In Memory of Sister Michelle Gallagher

August 6, 1930 – February 9, 2021

Sister Mary Michelle Gallagher, PBVM, 90, daughter of William and Theresa (McNertney), was born Theresa Darlene Gallagher on August 6, 1930, in Vail, Iowa. She entered the Sisters of the Presentation on August 22, 1950, and professed her perpetual vows on June 8, 1956.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Clarke College and taught elementary school in Algona, Dubuque, Epworth, Mason City, Storm Lake, Waukon, and Whittemore, all in Iowa, and St. Paul, Minnesota. After retiring from teaching, she volunteered at American Martyrs Retreat Center in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and offered spiritual direction and mentoring to college students at the University of Northern Iowa. Sister Michelle had a gift for listening and making people feel comfortable. Reflecting on her ministry, she said, “Being welcoming and a Christ-presence to others is how I try to live Nano’s spirit. I thank God for the opportunities I have had to help others know and love God.”

Sister Michelle celebrated her 60th Jubilee in 2010 and retired to Mount Loretto in 2016. She enjoyed recycling stamps, reading, puzzles and spending time with family and friends. She valued prayer and community service.

Surviving are her nieces, including Sister Michaeline Healy, PBVM, nephews, and the Sisters of the Presentation with whom she shared her life for 64 years.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her sisters, Rita Healy, Nelda McSorley and Virgean “Jean” Bandow and her brothers, Arnold, Lloyd, Merle, Leo and Gerald.

Memorials may be made to the Sisters of the Presentation, 2360 Carter Road, Dubuque, Iowa, 52001, or online at