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Mary Ellen Gallagher

February 1, 1932 July 26, 2020
Mary Ellen Gallagher
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Obituary for Mary Ellen Gallagher

Mary Ellen Gallagher passed away on July 26, 2020, at the age of 88. Mary was born February 1, 1932, in the family home on Cahalan Street in Detroit to Patrick and Rosaleen (nee Cummings) Gallagher. She was predeceased by her parents and step-mother, Rosanna Gallagher, along with her dear brothers Robert (Wanda) and Patrick (Jane) Gallagher; and dear sisters Eileen Scarlett, and Ann (Thomas) Mott.

Mary Ellen’s mother passed away when she was three, which left her father a widower with four young children in the middle of the Great Depression. At this point, she and her younger siblings moved in with their Kelly cousins. Mary told stories of the fun she and her siblings had playing in their Uncle Frank’s Funeral Home (go figure), and at their Aunt Mae and Uncle Jim Kelly’s restaurant in Detroit (Kelly’s).

Mary Ellen gained a loving step-mother, Rosanna, and a dear sister, Eileen, in the Summer of 1941, when her father married Rosanna Cazabon-Cloutier.

Mary Ellen and her family lived in Delray and southwest Detroit for many years. Mary later lived in Flat Rock, Brownstown, and most recently, Riverview, Michigan. Mary held various professional positions over the course of her life, including nursing home administrator and owner (St. Anne’s). She once said that her time working at J. Walter Thompson advertising agency was very much as depicted in the TV show, “Mad Men.” She was active in Pilot International, and held various positions within the organization, including Chapter President.

Mary took special pride in her family and in her Irish heritage, conducting extensive research into the Gallagher family ancestry, which she traced to counties Donegal and Fermanagh, and which she now passes on to her nephew, Patrick Gallagher.

Mary Ellen was a devoted Catholic, and the Blessed Mother was very special to her. She was a member of several parishes over the years, including All Saints and Saint Gabriel’s in Detroit, and later Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Detroit, and Saint Mary’s of Rockwood. She was a long-time member of the St. Roch of Flat Rock’s Ladies’ Prayer Group.

Mary Ellen followed Jesus’ most important teachings, which are: “Love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, and mind; and love your neighbor as you love yourself.” This was evident in her kindness and generosity to family and friends, in her many charitable acts, and in her love for all of God’s creatures.

Mary Ellen was an important and loving presence in the lives of her family and friends, and will be fondly remembered by her many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, and their spouses: The Scarletts, the Motts, the Robert and Patrick Gallagher clans, and brother-in-law, Robert Scarlett. She will always hold a special place in the hearts of her Godchildren: Tom Scarlett, Mary Catherine Gallagher-Christian, Colleen Mott, Robert E. Gallagher, Terrence Gallagher, and Carol Scarlett-Chaney.

Mary will also be fondly remembered and missed by her dear friend of 81 years, Joannie Farrell Abate, dear friends Brenda and Mark Straub, and dear niece Kris Scarlett, all of whom showed her great love and kindness. She will also be missed by her beloved cat, Mya.

A Funeral Mass celebrating Mary Ellen’s life will be held on Tuesday, August 4, 2020, at St. Mary’s, Our Lady of the Annunciation, located at 32467 Church Street, Rockwood, Michigan. Mary’s remains will lie in state from 10:00 am until Mass begins at 10:30 am. A memorial luncheon will be held at a later date, to be determined. Interment will be in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield.

Mass attendees will be required to wear masks if physically able to do so, and adhere to social distancing requirements.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in Mary Ellen’s memory to:
Father Solanus Casey Center
Attention: Fr. David Preuss, Director
1780 Mount Elliott Street Detroit, MI 48207

On-line memorial donations may be made via:


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