May 17, 1941 – November 18, 2022
Mary Lou Gallagher of Mercer Island, Washington, passed away peacefully among family on November 18, 2022, at the age of 81.
Mary Louise Dringus (“Mary Lou”) was born in New York City, New York on May 17, 1941, to Ernest & Louise Dringus. She spent her childhood surrounded by her loving extended family and friends in New York City and New Jersey. As a child, she was exposed to the arts and wonderful museums of New York City by her family, a passion which she later shared with her own daughters and grandson.
Mary Lou graduated in 1959 from Bergenfield High School in Bergenfield, New Jersey. She was active in sports, choir, and a leader in the Luther League. Mary Lou met the love of her life, a handsome West Point cadet named Bruce Gallagher, in New York City. Mary Lou and Bruce were married after his graduation from the Academy in 1969. Bruce served a total of 6 years in the army with two tours in Germany separated by a single year in Vietnam. It was during each of the tours in Germany that Mary Lou’s two daughters, Kimberly and Christine, were born. After completion of Bruce’s service in the Army, the family moved to Mercer Island in 1975.
Mary Lou treasured her close-knit Mercer Island community and friendships for the next 47 years. While raising her daughters, Mary Lou turned her love of collecting beautiful objects into an antique business called “The Jersey Peddler”. However, if asked, she would say that her greatest collection was her collection of friends. Mary Lou never met a stranger in her life. She was outgoing, thoughtful, caring, and loyal – all accented with a friendly bit of east coast feistiness. She cared deeply about people and cultivated lifelong friendships since her childhood with her thoughtful ear and generous actions. Mary Lou was also an active participant and observer of the broader world around her, reading a vast array of monthly magazines and newspapers until the end of her life. Very little got by Mary Lou.
Throughout the years, Mary Lou served on various community boards including the Mercer Island Preschool Association, Children’s Choir, PTSA, and actively volunteered for the Mercer Island Women’s Club and MI Youth and Family Services.
She spent her later years as a guild member of the Washington Park Arboretum Foundation, Seattle Children’s Hospital – Mercer Island Guild, and as a member of the Mercer Island Historical Society.
Mary Lou is preceded in death by her parents, Ernest Dringus and Louise Cody and her brother, Charles Dringus. She is survived by her devoted husband of 53 years, Bruce Gallagher of Mercer Island, WA, daughter Kimberly Gallagher of Shoreline, WA and her beloved grandson Jackson Agee, and her daughter Christine Gallagher (Brett Goodwin) of Lopez Island, WA.
A Celebration of Life for Mary Lou will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday December 17, 2022, at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church on Mercer Island, Washington. All are welcome to attend and encouraged to wear cheerful colors (per Mary Lou).
In lieu of flowers, Mary Lou requested donations to Seattle Children’s Hospital – Mercer Island Guild at: https://give. seattlechildrens.org/give/284150/#!/donation/checkout