July 8, 1941-Sept. 14, 2019
Anaconda lost a treasure when William A. Gallagher Jr.,78, “Mr. G.” went home to Heaven and joined Billy on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019 in Butte at St. James Healthcare following multiple medical complications.
Bill a.k.a. “Mr. G.” “Bill Bill” “Pops” and “Barrell” was born in St. Ann’s Hospital on July 8, 1941 to William E. and Monida (Swanson) Gallagher. He attended St. Paul’s Catholic Grade School, graduating from Anaconda Central in 1959. He graduated from Carroll College in 1963 with a B.A. in English and History. He earned his Master’s in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Montana. His first teaching job brought him to Philipsburg in 1963 where he started his long line of impacting students and challenging them to always be their best. He moved his young family to Troy, Montana in 1968 and moved them back home to Anaconda to teach in 1970.
On August 4, 1962, he married his high school sweetheart Ellen Murphy of Anaconda. Together they enjoyed 57 years of marriage.
Mr. G. taught students from 4th grade to high school and was a guidance counselor along the way. He retired from teaching in 2003. He loved teaching but most of all he loved his students. As proof, he had over 5,000 friends on Facebook and many of these friends were his former students. He was well-known for his ability to throw erasers at students who were not paying attention to the valuable lesson he was teaching for the day. He often called these “eraser bites”. His impact and influence were far and wide, and he remained friends with many of his students after they graduated. He was often referred to by his students as their favorite teacher and he would always respond that they were his favorite student. He had the honor of being the commencement speaker for the Anaconda High School Class of 2003.
He and Ellen enjoyed sharing their lives with family and friends. They attended Central Saints, Copperhead, Bengal, Carroll, Western, Jamestown, and Grizzly football games, but most especially he LOVED Notre Dame. He instilled a deep love of sports and competition in all of his boys and grandchildren. He was a proud Irishman and equally loved his Swedish heritage. He cherished his time with Ellen, his boys and grandchildren and looked forward to their many outings into the woods and on the creeks and rivers of his beloved Montana.
He was not only a teacher, he was also a coach, mentor and friend to many young men and women as they came into his life. He loved to play and coach both football and baseball.
He also enjoyed being a Democrat, riding the Razr, picnics with Ellen, rooting for the underdog, St. Patrick’s Day, McCarthy’s party, hunting, fishing, camping, snowmobiling, tracking elk, large bonfires, burning couches and drinking the “good stuff”. He sincerely believed in hot tubs, giving it your best shot, a genuine conversation, keeping your word, being unique, eating fish, his wife and God.
Mr. G. enjoyed memberships in the Ancient Order of Hibernians, 4th degree, Ducks Unlimited, a life member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Anaconda Teacher’s Union and the Democratic Party.
Surviving relatives include his beloved wife Ellen; his sons, Mike (Sarah) and Pat (Marcy) Gallagher and daughter-in-law, Shannon Gallagher; and 5 grandchildren, Jack, Kiernan, McKenzie, Sean and Kirby; brothers, Bob (Judy) and Tim and sister, Nancy (Gene) Bilodeau; sister-in-law, Florence Laird and brother-in-law, Mike (Cathy) Murphy; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Bill was preceded in death by his son, Billy; his father, William. E.; his mother, Monida; mother and father-in-law Sadie and Tom Murphy; and his sister, Terri.
Cremation has taken place. Visitation will be conducted one hour before the Funeral Mass which will be celebrated on September 19, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Family Church.
Please submit memorials to the AOH Scholarship Fund, P.O Box 1224, Anaconda, Montana 59711 or the Backpack Program c/o Anaconda Community Foundation 118 E, Seventh St., Suite 3F Third Floor, Anaconda, Montana 59711 or donor’s choice.
Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral & Cremation Service is entrusted with Bill’s funeral arrangements. You may pay your condolences at www.longfellowfinneganriddle.com.