A Celebration of Joan’s life will be held in Devils Lake ND at the Elks-Galleger Band Shell, 10:00 am Saturday, June 19, 2021. Reception following at Rosevelt Park Pavilion. Memorials may be directed to your local library fund or charity of the donor’s choice. Condolences may be expressed at www.gilbertsonfuneralhome.com
Joan Wallis Galleger, 80, of Devils Lake, ND, passed away peacefully with her loving daughters, Kelly and Susie, holding each of her hands on Sunday, December 6, 2020, in Loveland, CO.
Joan Wallis was born in Devils Lake, ND on September 23, 1940, the daughter of George Wallace “Wally” and Mary Olivine (Rutten) Miller. She was later blessed with a brother Jim Miller. Joan was very fond of reading, a love that was introduced early in her life by her parents and an aunt that was a teacher. She spent many weekends with her grandparents and enjoyed making house calls with her grandfather, the town’s veterinarian. She also enjoyed many wonderful summer days spent fishing, swimming, and boating at the family cabin near Tokio, ND (on the banks of the Sheyenne River). She loved collecting wildflowers when hiking to Devils Heart. In her high school years, Joan was a lifeguard at Lakewood public beach. At the end of the afternoon, she often swam across the lake and back to cool off before heading back into town.
Joan graduated from Devils Lake Central High School with the class of 1958. She continued her education at UND and was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority.
Joan was united in marriage to Thomas William Galleger Junior on June 25, 1960, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Devils Lake, ND. Tom and Joan moved to Minneapolis while Tom completed his Doctorate of Dental Surgery. Tom then entered the United States Army, serving in the Army Dental Corp in Falls Church, VA. In 1965, the Galleger family returned to their roots in Devils Lake and would call it home the rest of their lives. Tom passed away on September 17, 2020.
Joan started working out of the home in 1985 for Garston Management. She started with property management and went on to become a real estate Broker. Garston Management specialized in rehabilitation of buildings in rural communities for their second life. The Great Northern Building was an example of their work in Devils Lake. Joan’s work there led her to become a member of the National Historic Trust Council for many years.
Joan enjoyed many years of camping with her young family at the lake, in Minnesota, and in Manitoba, Canada. During the winters, the Galleger family turned to skiing, a sport they all came to enjoy. She loved new adventures and traveling. Over the years, Joan and Tom ventured to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Barcelona, Spain; Sorth Africa on safari; and London, England. After their retirements, Joan and Tom enjoyed many winters at their second home in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
First and foremost, Joan was a devoted wife, loving mother, and grandmother. As her children grew, she spent many hours sewing skating costumes for all four of her children and dresses for special events for herself and her daughters. Her sewing talents brought her to become interested in quilting. As the girls went off to college, each one was adorned with an original Joan creation. She continued sewing/quilting after retirement making new treasures for her children and grandchildren.
Joan was the backbone of the family. No matter the project, hobby, sport, or endeavor, if her kids were interested in something, she was always encouraging and supportive. Ever active, she was involved in Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, Pioneer Daughters of North Dakota, and Shakespeare Club. Additionally, she enjoyed many years playing bridge with her friends.
Joan’s loving family includes her four children, Kelly (Todd) Studer of Loveland, CO; Lynn (Gary) Hellenga of Bozeman, MT; Susan Brady also of Loveland, CO; and Thomas Galleger III of Telluride, CO. Her nine grandchildren include Kacey (Cody) Young of Windsor, CO; Shelby Studer of Denver, CO; Annie Studer of Los Angeles, CA; Alexander Hellenga and Braeden Hellenga of Bozeman, MT; Ryan Brady of Loveland, CO; Elizabeth (Jeffrey) Coffman of Aurora, CO; Thomas Galleger IV and Emma Galleger both of Telluride, CO. Her great grandchildren include Seeley Young and Rosey Young of Windsor, CO. Her siblings include brother Jim (Dorothy) Miller of Devils Lake, ND; her brother-in-law and sister-in-law Jack and Avis Galleger of Eden Prairie, MN; and sister-in-law Margret Harnan of St. Anthony, MN. Joan leaves behind many additional beloved cousins, nieces, nephews, and their families. She will be deeply missed.
A Celebration of Joan’s life will be held in Devils Lake, ND the summer of 2021. Memorials may be directed to your local library fund or charity of the donor’s choice. Condolences may be expressed at www.gilbertsonfuneralhome.com.