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Memories & Candles

“Bonnie was one of my best friends. I can't believe I had known her for 19 years; ever since she taught me how to quilt. We developed a strong...Read More »
1 of 3 | Posted by: Kimberly Olerich - Fairview, OR

“Bonnie was such a nice person and friend. She always made a quilt for us to raffle at the Coast Guard Reunions for many years. Finding a quilt of...Read More »
2 of 3 | Posted by: Ken and Darlene Amundson - ID

“Bonnie was my friend-in-need and I hers at a time when we were both having troubles in the relationships we were in. This was circa 1970 and we...Read More »
3 of 3 | Posted by: Ric Zittenfield - Portland, OR

Bonnie Gallagher was born in Bethesda, Maryland to James E. and Ella Elizabeth (Marcum) Lippincott. Dad was a career officer in the U.S. Navy and each of us four kids were born at different duty stations - Rose in Newport, Rhode Island; Linda in Yokosuka, Japan; and brother Jim in San Pedro, California. My great grandparents were among the original homesteaders in the Fort Rock area of Oregon in the late 1800's; and Grandpa drove a stagecoach between Shaniko and Prineville, along with Shaniko to The Dalles; and also to Silver Lake - even though we weren't "native Oregonians", our hearts always belonged to Oregon! After attending school up and down the Eastern Seaboard and West Coast, as well as three years in Japan, I graduated from Canby High School after Dad retired from the Navy and we moved to the family farm in Canby. What an amazing way to grow up - from aircraft carriers to taking to living on the farm like a duck to water! After attending Portland State University, I enjoyed a 30-year career as a legal secretary and legal assistant. Jim (Gallagher) and I were married in August of 1980. He was Fire Marshal for the Sandy Fire Department. We built our home here in Sandy and have been here ever since. The love of my life was diagnosed with terminal cancer in January of 2011 and "traveled on ahead" as we say in my family, on St. Patrick's Day of the same year (what a glorious day for an Irishman to be "traveling"!). I was fortunate enough to be able to care for him here at home, with the ongoing support of family, friends and hospice. During our marriage we had a ball restoring a now 107-year old cabin at the Oregon Coast; also restored a 1941 Lincoln Zephyr automobile, which I gifted to the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum in Hood River, Oregon, in Jim's memory. The cabin now goes to my brother, so he can continue the restoration - have fun Bro! And keep those Fourth of July Family Gatherings at the Coast going - after 32 years, they're now a tradition! Jim retired from the Sandy Fire Department and I retired shortly thereafter - then our traveling years began - spending lots of time at "Fiddler's Green" (our cabin); also, England and Ireland; Alaska several times; the Washington, D.C. area; exploring Oregon; attending many Coast Guard celebrations and reunions around the country. What fun. I began quilting for real shortly after retirement - during my working career, I did what I called "think quilts", designing them in my head - much more fun to be working with fabrics. Mom, both grandmothers, and generations of women in my family clear back to the 1700's were quilters (I was fortunate enough to see some made by my ancestors in the 1700's at museums in New Jersey while Jim and I were on many of our family research trips - as our respective "Family Historians"). Most of you who knew me, knew that I pretty much "flew under the radar" when it came to the local, national and international awards won by many of my quilts. I did like being in the background and keeping a low profile (wee bit of an understatement). Even the family knew me as our family quilter. This seems like an appropriate time to let the cat out of the bag, so to speak. Mom and I began the "Village Kids" quilt project many years ago, making quilts for the Sandy Fire Department and Chaplain's Services here in Sandy to give to kids here in the local community who'd had their lives turned upside down for some reason or another. In the beginning, when we began making these bright, colorful gifts for the kids, Mom said, "They're will be no yukky quilts for kids in this community" - and there hasn't been. Thanks to the quilters of Q-FAC at the Sandy Historical Society Museum, and the quilters of Sandy Baptist Church Women's Mission Circle, this program continues (and they don't make "yukky" quilts either!) - bless you all! For the past several years, I've also been making baby quilts for "Operation Diaper Bag" - a program through the Oregon Veterans' Hospital in Portland that provides a diaper bag chock full of gifts, including a baby quilt, for the newborns of our Oregon Veterans. I was a member of the Oregon Trail Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, and our Chapter, as well as others around the State hold an annual baby shower to restock "Operation Diaper Bag" with baby clothes, supplies, etc. - how fun is that! For several years, I taught quilting classes around the Pacific Northwest so that I could share this gift I received from Mom and Grandma; putting more quilters in the world. As quilters are, by definition, giving folks, most of my quilts were made and gifted to family and friends. The ones I consider to be my "masterpieces" now belong to Museums around the country - my favorites belong to the Sandy Historical Society Museum. These have won international awards, traveled the country with museum exhibits; appeared in national and international publications and quilting books; were made as fundraisers and have been instrumental in helping kids through college with the scholarships provided by the funds raised (my way of giving back to the community). Along the way I became the quilter for the United States Coast Guard, designing and making quilts for Coast Guard groups around the country in honor of husband Jim's time in the Coast Guard in his younger years. Bering Sea Patrol; USCG WINONA All Crews Reunions (those quilts went home with one of Jim's lucky shipmates); and a special request from the Commandant's office in Washington, D.C., to design and make a quilt for the celebration of the Anniversary of the Northwest Passage - "Don't that beat all!" as my Grandmother used to say. Icing on the cake