Helen L Gallagher

September 24, 1927 ~ January 14, 2024 (age 96) 96 Years Old


Helen Gallagher passed away on January 14, 2024 in her home surrounded by her family, as was her wish. She was born to John and Catherine Grubich on September 24, 1927 in Anaconda, Montana. Her parents immigrated from Croatia when it was part of Austria Hungary and she was so proud of her heritage. She was raised in a large family with siblings, Anne, Kay, John, Mary, Bill (Jumbo) and Nick.
Helen attended St. Peter’s Grade and High School, graduating in 1945. Following graduation she worked at Emil Moran’s Clothing Store inspiring her keen sense of style and class.

Helen married Edward Gallagher on August 12, 1950. They began dating when Ed heard she had tickets to the Notre Dame/ Washington football game and thought he might talk her out of those tickets. He didn’t get the tickets but it led to four decades of a beautiful union. Helen and Ed had four children, Mick, Ed, Mari and Deb and raised them in their hometown of Anaconda. Helen was the epitome of a 50’s mom. She cheered her boys on in every sport, was her daughters Girl Scout leader and was a faithful volunteer in the schools and church. She loved her children unconditionally and was always in their corner, no matter what. She was a great cook and could pull off a turkey dinner for the whole extended family or nourish us with her sarmas and spaghetti dinners. Her tradition of making povitica was her connection to her heritage and was cherished by the family on holidays and special events.

Helen and Ed left their hometown of Anaconda after living there for fifty one years and embarked on the adventure of their life when Ed took the position of Community Development Director for the city of Kalispell. Helen quickly made Kalispell her home, making new friends, joining clubs and creating a home for she and Ed.

Ed passed away in 1990 and while she missed her lifelong partner she knew she had to carry on. She became the matriarch of the family and her children and grandchildren became her focus. She traveled extensively with them, cheered on the grandchildren no matter the sport or her knowledge of it and happily saw them grow into adulthood. She loved family gatherings, laughed often and was a great storyteller. Her presence made every gathering complete.

Helen took up golf and played bridge with her dear friends up until the time of her death. She was a member of St. Matthew’s Parish and volunteered on the funeral committee for many years. She was an avid sports fan and was a season ticket holder for the Grizzlies for over 25 years and attended many Notre Dame games, cheering them on whether she liked the coach or not. She would read the sports page top to bottom and stayed current on every team and sport. She cheered passionately no matter the team.

Helen loved to travel and was always up for a trip near or far. Her travels took her to Ireland England, Spain, France, Italy, Austria, Germany and Turkey (where her granddaughter lived) as well as cities around the country, especially if a child or grandchild lived there. She was a voracious reader and loved detective mystery novels. Helen’s love of Christmas was legendary and extended well into the new year.

Helen was preceded in death by her beloved husband Ed, her parents and siblings as well as her Gallagher in-laws.

Helen is survived by her four children, which was a fervent prayer of hers. She is also survived by her sons-in-law, Bruce Bender and Mike Kelly who cared for and loved her dearly. Her grandchildren, her pride and joy, are Melissa Gallagher, Greg Gallagher, Krista Gallagher, Jeff Gallagher, Bobby Bender, Jillian Kelly Rowe, Maggie Bender, Bridget Kelly and Maggie Gallagher. Additionally, her great grandchildren include Nur Yuceoral, Desi Phillips, Charlotte and Evelyn Gallagher, Maeve and Vivian Rowe, Etta and Eamon Eskew.
Her sister-in-law, Del Grubich, and her many nieces and nephews who loved her and checked in often also survive her.
The family thanks Dr. Vranish and Dr. Habel for providing loving and tender care over the years.

Helen was a resilient, joyful woman of faith and endless hope. We will miss you, Mom. Until we meet again.

There will be a prayer service at Johnson-Gloschat Mortuary from 5-7 on Thursday, January 18.
A funeral Mass will be at 11:00 a.m Friday January 19, 2024 at St. Matthew’s Church. A luncheon at the church will follow the burial.

The family thanks Dr. Vranish and Dr. Habel for providing loving and tender care over the years.

Donations can be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or a charity of your choice.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Helen L Gallagher, please visit our floral store.



Conrad Memorial Cemetery
P.O.Box 822
Kalispell, MT 59901


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