Father of MHS star Galante thanks town for acts of kindness

One year ago this week, the Marblehead community mourned the death of MHS Super Bowl champion James Galante, who lost his life in a single-car crash on March 18.

The next night, hundreds gathered at Piper Field to console each other while a gentle rain fell, providing an appropriate backdrop to a most solemn occasion.  

Marblehead High School 2021 Super Bowl champion James Galante is shown through the years. Left, Galante is running with the football as a Marblehead Youth Football player, while on the right he is proudly wearing his MHS uniform before the start of the 2021 season. Courtesy photo

Just three months prior to the accident, the town was celebrating the accomplishments of Galante and his teammates after they defeated North Attleboro, 35-28 to secure the Division 3 Super Bowl championship at Gillette Stadium. The emotional rollercoaster was all too quick to comprehend. But the community wrapped its arms around the Galante family to help them grieve their loss.

“We are so grateful for the incredible outpouring of support by the community following the loss of our beloved son, James,” said Jim Galante, James’ dad. “Although it would be impossible to list the countless random acts of kindness that we have received over the past 12 months, we are grateful for each and every one of them, and we would like to thank you all.”

Jim Galante specifically mentioned the many organizations that were there from the beginning, including the Marblehead Police and Fire departments, the staff at Massachusetts General Hospital, Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish, Eustis and Cornell Funeral Home, Marblehead High School football, Kirkwood, Marblehead Youth Football, Marblehead Youth Baseball, Marblehead Youth Basketball Association, Brookwood School, good friend Bill Crouch, SES Sports, the Rockett family, and the Kraft family and the New England Patriots organization.

He added, “We are forever thankful to our friends, neighbors and loved ones for embracing us during our darkest times, and for their constant companionship, meals, flowers, hugs, keepsakes and donations.”

Those donations have allowed the family to start the James R. Galante Scholarship Fund, “which will give back to the community, while preserving James’ memory for many years to come,” Jim Galante explained.

Last spring, Jim Galante presented the first scholarships for $2,500 each to James’ football teammates George Percy and James Doody. His track teammates Ben Kahn and Michael Gabaud were given $1,000 scholarships. In addition to these scholarships, over $20,000 was granted to community nonprofits in 2022.

Jim Galante remarked about his three other children’s inner strength to continue on with their activities.

Marblehead High School 2021 Super Bowl champions, from left, A.J. Andriano, Josh Robertson and James Galante, are shown as Marblehead Youth Football teammates. They learned to play the game at an early age, setting the stage for success in high school on the Gillette Stadium grand stage. COURTESY PHOTO

“Lisa and I’s biggest fear is that the kids are putting up a brave front to prevent us from worrying about them,” he said. “But they are strong kids, who all did their best to keep their heads up following the accident. However, we also know they each have a loving group of friends that check up on them regularly.

Dahlia Galante is now a junior at Trinity College majoring in English and Philosophy, while competing on the varsity track team. Julius Galante is a sophomore at Westminster High School, while Oscar Galante is an eighth-grader at the Veterans School.

“Both Julius and Oscar are now gearing up for their spring baseball seasons,” Jim Galante said.

James Galante, who had committed to continue playing football at Denison University in Ohio, drew people to him.

“He was soft spoken, walked tall and let his actions do the talking on and off the field,” his father said. “He was never mean to anyone. At his funeral service, a mom with her daughter and son came up to us, and the mom started by thanking us for raising a good boy. The daughter then said James stuck up for her when she was being bullied. They all hugged us when we could not stop crying. That made us so proud.”

The first annual James R. Galante Charity Golf Tournament will be held at Tedesco on June 5. It was the only date available at the country club, and ironically, it is also James’ birthday. The tournament sold out in three days.

Joe McConnell
jmcconnell@marbleheadnews.org | + posts

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