Geraldean Biggerstaff Gallagher

February 16, 1930 ‒ June 20, 2011

Bellville, Ohio

Geraldean “Jerry” Biggerstaff Gallagher died Monday, June 20, 2011 at Med Central Hospital in Mansfield, Ohio. She is survived by her daughters Kathryn (Steven Cater) Gallagher of Flushing, Michigan and Elizabeth Gallagher Prather, of Bellville, Ohio; her son William Albert Gallagher III (Jennifer) of Frisco, Texas; her sisters Evilu (Robert) Kindred of San Antonio, Texas, Lovena Jo (Frank) Knipe of Odenton, Maryland, and Jean Henderson of Cypress, Texas; a sister-in-law Karen Biggerstaff of Pasadena, California; eight grandchildren, Kim (John) Harsch of Lexington, Ohio, Kelly (Scott) Christy of Shelby, Ohio, Michael (Courtney Flowers) Cater of Flint, Michigan, Daniel Cater of Flushing, Michigan, Trayce Prather of Bellville, Ohio, and Megan Gallagher, Hailey Schultz and Danielle Schultz of Frisco, Texas; and six great grandchildren, Adam Johnson, of Lexington, Ohio, Jack and Owen Harsch of Mansfield, Ohio, Makayla Christy of Shelby, Ohio, and Austin Cater and Ben Leisure of Flint, Michigan, as well as many cousins, nieces, nephews and other friends and relatives with whom she was close all her life. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and her brother Arthur Don Biggerstaff.

Jerry was born February 16, 1930 in Purcell, Oklahoma, the first child of Winnie Jean (Lokey) and A.D. “Ott”Biggerstaff. As she and her family weathered the depression, they lived in Ardmore and Oklahoma City while the family grew to include three more girls and one boy. When Jerry was 13, her father was drafted to serve in the US Army, fighting in the European theater until he was injured and returned home. Jerry attended Capital Hill High School in Oklahoma City where she excelled in theater and debate. She was recruited to attend Panhandle A&M College in Goodwell, Oklahoma where she debated as a freshman in national competitions on the senior men’s team. Jerry returned to Oklahoma City in 1950 to marry her high school sweetheart, William “Bill” Albert Gallagher. They lived in Norman, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, then for 11 years in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The family then moved to Virginia Beach, Salt Lake City, and then Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In each location, Jerry made many friends and adapted quickly to her new surroundings. She began employment in Baton Rouge, working as a bookkeeper, tax preparer and office manager. After her retirement she moved to Richland County to live near family. In 2005 she moved to Bellville, Ohio. She was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Bellville.

Jerry had strong beliefs in equality, justice and caring for her neighbors near and far. She was actively engaged in the local and national political processes throughout her life. This led her to volunteering with the National Conference of Christian and Jewish Women in the public accommodations integration of Tulsa, Oklahoma, with Habitat for Humanity, and with Bellville Neighborhood Outreach Center. Her love of reading lead to her volunteer work in the first book club established for people served by Richland Newhope. Jerry volunteered in her church in many ways, from cooking food to serving on council and spearheading global mission support. She loved attending the national Global Mission meetings of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Lutheran World Relief, Richland Newhope, Habitat for Humanity or Bellville Neighborhood Outreach Center.

A memorial service will be held at 4 pm on Friday, June 24, 2011 at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 48 Church St., Bellville, Ohio, Pastor Doug Pretorius officiating. The family will receive visitors for an hour before the service at the church.

Private online condolences to the Gallagher family may be made by