October 9, 1928-April 11, 2018
Mary Louise Sewell Gallagher born October 9, 1928, to J. Harvey and Mollie Sewell in Elko, Nevada. She was a 4th generation Nevadan. Mary Lou spent her early childhood in Salt Lake City, Utah, before moving to Reno with her parents and older sister, Dorothy. She attended high school at Holy Rosary Academy in Woodland, California.
Mary Lou attended the University of Nevada from 1946 to her graduation in 1950. She was active in student body activities as a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority and Cap and Scroll, the highest women’s honorary organization at the University. Mary Lou graduated in 1950 with a degree in Education and began teaching in Reno.
Soon after she began her teaching career, her sister Dorothy was engaged to marry Thomas Gallagher of Elko, Nevada. Through the wedding festivities Mary Lou was introduced to Tom’s brother, Elko Dentist, Morris F. Gallagher. Mary Lou and Morris were married on September 22, 1951. And so it was, the two Sewell sisters married the two Gallagher brothers.
Making their permanent home in Elko, Mary Lou and Morris began their family and welcomed their first child Mollie in 1952, followed by Morris in 1955 and John in 1958. Mary Lou and Morris loved to entertain. Mary Lou was always the consummate elegant and discriminating hostess. She was a dedicated wife, homemaker and, above all, relished the role of being a mother to her children and grandmother or “Nana” to her grandchildren.
As her children grew older, Mary Lou decided to return to education and began teaching English at the Elko Junior High School. She later became the reading specialist at the Nevada Youth Training Center (NYTC) in Elko, Nevada. The impact of her time at NYTC was immeasurable. With patience and perseverance Mary Lou gave many at-risk young men an invaluable gift – the ability to read. She retired from teaching in 1987.
In retirement, Mary Lou and Morris enjoyed traveling the world exploring different cultures and bringing back precious souvenirs of the many exotic places they visited. For many years, the winter months were spent in Palm Desert, California and in the Spring the couple would return to their home to spend Summer and Fall in Elko, Nevada.
Mary Lou was active in the Elko community, holding several offices in the women’s organization, P.E.O., and in 1987 became a member of the Catholic Faith and St. Joseph’s Parish in Elko. She was very touched by the pilgrimage she and Morris made to Medjugorje to visit the site of the apparitions.
Mary Lou passed peacefully the afternoon of April 11, 2018, surrounded by her family. She is survived by her children Mollie (Stephen) Keller, Morris Gallagher and John (Lori) Gallagher, and grandchildren Shannon (Kent) Rollins, Bridget (Kameron) Clifford, John H. Gallagher, Patrick H. Gallagher, Connor W. Gallagher, Kate A. Gallagher, Mollie R. Gallagher and Morris W. Gallagher.
We will forever miss her beautiful smile, the twinkle in her eye, her strength, grace and elegance, and most of all, her unconditional love and support.
The Gallagher Family would like to extend a very special thanks to the compassionate care she received from her caregivers Rosa Coria, Diana Addo-Atiemo, Mavis Bonzumah, and the many other caregivers and medical providers who assisted us.
A rosary will be held at St. Joseph’s Church, Elko, Nevada at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, April 27, 2018. A funeral mass will be held at St. Joseph’s in Elko on April 28, 2018, at 11:00 a.m., to be followed by a reception at The Aspens, located in the Red Lion. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Burns Funeral Home, Elko, Nevada. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 930 Highland Drive, Elko, Nevada in Mary Lou’s memory.