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Obituary: Kathleen R. Gallagher

Kathleen R. Gallagher, wife of the late Edward A. Gallagher and longtime resident of Locust Valley and Baiting Hollow, NY and Vero Beach, FL, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Jan. 1, 2014 at her daughter’s home surrounded by family.

Mrs. Gallagher was born on May 8, 1924 to John and Kathleen Reilly of the Bronx. She had one older sister, Ednajane Checca, whom she adored. She proudly attended the Academy of Mount St. Ursula, the College of New Rochelle and graduated from Cornell University in 1945. A bit of a maverick in her time, while at Cornell and, unbeknown to her parents, she took flying lessons paid for with unspent food and gift money—notwithstanding that she had never previously been a passenger on a plane. She would often tell her children with a laugh that after sharing her excitement with her father, her mother put a stop to that learning experience.

After Cornell, Mrs. Gallagher earned her law degree at St. John’s University in 1951, graduating cum laude. It was there that she met her lifelong soul mate, Edward, a fellow law student. They moved to Glen Cove, where they were involved in the local community and St. Patrick’s Church. At the urging of local politicians and despite being nine months pregnant during the November 1963 election, Mrs. Gallagher ran on the Democratic ticket for Glen Cove City Court Judge. Despite losing, she always looked on that as a wonderful experience, especially as a woman at that time. A supportive and intelligent wife, she enjoyed the challenges and benefits of her husband’s career as a leader in the international telecommunications industry. His position afforded Mrs. Gallagher some of the most notable highlights of her life, of which she often spoke. A truly significant experience for Mrs. Gallagher arose as a result of His Holiness Pope Paul VI’s first and only visit to the United Nations, which was televised internationally. As a consequence of her husband’s professional involvement with this event, Mrs. Gallagher and her husband were invited to meet privately with His Holiness at the Vatican.

In Mrs. Gallagher’s own professional right, in the early 1970s she opened her real estate law and brokerage practice in Locust Valley handling both residential and commercial properties. With a true love of real estate, homes and people, and a keen intellect and heart for deal making, it was a perfect match for almost two decades.

She is survived by her children, Brian (Suellyn), Chris (Laura), Barbara (Frank) Erickson and Bernadette (Joseph) Gaffney, and grandchildren, Reid, Brian, Kyle, Kevin and Kathleen. Kathleen Gallagher was a woman of great faith, values, humor, dedication, determination and love for her husband of 53 years and for her family and friends. A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated by The Very Rev’d Daniel Nash, Pastor of St. Patrick’s Church in Glen Cove, NY. Burial followed at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Valhalla, NY. In lieu of flowers, the family requested that donations be made to Alexander’s Angels, 425 North Broadway #486, Jericho, NY 11753.