Rosalie Bowman Gallagher
Rosalie Bowman Gallagher

March 12, 1945 - June 5, 2024
Born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
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Rosalie Gallagher lost her sixteen-month courageous battle with pancreatic cancer on June 5, 2024, at her home. She was 79.

Rosalie was born on March 12, 1945, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and she grew up in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. She was forever fond of her upbringing, having been raised on a turkey farm. She graduated from Mt. Vernon High School in 1963 with accomplishments including drum majorette of the high school's marching band, being elected homecoming queen and also chosen as Iowa’s Favorite Farmer’s Daughter her senior year. She entered the University of Iowa in 1963 and graduated with a BA in Interior Design in 1967. She was a member of the Phi Beta Phi sisterhood and Angel Flight.

Rosalie mastered the art of getting things done. She worked for nearly 57 years as a professional Interior Designer, 46 of those years as the owner and founder of Rosalie Gallagher Designs, LTD. She founded her business the year her daughter, Kathleen was born. She was passionate about her craft and always put her clients and suppliers first. She never retired and continued to work until the day she passed. She called her work her “purpose” and was an expert designer in all things. She was a proud member of ASID (The American Society of Interior Designers) and studied at the New York Parsons School of Design and proudly took courses at The Louvre in Paris.

Rosalie was a student of life, she was curious, vivacious, selfless and fun. She thrived on exploring the world, was an avid traveler, always seeking out new cultures, and was intrigued by the arts and color. She had an infectious energy, leaving a profound impact across generations of “pulling people up”. She was a cheerleader for youth and wanted everyone to succeed. She was colorful, energetic and would never turn down a frozen margarita. Never one to shy away from hosting a party, she was always entertaining and adored opening her home to the masses. The life of any event, she rarely missed an opportunity to gather with friends, colleagues, and family. She was the true meaning of a social butterfly and encompassed all celebrations. She was also a devout Hawekeye fan from football to women’s basketball.

Above all, Rosalie had a profound sense of giving back to her community. She was a leader in civic duty, having involvement on boards such as Variety, The Children’s Charity of Iowa, Youth Emergency Shelter and Services, and Blank Children’s Hospital. She served as the International Vice President of Variety, the Children’s Charity, and won numerous awards for her philanthropy. She was an expert in fundraising, having honed her skills so that she seldom heard “no” when she asked for a donation. Perhaps even after her larger accomplishments, she still found great delight in laying claim to the update of the Greenwood Elementary School playground in the late 80’s where she served as the Co-Chair to the playground project. Rosalie had her hands in most parts of Des Moines, from the Des Moines Playhouse, to the Des Moines Metro Opera, to The Blank Park Zoo and to being named a Woman of Influence. Everyone knew her. She proudly would tell her admirers, “service is the rent for living”, and she never turned down an invitation.

Her family was her greatest joy and achievement. Rosalie spent the last sixteen months next to her daughter who moved back to Des Moines to be side by side with her during her health journey. She is survived by her daughter, Kathleen Gallagher of Des Moines; sister Mary (Stanley) Seidler of Wilson WY; brother Robert (Margaret) Bowman of Glenview IL; nephews Darren (Kay) Bowman of Seattle WA; Matthew Bowman (Courtney) Elmhurst, IL; Bob Bowman and Kimberly Bowman, both of Minneapolis MN. She was preceded in death by her parents, Roy and Grace Bowman of Mt. Vernon, Iowa and her brother, Richard Bowman (Terri) of Minneapolis, Minnesota. She also leaves behind several grandnephews and grandnieces whom she adored.

A special thank you to Dr. Tom Buroker, who enveloped our Rosalie with joy, laughter and love from 2011 onward. She firmly believed in genetic testing and being proactive in your health. The Mission Cancer + Blood staff including Courtney Bax, Melanie Etter and Michelle Meinecke were legendary in creating a space of trust and care. For that, our family is forever grateful. To Dr. Richard Deming, thank you for your unwavering friendship, support and light.

A celebration of life will take place on Saturday, August 3rd, 5:00pm at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates in Des Moines, Iowa. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to Variety, The Children’s Charity- Iowa or to the Des Moines Playhouse in loving memory of Rosalie.





Celebration of Life
World Food Prize Hall of Laureates
100 Locust Street
Des Moines, IA US 50309
Saturday, August 3, 2024
5:00 PM
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Variety - The Children's Charity
505 Fifth Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50309
Des Moines Playhouse
831 42nd Street
Des Moines, IA 50312