OBITUARY

Loretta June Gallagher

June 9, 1927September 10, 2021
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Loretta J. (Gehl) Gallagher, 94, of Overland Park, Kansas died Friday, September 10, 2021. She was born June 9, 1927 in Elmwood Park, Illinois to William and Mary Gehl. Loretta was predeceased by her loving husband of 51 years, Richard J. “Dick” Gallagher, Sr. and their daughter, Mary Kay Gallagher.

Loretta graduated from Notre Dame High School in Chicago and then attended Loyola University Chicago on scholarship, where she also worked with her sister, Evelyn. Loretta’s first two jobs – at Reuter’s Bakery and then at the Mars Candy Company – fostered what would become a lifetime love of all things chocolate. She later worked in market research and then managed a restaurant, before entering the field of education. She worked as a teacher’s aide, a librarian, and then as a paraprofessional for students with multiple disabilities. She spoke before the Kansas House of Representatives on the status of paraprofessionals in the public school system. She worked for the U.S. Government, Bureau of the Census and retired in 1989.

She and her husband, Dick, retired to Bella Vista, Arkansas – “God’s Country”, as they called it – in 1991. Loretta loved to tell the story of how she and Dick ran away from their children and moved to Arkansas. As a retiree, Loretta stayed busy: she was a regular volunteer at the Bella Vista library; hosted a local television show reviewing books; tutored citizenship candidates through a program at Northwest Arkansas Community College; served as a Watchdog Grandma and Outdoor School guest reader at Lingle Middle School in Rogers, Arkansas; and volunteered at the Helping Hands Thrift Store.

Throughout her life, Loretta’s faith guided her. In 1962, she and her family joined Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Lenexa, Kansas, where she was an Altar Society member and director of the parish’s Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) program. Over the years, she and Dick opened their home to several foster children through Catholic Charities. She later attended Queen of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Overland Park, where she was a choir member. She was a founding member of St. Stephen Catholic Church in Bentonville, Arkansas, joining its Benevolent Society and the Church choir. She served as a Stephen Minister and a Eucharistic Minister, and she found strong, faith-based fellowship, friendship, and support as a member of the Scripture Sisters. She returned to the Kansas City area and re-joined Holy Trinity parish in Lenexa. Loretta was an oblate of the Order of Saint Benedict.

Loretta loved her large family, related by blood and by love, watching with joy as each grandchild was born. Life got even better with the arrival of her first great-grandchild… and then another… and then another… She was delighted to have a namesake, Loretta Rose, and when little Parker was born on June 9 – a birthday twin! – it was almost as exciting as watching the Chiefs win the Superbowl.

Loretta is survived by a son, Richard J. “Dick” Gallagher, Jr., his wife, Maureen, and their three children, Erin (Ian) Hutchison, Brian Gallagher (Brittany Jarvis), and Eileen (Ryan) Lindsay; a daughter, Lori Edington-Lyon, her husband, John Lyon, and six children: Dean Edington, Jr. (Casey Merritt), Greg Edington (Kait McBrayer), Mary Edington (Joel Campbell), Christine (Nathan) Taylor, Amy Lyon (Rid Hoque), and Liz Jones; a daughter, Sheila Gallagher; a daughter, Maureen Gallagher Briggs; and a daughter, Stephanie Robinson and granddaughter, Jennifer Robinson. There are fifteen great-grandchildren: Alden, Alex, Arlo, Brianna, Dean, Declan, Everett, Kennedy, Logan, Loretta Rose, Olivia, Paisley, Parker, Sean, and Zach.

A visitation for Loretta will be held Monday, September 20, 2021 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at McGilley & Hoge Johnson County Memorial Chapel, 8024 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, Kansas. A Mass of Christian burial will occur Tuesday, September 21, 2021 at 10:30 AM at Holy Trinity Catholic Parish - The Stone Chapel, 9130 Pflumm, Lenexa, Kansas. A committal service will occur Tuesday, September 21, 2021 at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery, 8321 Quivira Road, Lenexa, Kansas.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Loretta's memory may be made to Convoy of Hope, P.O. Box 1125, Springfield, Missouri 65801; Convoy of Hope (Donation Website), https://convoyofhope.org/donate/; Heart to Heart International, P.O. Box 15566, Lenexa, Kansas 66285; and Heart to Heart International (Donation Website), https://www.hearttoheart.org/.

Services

  • Visitation

    Monday, September 20, 2021

  • Mass of Christian Burial

    Tuesday, September 21, 2021

  • Committal Service

    Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Memories

Loretta June Gallagher

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Shari Gallagher Fisher

September 17, 2021

Auntie Chick was such a special lady, full of spunk and with an infectious smile. She leaves a legacy of love and laughter.

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