Richard Stephan Gollaher

Allegany, NYóRichard Stephan Gollaher of 837 Four Mile Rd. died Friday (April 18, 2008) in the Olean General Hospital after a short illness.

Born February 12, 1946 in Arlington, VA he was the son of Charles Richard and Gertrude Tapp Gollaher. On April 1, 1967 in Penn Yan he married Joan A. Strong who survives.

Mr. Gollaher was a 1964 graduate of Olean High School and later he studied forestry at Paul Smithís College. He then graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford with a degree in petroleum engineering.

He was a veteran of the US Army where he served in the Vietnam War as a combat engineer in the 79th Engineer Group. He was a recipient of the Purple Heart. He later served in Military District Washington in Washington, DC where he was privileged to be part of the vehicle escort service which included the funeral for President Dwight D. Eisenhower and for the inauguration of President Richard Nixon. Upon retirement from active duty he served with the 98th Division of the US Army Reserve, retiring in 1995 as E-9 Master Sergeant.

He had been a self employed owner of Gollaher Oil and Drilling Co. in Allegany for most of his working life. He was a lifelong member of the First Presbyterian Church in Olean and was a member of the Olean Masonic Lodge #252 F&AM. He also was a life member of the VFW in Olean and the Allegany American Legion Charles Harbel Post #892. He volunteered as a driver for the Allegany-Cattaraugus Counties Joint Veterans Van Service. Beginning in 1979, by the appointment of the NYS governor, he served for 7 years on an ad hoc committee on Real Property Tax Law. He also served on the Allegany Town Planning Board for 20 years.

He was a member of the Arts Guild of Old Forge, NY and the Herkimer County Historical Society, as well as having been a member of the Allegany Historical Society. He had served as the secretary for the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Association for a number of years and was currently serving as the treasurer of the Independent Oil and Gas Association, Inc. in Buffalo. He had also served on the board of directors for the NYS Oil Producerís Association and was currently the president of the Penn-Brad Oil Museum in Bradford, PA.

Surviving besides his wife are numerous cousins, including a special cousin Patricia McGrath of Allegany; a brother-in-law Gary Strong of Cape Cod, MA; 4 nephews Timothy Strong, Lance Strong and Jarrod Strong, all of Penn Yan and Jordon Strong of Cape Cod, MA; 2 nieces Gretchen Callahan of Cape Cod, MA and Melissa Eberle of Allegany.

Friends will be received at the Casey, Halwig & Hartle Funeral Home 3128 W. State Rd. Olean on Sunday from 4-7pm and on Monday from 2-4 & 7-9pm. Funeral services will be held Tuesday (April 22, 2008) at 11:00am in the First Presbyterian Church 212 Laurens St. in Olean. Rev. William Allen will officiate, assisted by Rev. Dr. Anthony L. Evans. Burial, with full military honors, will be in Allegany Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church 212 Laurens St. Olean, NY 14760, the Penn-Brad Oil Museum in Custer City, PA 16725 or to the Town of Allegany Area Historical Association C/O Frances Potter 3123 W. Five Mile Rd. Allegany, NY 14706.