Covering the Land of Lincoln

dr Patricia Reed Gallagher | obituaries

Nov 27, 1930 – Jan 2, 2023

dr Patrica R. Gallagher, 92, of Monmouth, Oregon, died gracefully in her home on Jan. 2, 2023.

She was the oldest of three children. She was born to Howard and Edith Reed in Elgin, Illinois, on Nov. 27, 1930. It was Thanksgiving Day.

Pat and her family moved to the following cities in Illinois: Lockport, Bloomington, and Normal. She graduated from Illinois State University in Normal in 1952.

During the summer of 1950, she enrolled in an 8,000-mile geography field trip from Illinois State through Western United States and Canada.

It was on this field trip that she became acquainted with a fellow student, Jim Gallagher, whom she married June 8, 1952, in Bloomington, Illinois. Also of significance, it was on this field trip when she first saw the Willamette Valley. She knew immediately that she wanted to live there someday. What she didn’t know at the time was that Jim had decided the same thing.

Pat taught grade school at Harmony School and then at Scott Air Force Base for military dependents in Belleville, Illinois. While Jim was earning his doctorate, she continued to teach elementary school. In 1958 she and Jim moved to Ypsilanti, Michigan, when he accepted a position at Eastern Michigan University. In those days women could not teach after the fourth month of pregnancy. As it turned out, the end of her fourth month was the last day of school for her grade school students that spring. She and Jim eventually had their family of three children. Pat was a stay-at-home mom who was heavily involved in the human rights activities of the time. This was a theme that she embraced throughout her life and passed on to her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, friends and anyone else wise enough to pay attention to her.

In 1968 Pat and Jim decided to follow their dream. They moved their family to the Willamette Valley. They packed their station wagon with books and snacks and camping gear, picked up Jim’s mother on their way through Elgin, and it was Oregon or bust!

Although Pat was a dedicated mother and wife, her passion for teaching was always present. She began teaching students to become elementary school teachers at Oregon College of Education shortly after they moved to Monmouth. In 1979 she completed her doctorate degree in education from OSU. She continued to teach at OCE (now Western Oregon University) until her retirement in 1992.

Pat was a longtime active member of First Congregational, UCC in Salem, The International Reading Association, the Oregon Reading Association, and was a founding member of a book club she formed with her dear friend, Jean Ferguson, 28 years ago that continues to thrive today.

The Patricia Gallagher Book Award was founded in 1997. It is sponsored by the Oregon Reading Association (The Oregon Literary Association). These awards for children’s literature were near and dear to her heart because they were chosen by the students who read them.

Some of the nouns and verbs that come to mind when thinking of Pat Gallagher are (in no particular order) reading, gardening, laughter, exercise, ally, advocate, determined, dedicated, road trips, parties, baseball, stories, fishing, strength , punctuation (literally and figuratively). Children. Children. Children.

Most of all, she enjoyed her family. She was a loving mother for Mary, Sue and Dan and welcomed their spouses and children as wonderful additions to her family.

Pat is survived by her daughter Mary Gallagher Vaughn (Bill) of Rainier, Oregon; daughter Susan Gallagher Hill (David Hill) of Spokane, Washington; daughter Jares Gallagher (Dan’s wife) of Salem, Oregon; granddaughter Elizabeth Vaughn (Rodney) of Portland, Oregon; grandson William Tyler Vaughn (Jasmine) of St. Helens Oregon; granddaughter Jamie Vaughn Tierney (Matt) of Tigard, Oregon; great granddaughters Kalli and Lyla of Tigard; brother Rex Reed of Vienna, Virginia.

She was preceded in death by her husband Jim; her son Dan; her parents; and her sister Lois.

A memorial service will be held at First Congregational UCC, 700 Marion St., Salem, OR. The date and time are pending.

Farnstrom Mortuary facilitated Pat’s move to Portland where she had donated her body to the Body Donor Program at Oregon Health and Sciences University. Memories and condolences may be shared at

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a memorial contribution to Willamette Vital Health or your local food bank or simply read a book. Preferably to a child.

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