Mary Lou Gallagher is on her way home. She graced the world with her presence for 88 beautiful years, and she will grace it with her prayers from an even more influential position, as a Saint in Heaven.
She was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin on 12/2/30 to Lillian and Leo LeMense. After graduating from St. Joseph’s Academy, she went to work for the Catholic Diocese. She was always a beautiful woman with smiling eyes and a kind and loving heart. She caught the eye of her older brother’s best friend, and in 1950, Mary Lou LeMense became Mary Lou Gallagher. In 1955, when she was expecting her third child, she wholeheartedly supported her husband’s decision to return to school to become a physician. She was instrumental in facilitating his degree in many ways. She was the captain of the family ship through the years of intensive training and beyond, and she even transcribed and collated all of the notes of multiple medical students so they could study more efficiently. It is quite possible that she acquired more knowledge of medicine in the process than the entire team put together.
She always lamented that she never made it to college, but she was a brilliant and talented woman who led the way for all of her children as they made their way through college and beyond. She was always available for late night studies. Her forte was art and writing, but her knowledge was vast. When she didn’t have the answers, she provided much needed solace and moral support.
Her first priority was God. Her second was family. She made sure that her children understood that their most important job on earth was to reach for heaven. Countless hours of her life were spent praying for her family that continued to grow in size with each passing year.
Mary Lou is leaving behind a legacy of love: Six children, 19 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren. When her grandchildren were young they would run to her whenever they felt the sting of parental oversight. Grandma would perform a thorough evaluation of their pain and inevitably turn on the perpetrators: their mothers and fathers. She would then begin the mighty task of soothing their hurt. She was a respite in the storm, a friend to every child and a savior for her children. Her great-grandchildren are also the beneficiaries of her generous love and affection. She will be missed.
Mary Lou is survived by her children, John Gallagher, Kathleen and Mike Schlittler, Michael and Cathleen Gallagher, Eileen and George Burnett, Tom and Heidi Gallagher, and Dan and Tracy Gallagher. She is also survived by 18 grandchildren and their spouses who have become an integral part of her life, and 28 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband Don (who left her far too early in the year 1988), her parents, Lillian and Leo LeMense, a brother Raymond LeMense, an infant grandchild and countless other family and friends. She had a special place in her heart for her friends who joined her every morning for daily mass followed by breakfast at the Allouez Café. Today she is in the company of many of them once again.
Visitation will be held at St. Matthew Catholic Church (130 St. Matthew St., Green Bay), Saturday, May 18, 2019 from 9:30 to 11:30 AM. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11:30 AM with Fr. Bob Kabat, celebrant. Entombment will be in Allouez Catholic Cemetery & Chapel Mausoleum.
In lieu of flowers, memorials directed to The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered for Mary Lou, and/or donations to Animarum Salus at www.animarumsalus.com are appreciated.
Mary Lou’s family would like to thank mom’s caregiver, Cheryl. She resisted her assistance at first, but she came to know her as a friend. We are immensely grateful for her loving care.