Life Story Visitation
Wednesday, December 1, 2021
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Where food, drinks and stories will be shared.
Mass of Christian Burial
Thursday, December 2, 2021
10:00 AM EST
St. Augustine Cathedral
542 W. Michigan Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
VFW Post 827
562 Portage Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Mike Gallagher loved life. A practical joker, lover of all people, and anything Fighting Irish, he lived his life to the fullest. Mike saw the good in all people and valued the importance of a strong work ethic. He made many lasting friendships during his forty-eight year career at the Kalamazoo Gazette and wanted nothing more than to share in his growing family’s many successes. His legacy of being generous with both his time and his resources will be treasured by his close friends and loved ones.
1942 was a period of time marked by WWII. During the years of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Charles “Horse” and Ruth (Sanders) Gallagher were pleased to announce the birth of their second child, Michael, on September 18th, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Arriving eight years after his older brother Bob, his birth brought much joy and promise in an era of great change. Then 2 and 4 years thereafter joined by his two younger siblings Barb and Pat.
Growing up on North St and Weaver Ave before eventually moving to ON Avenue, Mike lived a typical childhood of the times. He assisted his older brother Bob with paper route at the age of five and then added routes with the other siblings during the years. Delivering papers became a family affair. His parents modeled a lifetime of hard work. His father worked at the local Kalamazoo Foundry and his mother worked as a switchboard operator for the local newspaper, the Kalamazoo Gazette. They raised their four children with a strong foundation of faith and sent them to St. Augustine Catholic School.
As a teen, Mike enjoyed hanging out at the local pool hall and finding his fair share of mischief. By the time he had reached high school, he was very involved with sports. He enjoyed playing basketball, catcher on the baseball team, as well as quarterback on the football team, until he later blew out his knee during his senior year. Mike graduated with the Class of 1960 and although he was already working at the Gazette, he attended Western Michigan University.
Not to be forgotten was the meeting of his sweetheart, Maureen. She was working in the accounting department at the Gazette, and Mike was in love at first glance! He pursued her for months until she finally agreed to a date and the rest was history! After his romantic proposal on Christmas Day of 1962, they made plans for their April 25, 1964 wedding at St. Augustine Cathedral. Father John Young gave them his blessing and they set off to start a family of their own.
As a family, they enjoyed countless trips to their family vacation rental spot on Chief Lake. They enjoyed fishing and often went with other families. They also enjoyed visiting Manistee and spending time on Lake Michigan. For many summers, they traveled with Mike’s fast-pitch softball team, Toppers, and built lasting friendships with many other families. The team went on to win the state championship in 1977 and then lost in the nationals. It was an exciting time in his and his family’s life. As a dad, he never missed any opportunity to cheer his boys on at their local sporting events and instilled in each of them the value of punctuality and saving their resources for the future ahead. He and Maureen were proud to raise them with the same Christian values they had growing up and supporting their Catholic education.
Mike was a family man through and through. In addition to the time he enjoyed with his family, he also savored many special pastimes. He was an avid bowler at the Elks. Mike’s best game was a 289! Everyone knew when it was his turn to bowl, as his sixteen pound ball really smashed those pins! He loved working on engines and inspired the same interest in his son, Dan. He never missed a season of deer hunting. He enjoyed traveling to White Cloud to share time with his two boys and several good buddies from the Gazette at deer camp. Even with the progression of his diagnosis with Type II diabetes, which limited his ability to walk any distance, Mike continued to hunt. At times, he was even known to hunt from his car! For many years he enjoyed rabbit and pheasant hunting adjacent to his own property. Mike absolutely loved nature and spending time outdoors.
When it came to relaxation, Mike could spend hours tending to his large vegetable garden. His harvest usually produced enough for him to share with others! Whatever he was doing, the murmur of sports talk radio was usually in the background. It was no surprise that his favorite time of year was football season! Each year, he and a group of his close friends decorated a bus with ND flair and tailgated at the Notre Dame stadium. Proud of his Irish and German heritage, Mike absolutely loved this tradition! Anytime Mike was around there was sure to be work to be completed or fun to be had!
Blessed with two loving sons, Mike was overjoyed when his grandchildren arrived. He was thrilled to attend their sporting events and carry on many of the traditions he shared with his own sons. He loved bragging up his grandsons’ athletic talents and even had friends join him to see them in action! He also enjoyed watching Erin coach the girls’ basketball team and attended every game. Described as humble, humorous, and supportive, Mike will be deeply missed. His special friends and family will always remember him for his genuine kindness and compassion toward others. May his warm memories continue to warm their hearts whenever they are gathered together for generations to come.
Michael E. Gallagher, age 79, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, died Thursday, November 18, 2021. Mike was preceded in death by his wife, Maureen in 2007. Members of his family included two sons: Danny (Colleen) Gallagher and Erin (Andrea “Andi”) Gallagher; two grandsons: Riley and Casey Gallagher; three siblings: Bob (Jean) Gallagher; Barb (Fred) Haiduk, and Pat Gallagher; and many nieces and nephews. Please join us at a Life Story Visitation where food, drinks, and stories will be shared on Wednesday, December 1, 2021, from 4-7 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Thursday, December 2, 2021, at 10 AM at St. Augustine Cathedral. Burial will follow at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Visit Mike’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos and sign his guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to VFW Post 827 or Hackett Catholic Prep Boys’ Basketball Program.