'A good life so far': Walton County resident, Destin condo builder looks back

Published: Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 04:21 PM.

"They called me Pancho, because they couldn't pronounce my name," he said. "Now, everyone calls me that except for my family. It doesn't bother me, it's just a nickname."

Gallegos never thought to make a career out of boxing, but out of 49 fights, he had 39 knockouts. He said he used this talent to protect his family and female friends.

"I was fast and quick, but I didn't care too much about it," he said of his short-lived boxing record.

Perhaps his military friends could have called him Running Bear, which is the American translation of Eloy. The name fits Gallegos well since after the military he visited several places in the Southeast.

In 1953, Gallegos married his wife Joan, whom he met in Albany, Ga. Two years later, they had a daughter, Charlene, and six years later came their son Gary. Joan's father has his own construction business and introduced Gallegos to the trade. Eventually, work would lead him to Destin.

As a construction engineer, Gallegos helped bring condos such as Hidden Dunes and Surfside to fruition.

"They didn't have the new Highway 98," he recalled. "You had to use the old road."

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