Rosemary Flahive Gallagher
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Rosemary Flahive Gallagher, 86, a native of Tannersville, New York, died in her Tallahassee home on July 6, 2014. She is preceded in death by her husband John M. Gallagher, and grandson Michael Dewey Gallagher. She is survived by two sisters: Joan Macklin of Victory Mills, NY, Lenora Joseph of Fish Creek, Wisconsin.Gallagher is survived by five children: Marian O'Shaughnessy of Atlanta, John M. Gallagher, Jr. of New Orleans, James W. Gallagher of Tallahassee, Richard D. Gallagher of Atlanta and William B. Gallagher III of Gainesville, FL. She is survived by seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren. After graduating from Boston University, she taught English in Massachusetts before becoming a Naval Officer.She met Commander John Gallagher while stationed in Lakehurst, New Jersey. They were married in New York and eventually settled in Tallahassee where they raised five children. Gallagher was an active parishioner of the Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas Moore and was involved in the planning and founding of the church.Gallagher was a social service advocate and lobbyist in Tallahassee, Florida in the 1970's, 80's and 90's. Several writers, including Senator Robert McKnight and Mary Ann Lindley have referred to her as the "conscience of the Florida Legislature." During her 20+ years as a social services advocate Gallagher was recognized with awards by three Florida Governors and was appointed to numerous state wide committees and task forces including: Affordable Housing, Housing for the Elderly, Family Court and Homelessness.Gallagher chaired The Clearinghouse on Human Services, an umbrella organization championing causes for the poor, aged and ill which included the late Bud Bell, Karen Woodall, Jack Levine and others. Gallagher also served on numerous national boards including: Universal Health Care, Farm Policy and Adoption.Her local civic involvement included: Catholic Charities, United Way, Girl Scouts, American Cancer Society, Tallahassee Homeless Coalition, ECHO and Leon County Democratic Executive Committee. At her retirement, Governor Lawton Chiles presented her with a large white hat which he signed and addressed to "a white hat lady." For her social services and justice advocacy efforts, Pope John Paul II decreed upon Rosemary Gallagher the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifica Medal which is awarded by the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church to those who have demonstrated distinguished service.It is the highest medal that can be awarded to the laity by the Papacy. In retirement, Gallagher became an accomplished watercolor artist, involved in numerous artistic causes such as Plein Air Tallahassee and Plein Air Florida. She traveled to over 35 countries, painting in many of them. A funeral mass that all are welcome to attend will be held on Saturday, July 12th at 10:30 AM at the Co-Cathedral of St Thomas Moore, 900 W. Tennessee St, Tallahassee, FL 32304 - (850) 222-9630.A reception will follow.
Published in Tallahassee Democrat from July 9 to July 11, 2014