In Memoriam

SHAPE America recognizes notable men and women who passed away this year whose dedication to health and physical education will not be forgotten.


Remembering Those We Lost

Jere Gallagher photo

Dr. Jere Dee Gallagher passed away on Tuesday, August 20, 2019. Jere was and emeritus faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education for more than 33 years. Most of her time in Pitt's School of Education was spent as part of their Health and Physical Activity faculty and then later serving as associate dean who at various times provided leadership for academic affairs, student services, research and faculty development. Jere became an emerita faculty member in September 2014 and stayed active with the school in many ways including a member of the School of Education Alumni Society Executive Committee.

During her time in Pitt's School of Education, Jere worked with many students, faculty and staff, however one of her most passionate initiatives was creating the Kinder Kinetics Program in the Health and Physical Activity Department. The Kinder Kinetics Program was aimed at keeping young children active during the summer and providing them with opportunities to learn how to move effectively and gracefully. The program was highly regarded by parents and their children, and it gave kids something that is sometimes hard to find in an urban environment, coached and socially safe opportunities to be active and become more confident in their physical capabilities.

Since her retirement, the Health and Physical Activity faculty and staff honored Jere for her vision, leadership and service, by renaming the program “Pitt’s Kids: Honoring the Vision of Dr. Jere Gallagher”.

Services for Jere were held at the University of Pittsburgh’s Heinz Chapel on Wednesday, August 28, 2019.

Dr. Jere Dee Gallagher was a positive, uplifting spirit, and she cared deeply about the people she encountered and the University of which she was a beloved part. That is why everyone whom she touched loved her. Our memories of her are an important legacy.

She was also the child of parents with military careers. She was extremely proud of her parents and because of this, Jere established a special endowment in Pitt’s Office of Veteran Services to honor their legacies. She was especially proud when she described the military funeral and flyover for her mother.

Family was important to Jere and she regularly spoke of the members of her family and her husband Yale’s. She never looked happier than when talking about the children in her family – and of course showing the latest pictures.

Jere was a great friend to many of us and she will be greatly missed by all.

- Michael Haas
September 10, 2019

Joseph Samuel Darden Jr. photo

Dr. Darden held an A.B. degree in Biology from Lincoln University, an M.A. degree in Science Education and the Ed. D. degree in Health Education from New York University. A Fellow of the American School Health Association (ASHA), Dr. Darden served as a member of its Governing Council and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Association for the Advancement of Health Education (AAHE of AAHPERD). Dr. Darden was also a member of the Editorial Board of ASHA’s Journal of School Health and of the Advisory Board of Health Education, the journal of AAHE. Dr. Darden developed and taught courses in Sex Education/Human Sexuality at Kean College where he was a Professor of Health Education and Coordinator of Health Education.

For a number of years, he was also an Adjunct Professor of Health Education at Wagner College (Staten Island, New York), and taught graduate courses in Adolescent Sexuality for both Rutgers University and Montclair State College. Periodically, he appeared as a panelist on radio and television programs about sex education/family life education. In 1981, he was a member of the Family Life Education Curriculum Guidelines Committee of the New Jersey State Department of Education. During the fall of 1984, he co-produced “Sex Education Awareness,” four half-hour programs for Cable TV in Eatontown, NJ.

His honors include the Distinguished Service Award (American School Health Association, 1971); the Honor Fellow Award and the Distinguished Leadership Award (New Jersey AHPERD, 1972, 1975); Honor Award (New Jersey Health Education Council, 1975); Honor Award and Outstanding College/University Teacher of the Year (Eastern District Association, AAHPERD, 1976, 1983); Honor Award (American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, 1985); and the Outstanding Achievements in Education Award (National Association of Negro Business & Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc., North Jersey Unit, 1985). One of the first selected for “Who’s Who in Health Education in the Eastern District Association, AAHPERD,”. Darden was also listed in Who’s Who in the East and Who’s Who among Black Americans. He was a Certified Sex Educator, credentialed by the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists.

He continued to teach health and sex education as a tenured professor at Kean University until he retired. In addition to excelling academically, Dr. Darden served in the army during World War II as a master sergeant. He was also a leader and a lifelong member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

Dr. Darden was a proud and avid supporter of the organization AAHPERD, now called SHAPE. I remember hearing all about events, workshops and conferences he would attend growing up. My husband and I were in attendance when he received the second Honor Award and Outstanding College/University Teacher of the Year (Eastern District Association, AAHPERD, 1976, 1983). He positively affected his students, organizations, church, family and those close to him. In addition to being a Veteran, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity member, he was a dedicated Educator, Teacher, Leader, Role model and Father. I am quite proud to be his daughter. He will truly be missed.

- Michele Darden Burgess
September 4, 2019