Citizen of the Year: 'My heart has been with Troutman'
BY DEBBIE PAGE
During its April meeting, the Troutman Town Council selected Chuck Gallyon as one of two Citizen of the Year honorees. The council made the unprecedented move because both candidates were so deserving of the honor, according to member Judy Jablonski, who made the motion.
“I’m not speechless often,” Gallyon said of the honor. “When I got the call, I said, ‘Are you serious? There are a 100 people more important than I am!’ ”
Mayor Teross Young and the Town Council will formally present the honor at the May 9 council meeting, which starts at 7 p.m.
Gallyon was appreciative of the mayor and the council, along with Parks and Recreation Coordinator Emily Watson and town parade liaison Angela Hoover, who nominated him.
Town Manager Justin Longino noted that Gallyon’s entire family is there on parade day, making things run smoothly.
“Chuck’s such a fixture in the community. He knows everybody, and he’s always willing to help where needed. We feel like he’s part of our family,” Longino said.
Gallyon has been instrumental in helping get the Independence Festival going again prior to the annual fireworks show as well as bringing the chili cook-off to the fairgrounds in Troutman, he explained.
“Jim Head and Chuck do a great job managing the fairgrounds. Their work brings a lot of people and business into the town,” Longino said.
Hoover noted that Gallyon “has volunteered with the town for many years. He truly cares about the town and its citizens.” He also pushed to get a giant flag for the fire department to display during parades and other special events and even helped pay for it with a few other local benefactors.
Even though Gallyon does not live in the city limits, his ties to Troutman run deep. His family moved to the family home place on Troutman Farm Road in 1957, and he attended Troutman schools until 10th grade, when his family moved to the northern part of the county.
Gallyon, who is serving his second term on the Iredell-Statesville Board of Education, now lives just outside of town off Old Mountain Road and maintains those community ties through his volunteer work. “My heart has been with Troutman all that time,” he said.
The 33-year Air Force veteran serves as parade chair for the annual Independence Day Parade as well as the recently revived Christmas Parade. He got involved when Dennis Cleary of the Marine Corps League asked him to help with the veteran-themed parade.
Gallyon had 20 years of parade organization experience from his work with the Statesville Jaycees. Hoover said Gallyon works to make the parades bigger and better each year.
Gallyon credits the “Troutman Terrifics,” his nickname for the town staff, for the success of the parades. “They are the backbone of the event. They are such hard-working people who do so much in the background that people don’t really see,” he said.
“The staff is so easy to work with. They are just open, good people. Troutman is a terrific place to live,” according to Gallyon. “I’m close to all the folks who work for the town.”
In addition to his many years of parade work, Gallyon, who retired as Iredell County Fire Marshal after 31.5 years in 2004, also served as a Troutman volunteer firefighter for over 30 years.
Currently president of the Kiwanis Club, Gallyon is also involved in the operation of the Iredell County Fairgrounds, especially with the Iredell County Agricultural Fair. He also served as president of the Dogwood Festival for four years and was on the West Iredell Water Board for none years.
After working with Iredell-Statesville Schools in maintenance and construction for 10 years after his retirement as fire marshal, Gallyon started a firefighter science program at Statesville High School, which moved to the Career and Technology School (CATS) campus the next year with another instructor after his election to the school board.
Gallyon is particularly proud of his school board role in approving the CATS facility, which plays an important role in Troutman as a trainer of future skilled workers for the entire county. The town also partners with CATS on various events and needs. “CATS really adds to the community,” he said.
Gallyon has three children, Chad, Matthew and Taylor. His six grandchildren keep him running about the state attending athletic events at various grade and college levels. His wife Tracey teaches at Celeste Henkel Elementary.