Jeff Galas, A celebration of his life and times

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GALAS - Jeffery "Jeff" Lee Galas, age 48, of Grand Rapids 
went to be with the Lord Saturday, December 27, 2003 
after a short, courageous battle with cancer. 
He was reunited in death with his precious daughter, Andrea Marie. 
Surviving are his son, Anthony Lee Galas; Bette Davis
his parents, Andrew and Mary; 
sisters and brothers, Susan (Harry) Campbell, Michael (Suellen) 
Galas, Frederick (Kathleen) Galas, Ann (Benjamin) Rienks; 
loving nieces, nephews; great nieces; aunts; uncles; cousins and 
numerous dear friends. Jeff was a well known gifted musician playing 
in several local bands including "Ozz", "Eliminator" and "Impact". 
He was a member of St. Isidore Parish. 
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday at 10 a.m. 
at St. Isidore Church. Interment Holy Cross Cemetery. 
The family will receive visitors on Tuesday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. 
at the Arsulowicz Brothers Mortuary, East, 937 Michigan NE 
where a Vigil Service will be held Tuesday 7:30 p.m. 
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions to American Cancer Society 
or SIDS Foundation will be appreciation. 
Published in the Grand Rapids Press from 12/29/2003 - 12/30/2003.

Guest Book Entries Below.

NOTE:  12-16-2010
NEW PAGE ADDED.....Special Thanks to Ken Bell who played in Jeff's band, Eliminator.
Ken has loaded up several video clips of Eliminator playing at the Lowell Show Boat!
Hope you enjoy.  Those were great days!  Ann

Dear Friends of my brother Jeff,
I want to thank each of you for taking time to sign Jeff's online guest book.  
In our hearts and memories we keep him.  I am personally at the point where
I can work on his site without getting overly depressed.  I would like to start adding
photos of Jeff's life.  
(Prefer Jpeg format, no larger than 700 pixels wide and preferably less than 200 DPI)
I would like to invite you to share any fond photos you may 
treasure and would like to share with us to post on his site.  
Please e-mail me first who you are, how you know Jeff and that you will be sending me a photo.  
Then send a second email with the photo.  Sorry for the inconvenience, but with
the internet being the way it is, I know you all understand.
Many Thanks and God Bless.

Ann M. (Galas) Rienks
November 10, 2006

Most Recent post below...Just Posted November 21, 2010

Monday, October 24, 2011
Mike Galas  mg1856 @

November 21, 2010
I don't know if you remember me.  I was in Ozz for about 6 months in 1980.  I had heard about Jeff's passing about a year and a half after it happened from a friend in Grand Rapids.  I just found your website about a month ago and in reading the guest book found that Scott passed also.  I hope Fred is doing well.  I also just found out thru Dave Pratt on Facebook that Greg Dolphin is also gone.
I have some pictures of my Ozz days and an article from the Grand Rapids Press.  Unfortunately, Jeff being the drummer he is in the background.  
I am very sorry for your loss.
Please say hello to Fred.
Jim Monastar
NOTE:  Special Thanks to Jim for sharing the photos and article.
Visit the Photos Page to view the photos that Jim has shared with us.


I've had the dream come true pleasure of playing with the BEST road show ever, OZZ. We traveled all around Michigan and as far as Texas. We were the Best of the Best, Jeff Galas one of the most phenomenal drummers and one of the most all around great guys you ever want to meet. Like a brother to all his friends, I had the greatest time playing music and traveling with him, never a dull moment. Jeff and I had a synchronism in the rhythm section of band that was parallel to none. He was one of the greatest drummers I've ever played with. Besides Jeff and I, there was the so called Wizard of OZZ, Fred Galas, he took a chance on me when he and his lovely wife Kathy came to see the band I was playing in, in some little Podunk bar in Grand Rapids. Fred was the brains and the booking agent for the band and kept us busy all year. Fred played the keyboards like Mozart; it was like second nature to him, he is one of the great musicians of the Mid-west. Then there was one of the hottest guitar players that I've seen in my 50 some years. A very good friend of mine Macy Simpson, he was modest but he knew he had lightning fingers, never missed a note and always had a smile on his face as he graced the audience. And to round off the greatest road show in the Mid-west, we were blessed with the presence of the best sound and lighting engineers that Michigan has ever produced. The two wizards that I speak of are very mysterious, the sound engineers name is JK, cloaked in mystic JK new sound and setting up sound systems like most people knew how to change channels on there TVís. He was a master of the soundboard and gave the band the special edge to rise above the rest. Last but not least the very special person that everyone relyed on was Ziggy. Ziggy was the lighting engineer that lighting wannabeís aspired to be. He had an arsenal of lights; colors, effects and most of all the best FIRE show ever.  People came from miles to see some of the special effect Ziggy had under his sleeve. After having said all that, I want to get back to the subject at hand, one of my best friends and greatest drummers that Iíve ever seen Jeff Galas, he will always be in my thoughts and in the numerous photos and great sound tracks that I cherish of OZZ, To Jeff I will miss you.

Steve Tingley


OZZ Band

August 10, 2009



Well, I didn't really need to find this site tonight, but I'm glad I did.
My name is Mark Emery and I have been friends with Jeff as long as I can remember.  I use to help him with his band and he is the reason I started playing and writing music.

I will never forget you Jeffery Galas.  You put the music in my
heart and it can never be removed.  

Mark Emery

November 9, 2006

My name is Ken Bell and I came across the page for Jeff recently. I played in a band called Eliminator with him in the 80s.
Jeff gave me an opportunity that I will never forget and will forever be grateful. I was sad when I came across the memorial page because one of the things he seemed to have was more life than anybody around him; always filled with energy and even though
he could get testy, I don't believe I ever saw him in a bad mood the entire time I knew him.

We got to travel up and down the west coast of Michigan and I can look back from my 40s and say those were definitely some of the most fun times in my life.

I am sorry for your loss.

Ken Bell

September 18, 2006 

SPECIAL NOTE TO KEN:  October 8, 2006
Dear Ken, 
I want to personally thank you for sending the DVD footage of Jeff's band Eliminator.  You guys were great!  I can't tell you how wonderful it was to hear Jeff's voice again and see him doing what he loved and excelled at, playing music. I may be a bit bias, but his talent on the drums, as a vocalist and as an over all musician was enormous.  My Dad, Sister Sue, Brothers Mike and Fred, myself, thank you for so generously sharing your personal VHS footage with us.  Truly a gift.  My own children and my great niece never had the opportunity to see Uncle Jeff play Rock N Roll.  Watching your DVD of Eliminator was a thrill for them.  Jeff had a great relationship with the kids and there isn't  a day that goes by that they don't talk about him, especially when we listen to the radio.  Many thanks and God's Blessings to you and yours.
Ann M. Rienks & Family

Somehow I ended up at this webpage today...
I was married to Steve Tingley for five good years in the 80's.
We drove from Texas to Michigan to see the great Ozz!
Steve used to play with the band.  On that trip I met Fred, Kathy, Jeff, and many other of Steve's old friends.  I felt the love between you then, and now so many years later I see it
here in this webpage.  God bless you all. 
I still miss Steve..say hello to him if he is still in your lives.
He had that same spark in his eyes that I saw Jeff had.
Nancy Strait
November 22, 2004


To the family & friends of Jeff,

I just heard today that Jeff & Scott had passed away. I was very surprised and sad to hear this. I knew Jeff from OZZ and how he was
always very friendly to me and how he took my band "Eveready & The Batterys" and helped us out getting gigs, etc. We were honored to be able to play with OZZ at the Bavarian Inn at the last New Years Eve party ever held there in 1980. That was very special for us. Thank you Jeff, Fred, Rich & Scott again for that opportunity. Jeff, I hadn't seen you in quite
some time but I'll remember your friendship forever. My prayers go out to
your family & friends.


Bill Van Ess 
May 27, 2004

With Love from Robbin










Come to ME

God saw you getting tired and a cure was not to be,
So He put His arms around you and whispered,
"Come to Me"
With tearful eyes we watched you,
and saw you pass away,
and although we loved you dearly,
we could not make you stay.
A golden heart stopped beating,
hard working hands at rest.
God broke our hearts to prove to us,
HE only takes the best.
                                                          February 19, 2004

Eriks and Diane Rumbergs   Denver CO
Caryn Paten (Rumbergs)      Denver CO

February 5, 2004


My Dear Brother Jeff,

Today marks the 4th week of your passing. It seems like your are just away somewhere, not really gone. There is not a day that does not begin or end without the thought of you. Monday would be your 49th birthday.

I feel so very blessed to have had you for a brother and a friend. You have given me memories I will treasure for the rest of my days. From when you were my baby brother and we were children growing up on Lyon Street, to sharing in your sorrow as you grieved the loss of your beautiful daughter Andrea, and the heartache of your divorce, both at the same time.

The gift you gave us in your son Anthony. I know there will come a day, when he has children of his own, that he will truly understand the "Unconditional Love" only a parent knows. That is the way you "Always" loved you son. I can say without any doubt, you were so very proud of him and always loved him. He was one of your greatest gifts to us. Through him, you live on.

There was never a dull moment with you. I remember one of our first Christmas' at the farm. You picked up our big buffy goose, carried him into the house and said, "When do we eat?" That poor goose, I think he thought you were serious!

Then there is the gift of your music. Music is a gift from God, and you were greatly blessed. From Rock, to Polkas, to Funk. You could play and sing with the best of them, like you had played with them for years. Truly a gift! Thank you for the gift of music you gave us when you sang at Annie's wedding. It was through that gift we were able to hear your voice again at your funeral singing, "In This Very Room." I will miss the sound of "Life" in your drums, your wonderful voice, but most of all I will miss your smile, the spark in your big brown eyes and the warmth of your hugs. You were always genuinely glad to see family and friends and gave so freely of yourself.

I will treasure the gifts of the heart you have given me. I never told you how honored I was that you chose me as your primary patient advocate. That was the ultimate gift of trust.

Thank you for sharing with me every day of your last week of life. I had no idea at the time that we were so close to the end. We only had 42 days from when you were diagnosed. I could not say, "Goodbye". I did not want you to ever think 
I had given up hope. "Where there is life, there is always hope".

Thank you for the Christmas gift I treasure the most. When we came to see you Christmas day, Cyndi bent over to give you a kiss. You opened your eyes, looked at Ashley and said, "Hi Beautiful." I thought you were just rolling over to get comfortable. You reached out to Ashley, pulled her close to you, hugged her tenderly and called her, "Ash."

Most of all dear brother, thank you for the gift of "YOU" and your unconditional love. I miss you.

I know you are home safe in the arms of our Lord and that I will see you again. That gives me comfort and peace. I know when it is my time, you will come for me to show me the way home. I will look for your handsome face. May God Bless and keep you in His tender care, until we meet again. I Love you.

Your Sister,
Sue Campbell (Clarksville, MI )
January 24, 2004



I was very taken when I heard of Jeff's passing. In the time that I was involved with OZZ Jeff, Fred, Mike were like brothers to me. Jeff and I had a lot of goodtimes together and these will be the thoughts I'll always reflect on. Jeff was always kind and thoughtful of others around him and always willing to help. I think that will be the memories of Jeff others carry with them. I'll never forget that huge smile, and those loud drums. Jeff, you'll be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Galas family and everyone who Jeff touched during his life.

Mike Dodge
January 15, 2004



Dear Jeff,

You were one of a kind. With an artist's temperment, you were often misunderstood. I'll miss your passion for life and your sense of humor. I'll miss your intense hazel eyes reaching into my soul.

You had such a strong appreciation and love for your family. I can still see the way you beamed when you talked about Anthony. You would say increduously, "Do you believe that I have such a great kid?" Yes, we believe it.

I'm thankful that Betty was there for you. I know you loved her and as you said, you were meant to be together.

Rest in peace, dear heart. XOX

January 6, 2004



Although I never had the privilege to meet you, you have become very dear in my heart through my sweet aunt, Susan Campbell. She requested prayer for you and so, you were there in my heart and mind for all the brief weeks of your illness. God bless your family and friends, and may they know the peace that passes all understanding you are now experiencing first hand.
Psalms 30:5, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning". We look forward to that eternal morning!

Patricia Garrett (Lebanon, VA )
January 5, 2004



Dear Jeff,
As a fellow musician and drummer, you were a great inspiration to me, both as a player and a friend. You were the ultimate "live" drummer, and watching you and Fred, Mike Dodge and Scott Johnson over the years made me want to play and be a drummer in a "Rock-n-Roll" band. Thank you for all the great memories and gifts that you gave us all over the years. I will be a fan of yours forever!

Brother in music-Thom Postema

Thom Postema (Grandville, MI )
January 5, 2004


We shall keep Jeff and his family in our prayers.

Therese, Ron and Rachel Cooper (Rockford, MI )
January 5, 2004



With deepest sympathy, to my cousin Jeff.

Love Jan & Bob Becker
Robert & Janice Becker (Hudsonville, MI )
January 2, 2004



I did not know Jeff personally but following his illness through my dear friend, 
Ann Rienks, I feel he has indirectly blessed my family. I will never again take anything for granted, not one day nor one minute of this life. I am so sorry for Jeff's family and friends and also sorry I did not have the privilege to know him personally. Love and hugs,

Maggie Mieske (Evart, MI )
January 2, 2004



As I sat in St. Isidore's Church before the mass started, I had time to reflect on the things I remembered about Jeff. I remembered him playing the drums while Uncle Andy played the Accordian at our family get togethers at Diamond Hall. My mom would always be requesting some "rock and roll". You could count on Proud Mary being played and then Love Potion Number 9 would suddenly blend in at the end. I can remember Jeff's smile while he played and the raspy sound of his voice as he sung for all his hip aunties.
I can remember helping bartend for one of the graduation parties and Jeff insisting that I do a shot of cognac with him. It sure went down smooth. I could tell he enjoyed life's simple pleasures.
I enjoyed stopping to the Green Apple and listening to OZZ play to a packed house and enjoyed the heat given off by those flashpots. Jeff was always happy to see family at his gigs and never missed a chance to talk to me between sets.
So many times people leave this Earth without the chance to say Thank You, to express their feelings to loved ones, to help people in need, to give something without expecting something in return. These are qualities that Jeff led his life by. He will be sadly missed by everyone that was touched by his life. Thank you Jeff for the memories that I have of you.
James Karasiewicz

Jim Karasiewicz (Coopersville, MI )
January 2, 2004



To My Beloved Brother Jeff,
I miss you dearly. In reflection of your life thru photos with us, with your friends and throughout your life, brought back fond memories to me. You always looked out for me , escorted me safely to my car where ever you were playing at. I always remember people telling you how good you drummed, sang or performed. And you always said "Thank You" with a humble smile. Your humility as a performer is what drove you to the success you achieved. Because of the respect that your friends had for you, they treated me with respect, simply because I was your baby sister and they still do. Jeff I know people sat in judgment of you on many occasions, but you had the gift to accepted people for who they were, regardless of color, race or creed. Proof of this was in the attendance at your wake.

In the privilege of planning and attending your wake, we opted for a two day showing, because we knew you knew many people. I couldn't believe the numbers of friends that came to pay you their last respects. Each visitation built in numbers from the last to the crescendo of the Rosary. Arsulowicz had to open the adjoining room for additional seating which was full and people were standing in the hallway outside both rooms. Man you can still pack them in. I counted the number of signatures in your book and they totaled to just over 400. And you thought you had no friends.

Then came our final day to bid your handsome physical presence farewell. I watched the people file past your casket. Cyndi, our niece went to place a memento in your coat pocket, she told me later with a grin that the first pocket she tried was full with notes and mementos from others and the other pocket was equally as full. She did manage to squeeze hers in along with the others.

And at your Funeral Mass, the opening song was you singing the song you sang at my wedding, "In This Very Room". You left not a dry eye. Our nephew Luke played a most poignant classical guitar piece as Father Don prepared communion, you could feel his emotion come thru the notes and when he placed his guitar down, he wiped the tears away from his eye's. Your friend Pat Smith recited a beautiful poem about, "Do not weep at my grave, as I am not there." And the reading that our cousin Johnny read for your service, he read with pride and worked hard to keep his tears in check. And Cyndi did us all proud as she gave her tribute to you, pointing out that "your great wealth couldn't be bought, but rather was present in this very room in the love of family and friends. " and that "His greatest gifts in his life were given to him through his children Anthony and Andrea whom he loved with every ounce of his heart and soul." and "how lucky you were to be loved so deeply by Betty who was at your side till your last breath." She has my highest regard for her love, compassion and devotion to you Jeff.

As Mass concluded and your casket moved to exit the church, we all began to file out of our pews in procession behind you, I thought I had the tears out of my system, until I looked to the back of the church to see that you packed them in once again, the church pews were full of those who loved you on this side of eternity. And my tears came yet again at the significance that their presence sent tribute to you dear brother. Can you imagine the pride that Mom and Dad felt at the outpouring of love and support in your passing?

We waited in our cars below for your final ride to Holy Cross Cemetery. And Jeff, you would be so proud to know that your best friend Pat, who read the poem, lead the way on his awesome Harley Davidson to your final resting place. The roar of his bike I'm sure was heard on your side of eternity. The procession of cars to escort you was over one mile long. I'm so proud of you Jeff. I and so many others will sorely miss the fine presence of your company. God called home one of the brightest stars of our family in you. But I know you now have eternal life through Jesus Christ and that someday we will meet again. And when my time comes, I will look for your face to escort me over.
I love ya Jeff.

Ann (Galas) Rienks (Clarksville, MI )
January 2, 2004


Jeff, It was only a few months ago we saw you at U-Haul when moving Ryan. We had a great time talking about the old days when we used to go and listen to you play in Ozz. Little did we know it would be the last we would ever see you. You were a class guy and we are lucky to have known you. We will miss you. Jack & Marcee Kuzniak

Jack Kuzniak (Grand Rapids, MI )
December 30, 2003




Frederick Galas (Grand Rapids,, MI )
December 28, 2003



Hey Jeff, you were my soul brother and best friend for lots of years. I have always remembered and thought about you, and your gentle gift of friendship. It has been a while but u will always be in my heart. We had a blast together for alot of years, and that will be a part of my life forever. You were always a good and loyal friend, and a true one of the pack! I will always love you, Terri

Terri Bernott (Napier) (Grandville, MI )
December 29, 2003



Every time I seen Jeff play locally, it was like he was playing in a concert. His conversations were always a treat when running into him from time to time. Is all that stuff really true? I wonder.
Best wishes Jeff...

Tony Balczak (Grand Rapids, MI )
December 29, 2003



Jeff was involved in a very important time of my life. As soundman for his band "OZZ" I was honored to be able to work with such an accomplished musician. We became good friends over the years, and then life's changes sent us on our own paths. I was fortunate to have been able to talk with Jeff a few months ago and we had opportunity to reminisce old times. He gave me no hint that he was having serious health problems, but then Jeff never would. I will miss you Jeff.
To all of his family, my prayers are with you.
Best regards,
Jim (JK) Klomparens

Jim (JK) Klomparens (Grand Haven, MI )
December 29, 2003




December 29, 2003

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