Marie Ellen Gallagher

Marie Gallagher passed away peacefully on May 11 at her home in Arlington, VA. She was born Marie E. Ferguson in 1933, the daughter of Robert and Margaret(nee’ Mclaughlin) Ferguson. She was one of ten children raised on Duncan Street in Minooka and was a member of St. Joseph’s Parish. She was a graduate of South Catholic High School and the Mercy School of Nursing. She married Hugh J. Gallagher in Scranton in 1956.  Marie and her husband moved to Arlington, VA in 1966 from Scranton, Pa.

She started working at Arlington Hospital as a R.N. and within a few years was promoted to Director of Central Supply and was one of the first R.N.’s in the country to hold this directorship. During the end of her career she went back to nursing in preoperative surgical care, where she stayed until her retirement. During her tenure as Director of Central Supply in the 1970’s, Marie was ahead of her time, bridging the employment needs of those with developmental challenges and became one of the first in the community to train and employ members of that community. For many years Marie was a volunteer at the Arlington Hospital Thrift store, helping those in need, as well as a member in the Arlington Women’s Pilot Club, a service organization where she was awarded several times Arlington’s Service Woman of the Year. She was also a proud and active member of the Arlington County Republican Committee and a devoted parishioner of St. Ann Catholic Church in Arlington, VA.

Those that knew Marie, knew they were always welcome in her home. Over the years she had welcomed countless relatives to live with her family while they were working or attending school. She was always hospitable for those who needed a place to live. Her house was a gathering spot for many during the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, all were welcome. She was known to throw the best New Year’s Eve parties with her famous banging of the pots and pans at midnight. She was always proud of her Scranton and Irish roots and loved to talk about her time spent in Japan while her husband and she were stationed there early in their marriage. Known for her great, colorful stories and exaggerated anecdotes, she never hesitated to tell a tale or offer an opinion. Marie was always the most gracious of hosts and the most charitable with her time and money. She leaves behind a legacy of her unyielding faith, her charitable works and her absolute love and devotion to her family, especially her grandchildren.

She is survived by her 4 children; Hugh and wife Donna Gallagher, Joe Gallagher, Mary Ellen and husband Paul Bothwell and Betsy and husband Peter Schauf. Also surviving her are God daughter Christa (Matt) Wood and children. Cherished grandmother of Carly, Ben, John and Meagan Gallagher; Paul, Mary Kathryne, Hugh, Danny and Bridget Bothwell; Colleen, Danny, Kathryne, Mary and Patrick Schauf. Sister’s Joan Golden (Conyers, Ga) and Theresa Hartman (Scranton, Pa), sister in law’s Catherine Renga and Patsy Ferguson, brother in law William Hopkins and dozens of nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her son, Danny Gallagher in 1965 and her husband, Hugh J. Gallagher in 1993 as well as her siblings Peggy Donahue, Ann Dean, Bridget Ferguson, Jimmy Ferguson, Bob (Tiny) Ferguson, Joe Ferguson and Patrick Ferguson.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday at 10am in the Divine Mercy Parish at the Church of St. Joseph 312 Davis St. Scranton 18505.

The family invites all attending the funeral to go directly to the church.

Friends may call Friday from 6-8 in the Vanston & James Funeral Home 1401 Ash St. Scranton.

For directions, to share a memory or leave your condolences for the family please visit

In lieu of flowers please make a donation in her name to either the American Leukemia Society or St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital.





  2. Rob McKinney

    Love and blessings to the whole Gallagher family.

  3. Margo Bothwell

    Dear Marie,
    May you be at peace with Big Hugh and your baby boy Danny. I’ll always be great full for helping me through the toughest time in my life, for accepting my daughter and I into your family like it was no big deal. It was and I’ll always remember both you and Big Hugh. Love, mab

  4. John Minora

    I remember you and your family well. I was young when your family moved and always welcomed joe and hugh when we were children. I remember Danny well. RIP john Minora and the Minora family

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