Esther “Ace” Caroline Gallagher
Esther “Ace” Gallagher, 85, passed away peacefully, with family in her heart, on December 28, 2015 at Brendan House in Kalispell.
Ace was born in Anaconda, Montana on March 11, 1930 to Peter and Mary Eckberg. Following graduation from Anaconda High School, she met the love of her life, Vernon “Red” Gallagher who had recently returned from WWII. They married in Anaconda on June 7, 1948 and moved to Kalispell shortly thereafter. They remained in the Flathead Valley, having fallen in love with the lakes, the mountains and the people.
Ace and Red began raising a family, making a generous contribution to the “baby boomer generation”. For several years, Ace was able to stay home and raise their 5 children, but eventually went to work at the B & B Bakery, and then at JC Penney’s where she retired after more than 20 years.
Ace was blessed with a sly sense of humor and a booming, generous laugh. Perhaps our fondest memory was how she loved to sing. She was never shy about singing favorite tunes such as “Oh Lord It’s Hard to Be Humble“, and “The Gallagher Song” — wherever she was!
Ace was an active member in the Elkettes, the Daughters of Isabella, and Birthday Club which was a gathering she regularly looked forward to. She loved desserts, and no one ever made a better apple or huckleberry pie! Greater passions, however, were a love of sporting events, from following their kids’ activities to attending Montana Grizzly football games. It wasn’t necessarily the love of the game that Ace had, but more a love for the party that went with the game! Another favorite was the many camping and golf outings Ace and Red had with their friends and family. No matter the activity, each Sunday Ace and Red could be found in the nearest Catholic Church, as her deep faith was an important part of her life.
Ace is survived by her five children and their families: Tim and Mimi Gallagher of Corvallis, OR, Gary and Linda Gallagher of Redding, CA, Tom and Irene Gallagher of Clinton, MS., Sandra Gallagher, Shannon and John More, all of Corvallis, OR. Her grandchildren include Kelly, Kyle, Erika, Lauren, Alexis, Skyler and Stacy Gallagher, Kevin and Justin More, and great granddaughter Ainsley Bixby. Her sisters Helen Clark of Kalispell, and Alice Elliott of Missoula. She was preceded in death by her husband, Red, of 65 years, her parents Peter and Mary Eckberg, and brother Charles.
Our family would like to give a special thanks to her sister, Helen Clark and the family of Rick and Karen Weaver who provided a much appreciated level of love and care to Ace during her final years.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on January 15 at St. Matthew's Church, with graveside services to follow at C.E. Conrad Memorial Cemetery.
We leave our mother with an Irish blessing she knew very well.
May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face, and the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Our tears will fade, but our love and memories never will. Thank you for all you have given. We love you very much. Please say hi to Dad and continue to look out for us.