In Memoriam – Mike Galer

Fallen Rebels

Mike Galer— Central Base

Mike was instrumental in building up others and making the 621st Detention Squad – 501st Legion the best it could be. Through the years he so freely gave of himself through charity events, supporting the Special Olympics, and mentoring. He was a welder by trade, and it was during a particular work incident that he earned the nickname Pooh Bear that has stuck ever since. Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Missy (TK-4839) of Sioux Falls; sons, Jacob who is stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base and Logan of Sioux Falls and fur baby, Maggie Mae. He was the most amazing man his family could have ever wished for, and he will never be forgotten.

An excerpt written by fellow legion member Jeff “Dawmer” Schipman (ID 10421) –

“I don’t know when I met Mike. I think it was in Sioux City, IA at Acme comics and I’m guessing it was around 2012. You see, when I started hanging around the Star Wars groups in Omaha around 2001, there wasn’t many people we knew who costumed in South Dakota… for that matter there weren’t many in Nebraska either. It was easy to remember people when they came along. For the longest time in South Dakota, we had the powerful group of Jamie, Comet, Mike and Rob… and Mike was a great recruiter… he helped grow the group or groups I guess ’cause he was both “a good guy” and “a bad guy”, year after after year. I’m sure if you ask just about anyone who costumes here who talked to them about joining and making a costume, it was Mike. And not knowing where I met him makes sense. He didn’t want to be the center of attention. In the 501st Legion, him being the South Dakata captain for many years, we had the running joke… M Galer was in charge. Was it Mike? Was it Missy? We don’t know… its just M Galer behind the scenes. Making things happen.

Mike was the type of guy who would give you anything you needed. One year I traveled up for an event in March. I think there was weather or something and Mike asked me where I was staying. I said no where… headed back to Omaha. He said… nope, you’re staying with us tonight. He wouldn’t even let me crash on the couch…He gave me “his” bed and room. (I guess he snored louder than a chain saw so had his own room… who am I to judge, I snore too… )

He and I had an idea once… Sioux Falls needed a remote control life sized Star Wars droid. He knew I had made a R2 unit a few years before so we began talking about what we needed. Around that time, a young, local, Star Wars fan, Ian Keisacker, had passed away. We decided we were going to not only build one, we’d make a remembrance droid named R4 EN in honor of Ian. He again helped behind the scene, gathering funds and people to help. He used his shop knowledge to fabricate much of the drive train structure. Soon it became a huge group project but it all started cause he had a love of big projects and dreams.

Thats just the type of guy he was, he’d give it all. Every time. He was the first to volunteer. He was the first to break the ice in a conversation. He was also the first to tell a joke in a stressfull situation. And that laugh… infectious! He was family to us all. ‘Til we meet again my friend and May the force be with you!”