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Catherine Rita Cassidy Gallagher, 85 of Waterloo, died October 14, at Allen Hospital with her loving husband and family at her side.
She was born on June 8, 1928, in Dubuque, Iowa to Leo and Clara Buelow Cassidy. She graduated as class valedictorian from St. Columbkille's High School, Dubuque, in 1946. On December 29, 1948, she married Edward J. Gallagher Jr. at St.Columbkille's Catholic Church. Cathy and Ed first lived in Washington D.C. where she worked for the National Catholic Welfare Conference while Ed was obtaining his law degree at Georgetown University Law Center.
Ed and Cathy were blessed with three children and 6 grandchildren.
Cathy attended Clarke University and graduated cum laude from the University of Northern Iowa in 1977 with a BA in political science. In 2001, she received an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Clarke University.
Cathy was involved in many community organizations in the Waterloo and Cedar Falls area. She was a board member of the Junior Service League (now Junior League of Waterloo Cedar Falls), past president of the Waterloo Cedar Falls Symphony Guild, past president of Covenant Hospital Auxiliary, member of PEO Chapter MR, and Columbus High School Hall of Fame. She was a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre and served as one of its first councilors in Northern Iowa. Cathy served on the Board of Trustees of Clarke University. In 2010 Cathy along with her husband Ed received the "Eight over Eighty" award from the Waterloo Daily Courier which honors outstanding individuals for lifetime achievements in the community.
Cathy was a partner in Gallagher Realty and served as Secretary/Treasurer of the Gallagher Family Foundation. For many years she kept the books and did payroll for Ed's law firm.
One of her biggest joys was helping to make the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Art Center a reality for the Waterloo -Cedar Falls community. She also served as an appointed permanent member of its advisory board.
Surviving are her husband of 64 years, their children and spouses Edward J. Gallagher III (Waterloo) Mary Kay (John) Beecher (Waterloo) and Sheila (Stan) Kain (Dubuque IA). Grandchildren are Michael Beecher (Waterloo), Matthew and (Genevieve) Beecher (Eugene OR), Elise Talacek (Bensenville IL), Gail Gallagher (Chicago IL), Kathryn Beecher (Dubuque IA) and Joseph Gallagher (Waterloo IA). Also surviving her are sisters Patricia Brady (Rockville MD) and Pauline (Bob) Rowell (Dubuque IA) and sister-in-law Norma Cassidy (Davenport IA). She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Cathy was preceded in death by her parents, a sister Mary Virginia and a brother John.
Services will be 11:00 a.m. Monday at St. Edward's Catholic Church, 1435 Kimball Ave., with burial in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, both in Waterloo. Public visitation will be from 2:00 - 8:00 p.m. Sunday at Hagarty - Waychoff - Grarup Funeral Service on 300 West Ridgeway where there will be a 4 p.m. rosary and a 7 p.m. vigil. There will also be visitation at the church on Monday for an hour before services.
Memorials may be given in her name to St Edward's Catholic Church, Cedar Valley Catholic Schools or the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony.
Hagarty-Waychoff-Grarup Funeral Service on West Ridgeway - Waterloo
300 West Ridgeway Waterloo, IA 50701
Published in Des Moines Register on Oct. 19, 2013