Michael Whitney Gallagher, 37, passed away from cancer on November 3, 2020, in Hickory, NC. He was born in Omaha, Nebraska to Carl Andrew and Linda Ann (Lovgren) Gallagher. Raised by his parents along with his brother, Robert, in Lincoln, NE, Michael attended Hartley Elementary School, Culler Middle School, Lincoln Northeast High School and the Arts and Humanities Focus School his senior year graduating in 2001. He was a four-year competitor on the LNE swim team and swam for the Nebraska Aquatics club team. His early jobs were lifeguarding, waiting tables and bartending.
After stops in Minnesota and South Dakota for college, Michael studied Architectural and Engineering Design at Southern Maine Community College before transferring to the Maine College of Art (MECA) in Portland. There he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Woodworking and Furniture and Design. At the North Carolina University Crafts Center in Raleigh, NC, he taught woodworking classes. His furniture making took a turn when a man came into his shop to see if he wanted to do some subcontract work making ball winders for yarn. As time went on, he bought the business, Nancy’s Knit Knacks, then bought Strauch Fiber Equipment and finally, this year, bought Heavenly Handspinning. The three businesses will be his legacy and will continue. Along the way, he also bought and remodeled houses to sell.
Those left to cherish his memory and the man with the beautiful blue eyes and the smile that doesn’t end are: his daughter, Aeon Casteel Gallagher of Alexander, NC; his fiancée, Ashley Diane Chapman and her two daughters, Presley and Lily Olson of Newton, NC; parents, Carl Andrew and Linda Ann (Lovgren) Gallagher of Lincoln, NE; brother, Robert Andrew Gallagher (Tammy Ann) of Milford, Ohio; nephew, Caden Andrew Gallagher; nieces, Zoe Mae and Layna Whitney Gallagher, Milford, Ohio; former wife, Tanya Marie Casteel of Alexander, NC; uncles and aunts, John (Nancy) Lovgren of Round Rock, TX, Bob (Linda) Lovgren of Omaha, NE, Roberta Lauderdale of Raytown, MO, Frances (Oscar) Ramirez of Thornton, CO, Stacie (David) Bebber of Edmond, OK and numerous cousins.
He was preceded in death by maternal grandparents: Dr. Robert Ellsworth and Dorothy May (Whitney) Lovgren, paternal grandparents: Robert Frank Gallagher and Ella Ruth Gallagher, aunt: Ella Bell Gallagher, uncles: Robert Frank Gallagher and Robert Steven Lauderdale; cousins, Charles Wade Comstock, Tatum Faith Lovgren.
When you think of Michael, have a sparkle in your eye, a smile on your face and a laugh in your heart. His number one priority was and will always be his daughter, Aeon.
Please send memorials in his honor to Michael Gallagher Memorial Trust, 4440 Meredeth St, Lincoln, NE 68506-4936. A Celebration of his life will be held next year.
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