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Patricia (Pauline C.) Gallagher was called home to join Our Heavenly Father in His Castle in the Air on June 16, 2006 at the age of 88 years. She was born to Frank and Mattie Bienek on August 18, 1917 in Lockhart, Texas. She moved to San Antonio in 1925 with her parents, four brothers and two sisters. Patricia graduated from Brackenridge High School and attended Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She married the love of her life James Don Gallagher on December 1, 1936 and they had one son, James Craig Gallagher. As a young girl, Patricia enjoyed writing short stories and poetry. She perfected her talents and became an accomplished historical romance author all while keeping up with her duties of a wife and mother. It was her usual routine to wake up early, make breakfast for her husband and son, see them off to work and school and then pull out her ol' Smith Corona typewriter and 'pound away' at the kitchen table until her family returned home. She would put away the day's work, make dinner for the family and retire for the evening only to start all over the next day. Patricia was known to spend many hours at the local public libraries researching historical material for her books as well. She strongly believed the facts had to be accurate in order to write the book successfully. And successful they were! Who would've thought a small town girl from Lockhart Texas could grow up to be not only a devoted wife and mother, but also a world-renowned author that traveled the world promoting her books? Patricia's books repeatedly appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List throughout her career. She was recognized by Who's Who in America as well as Who's Who of American Women. Patricia's award-winning novels included: The Sons and the Daughters (1961), Answer To Heaven (1964), The Fires of Brimstone (1966), Shannon (1967), Shadows of Passion (1971), Summer of Sighs (1971), The Thicket (1974), Castles in the Air (1976), Mystic Rose (1977), No Greater Love (1979), All for Love (1983), Echoes and Embers (1983), On Wings of Dreams (1984), A Perfect Love (1987). Her books were not only published in the United States, but translated in seven different languages and distributed around the world including France, Germany and Italy. Patricia was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Jim in 1966, her brothers, Johnny Bienek, Adolph Bienek, and Enez Bienek and her sisters Lena Henk and Gertrude (Trudy) Peppers. She is survived by her only son, James C. Gallagher, daughter-in-law, Mary K. Gallagher, Patricia‘s only grandchild Kellie Marie Ybarra, her husband, Steve Ybarra, and Patricia's great grandson, Steven James Ybarra. Survivors also include Patricia's brother, Leo Bienek of Duncan, Oklahoma and numerous nieces and nephews. While her family will definitely miss her, there's no doubt her extended family-the fans of her books will miss her as well. The family would like to thank the staff at Mystic Park Rehabilitation and Health Care Center for the wonderful care that was given to Patricia the past eight months. Thank you to the nurses, the nursing assistants, and the rehabilitation staff. Patricia certainly overcame many obstacles until the very end, and for this, we are grateful. A very special thank you to the staff and critical care nurses at Vista Care Family Hospice. You all made Patricia feel very comfortable and loved during her final days. We are truly blessed having you in our lives, even if for only a few days. Thank you, Sr. Vera for just being you. Your grace and kind words touched us always. Thank you, Norma for being such a beautiful person. You have such a special gift to share with everyone who meets you. Thank you, Martha for being a comfort and constant support to us during this time. Thank you, Ida and Jennifer for the warmth and concern you showed to our family. Finally, thank you Sarah for being with Patricia at the end. We were especially blessed God chose to bring you into our lives at that very moment. You were called by Him and we will be forever grateful for all you did that day. Your spirit radiated love for Patricia and we know you truly comforted her as she continued the next step of her journey. You have all left a heart print on our lives. 'Thank you' just doesn't seem enough to express our gratitude to all of you. You are all angels doing God's work! ROSARY WEDNESDAY JUNE 21, 2006 7:00 P.M. PORTER LORING CHAPEL MASS THURSDAY JUNE 22, 2006 10:00 A.M. ST. PAUL'S CATHOLIC CHURCH 350 SUTTON In lieu of flowers, Patricia's family requests donations be made to the charity of your choice. Interment in San Fernando Cemetery # 3. You are invited to sign the guestbook at www.porterloring.com Arrangements with Porter Loring Mortuary.

Published in Express-News on June 21, 2006
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