Ruth Theresa Gallagher

May 3, 1926February 21, 2018

Ruth Gallagher of Solana Beach passed away peacefully on February 21, 2018. Born at home in Morgantown, West Virginia of Hungarian immigrants, she was the 10th of 13 children. Her father, a history professor and pastor, started 14 Hungarian Reformed Churches across the northeast. Shortly after her 17th birthday, her father passed away and Ruth and her sister reached out “to find something more”.

Ruth converted to Catholicism and began to volunteer at St. Vincent’s Orphanage in Detroit, Michigan. This position led to a salaried, tuition-paid position that enabled her to transfer from night-school to daytime school and to complete her degree in Social Work.

In 1948, Ruth Gallagher met her future husband, Jack, on a blind date. He did not “have time for dating” while pursuing a degree in aeronautical engineering but needed a date for the senior prom… and the rest is history! They married on September 9, 1950.

Jack and Ruth were the proud parents of two sons in Cleveland, Ohio before moving to Phoenix, Arizona in 1959 for warmer weather and eventually to San Diego, CA in 1967.

In 1975, Jack and Ruth forsake their home and jobs to move to St. David, Arizona to help establish the Holy Trinity Benedictine Community.

In 1976, they moved back to Solana Beach and began their work in St. James Parish in Solana Beach where they are fondly remembered!

During the years in Phoenix and San Diego, Ruth worked as an elementary school teacher in parochial schools for 15 years and touched the lives of many children.

Ruth chose to enter Nazareth House on June 15, 2011 when she felt that her capability to function independently was impaired. She later transferred to Sunshine Care in Poway and will be remembered by everyone with whom she came in contact for her kindness, gentle spirit, blue eyes and generous heart!

She is survived by sister, Mary Alice Berdan, and brother, Joe Borsos; sons John and Michael; grandchildren Michael II, Keara, Ashlinn, Charlie, David, and Eva; daughters-in-law Dana, Dora, and Elaine.

Rosary – Thursday, March 1, 7 pm at El Camino Memorial, 340 Melrose Ave, Encinitas

Funeral Mass – Friday, March 2, 10 am at St. James Church, Solana Beach

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. James or your favorite charity.


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Ruth Theresa Gallagher

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Patti & Len Sperry

February 28, 2018

You were very special to us! You spoke at our wedding 40 years ago and you were a very faith filled person along with Jack and loved our gatherings yearly, up to several years ago! We are sad yet overjoyed you are with our Heavenly Father!!