Harriette Jeanette (Bunny) Gallagher
April 19, 1936 – June 5, 2022
Harriette Jeanette (Bunny) Gallagher, 86, died June 5, 2022 in Bonita Springs, Florida. She was predeceased by her loving and stalwart husband of many years, Hugh Gallagher; her parents, Frederick and Helen Talbot; sister, Nora Mote; and brothers, William Kushner, Max Kushner, Charles Kushner, Rodney Kushner, and Fred Talbot, Jr.
She is survived by her sister, Charlotte Kennedy; daughters, Janet Payne Hall (Dwight); Robin McCeney Fonticoba (Mike); granddaughter, Erica Jeanette Hall; great-grandson, Clint P. Houser; grandson, Alberto Fonticoba; and many nieces and nephews.
Harriette was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Northern Virginia, one of eight children. During an early marriage to James Payne, she had a daughter, Janet. She and her second husband, Robert McCeney, moved from Northern Virginia to Deale, Maryland in 1966, where they raised Janet and their younger daughter, Robin.
Bunny (as she came to be known) was outgoing, always joking and laughing. A great storyteller and collector of jokes, she would entertain friends, neighbors, and strangers alike during her long stint as manager of the Highs store in Deale. She was athletic, competitive, and enjoyed playing softball and bowling. Mom also played cards regularly. Mom was well-liked by our friends and would join any games we were playing. She was also keen on supervising us and fancied herself quite the detective as we ran wild and free around Deale on our bikes, with Bunny trying to keep tabs. We called her Secret Squirrel (behind her back of course). She had many funny sayings, which we now find ourselves repeating unexpectedly.
She had a lovely alto voice and sang in the Friendship United Methodist Church choir in Falls Church, Virginia before her move to Deale, where she attended Cedar Grove United Methodist Church. A member of the PTA, she impersonated Phyllis Diller at a fundraiser, something she would continue to do up until her late seventies. Vacationing in Bermuda, she was delighted to discover the real Phyllis Diller was appearing there. Informed of Mom’s amateur act, Miss Diller invited Mom to join her on stage for a few jokes and banter. Mom was thrilled to have her ten minutes of fame.
Having married her third husband, Hugh (Sonny) Gallagher, she enjoyed having her granddaughter, Erica, for weekends at their home on Chesapeake Bay in Ridge, Maryland, where family and friends enjoyed crabbing, boating, and beach life. Eventually they moved to Florida and enjoyed softball, golfing, card playing and tooling around on their Redskins-themed golf cart. After Sonny’s death, Mom moved to assisted living in Bonita Springs, Florida, near Robin, where she immediately joined the hospitality group, providing welcome baskets to new residents, and began calling Bingo on weekends.
She was larger than life and we will miss her, but as Mom would say “Everything’s chicken but the gravy.”
Mom will in buried at Union Cemetery in Leesburg, Virginia, among her many family members at a private service in July.
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