Benedict Gallagher's Obituary

Paul Benedict Gallagher

June 28, 1944 — March 24, 2023

Fairview

Paul Benedict Gallagher

FAIRVIEW - Paul Benedict Gallagher, 78, passed into Eternal Life in his home on March 24, 2023, after a long illness.  Paul was preceded in death by his parents, Drs. Donald and Idella Gallagher, and his sister Maria Noel. He is lovingly survived by his partner of 25 years, Becky (of the home) and a son, Gabriel Gallagher of Dallas, TX.  Paul also had an extensive family of Tai-Chi brothers, students, and teachers, some of those preceded him in death, while many survive him and continue to share his gifts, and his legacy, with the world.

Paul traveled extensively through Europe with his parents in his formative years, giving him a foundation to be a life-long learner, including an expansive understanding of people and a gift for language. Those interests were woven throughout his entire life, first as a student during his academic career, with an BFA from Boston College, followed by his Masters Degree and PhD work in Russian Literature at Harvard.  Paul was a master linguist, well versed in countless languages, while being fluent in eight including Russian, Mandarin, Japanese, Yiddish, German, French, Portuguese, and Italian.

Paul was known for his kindness and generosity of spirit.  He loved teaching and was dedicated to sharing what he knew.  Paul was first a master practitioner and subsequently a teacher of herbal medicine, meditation, qi-gong, dietetics, and martial arts.  He always had time for the question, conversation, demonstration, or tutorial with anyone interested on a given topic. He especially loved it when the topics were expansive and covered a diverse array of thought.  Of all his accomplishments, Paul was best known as a Tai-Chi teacher, spreading the art for nearly fifty years.

After studying Uechi Ryu Karate under Sensei Walter Mattson, Paul met Edward Maisel in the early 1960s and began his lifelong study of the soft, internal martial art of Tai-Chi Chuan. Paul learned Wu Style from Master Sophia Delza in NYC. He became her representative, teaching her style and method in Boston. Paul then learned Yang Style from Master T.T. Liang in Boston. Paul assisted Master Liang in translating the archaic Tai-Chi Classics and edited Master Liang’s bestselling book on Tai-Chi. He continued his Yang Style study with Master B.P. Chan, who heavily influenced not only his Tai-Chi, but all of Paul’s arts and practices. Paul also learned Chen Style Tai-Chi, Hsing-Yi, Pa-Kua, and a variety of weapons.  He leaves behind a disciple and numerous senior students who continue to teach those arts.

Paul was highly sought out to teach in a variety of venues and by other teachers and colleagues.  He enjoyed hosting teachers and retreats at his academy, the Deer Mountain Taoist Academy in New England, for most of the 80’s and 90’s, prior to his relocation to North Carolina in 1997.  He enjoyed teaching the “9 Practices to Keep Spring Eternal” seminars, which were always well attended and included students from many other countries.  Paul also enjoyed the “5 Animal Frolics,” as that was something everyone could engage in, even the newer students. Paul was a Founding Faculty Member for the prestigious New England School of Acupuncture, where he taught the History of Chinese Medicine course. Paul enjoyed writing and leaves behind a wealth of knowledge through the written word and his multiple video instructional series. Paul’s masterpiece publication, Drawing Silk, is considered a must-read book for all Tai-Chi practitioners.

Paul leaves behind a disciple and many senior students who are teaching these arts. Countless people have shared how their lives have been forever changed by “Master Paul”.  He will be loved, remembered, and missed by all.

The interment of Paul’s ashes will be held Saturday, April 29th (World Tai Chi Day) at 2:30 p.m. at Sky View Memorial Park, 25 Skyview Park Drive, Asheville, NC.  The Celebration of Life, “Eternal Spring,” will be held on June 27, 2023 from 3-7pm at the Garden House at Look Memorial Park, 298 Main Street, Northampton, MA 01060. Memorial donations may be made to the charity of your choice or presented at the “Eternal Spring” event where the funds donated will be used to create and maintain a public platform where his teachings may continue to be a gift to everyone.

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Past Services

Graveside Service

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Starts at 2:30 pm (Eastern time)

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Celebration of Life

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

3:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Garden House at Look Memorial Park

298 Main Street, Northampton, MA 01060

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