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Stephen K. Galpin

Stephen K. Galpin died on April 3, 2015, at home in Southport, CT, with his family by his side. The cause was cancer. He was 93 years old.


Stephen was born to Mr. and Mrs. Perrin C. Galpin (Stephanie Kellogg English) on February 2, 1922, in New York. He grew up in Pelham Manor, NY, and attended The Harvey School and The Hotchkiss School. Stephen graduated from Yale in 1943, and served in the U.S. Army during World War II, in an anti-aircraft battery in the Galapagos Islands and as an intelligence agent in Southeast Asia with the U.S. Office of Strategic Services. He was a first lieutenant when honorably discharged from the Army.


Stephen then worked for the Hartford Courant as a reporter, covering beats spanning obituaries, fire, and police to the Connecticut State Capitol. He later wrote for The Wall Street Journal, first in New York, penning the front-page “Worldwide” column, and then Washington, covering labor, Congress and ultimately, the White House. In 1955, Stephen joined General Electric Corporation at its New York headquarters, first as a speechwriter, then as public affairs manager. He spent 26 years with General Electric, retiring in 1981.


He married his beloved wife, the former Ruth Schwab, in 1950. They were married for 58 years before her passing in 2008. They moved to Rye, NY, when he began working for General Electric. The area allowed him to take part in two of his longtime interests: local government and sailing. He was elected to the Rye city council and was appointed deputy mayor. He was also a member of the city’s planning and charter revision commissions, as well as chairman and president of the Rye United Fund, which conducted an annual fundraising drive on behalf of numerous charities and causes. An avid sailor, he was a trustee of the American Yacht Club.


Stephen and his family moved to Southport when General Electric headquarters moved to nearby Fairfield, CT. He served as Fairfield Town treasurer and was a member of several town commissions, including charter revision, ethics, harbor management, and tax review. He continued sailing and was commodore of the Pequot Yacht Club, where he successively kept two 34-foot sailboats and, most recently, a 36-foot Hinckley-Newman lobster yacht. His journalistic roots still intact, he was a regular contributor to the Pequot Pilot newsletter. Stephen led the creation of Southport Harbor’s annual Blessing of the Fleet, a multidenominational event that includes a parade through the village. In tribute to Stephen for establishing this event, the State of Connecticut declared June 16, 2007, as Southport Blessing of the Fleet Day. In 2012, he was grand marshal of the Southport Annual Street Parade.


Stephen is remembered by his family as a “father of four, grandfather of ten and great-grandfather of six; he was a sailor, paratrooper, newspaper reporter, OSS intelligence agent, humorist, local politico, business executive and renowned dog lover.” He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen K. Galpin Jr. (Elizabeth C. Montgomery) of Bernardsville, NJ; daughters Mary Barnes of Guilford, CT, Priscilla Twombly of Easton, CT, and Susan Knowlton of Old Tappan, NJ; his sister, Mrs. William S. Moorhead (Lucy K. E. Galpin) of Westwood, MA; his grandchildren, great-grandchildren and his much-loved dog, Rufus. Mr. Galpin was predeceased by his sister, Anne Perrin Judson, in 1990. A memorial service was held on April 27, 2015, at Trinity Episcopal Church in Southport.

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