Tim Gallagher was my son. He was 21 years young when his life was cut way too short and stolen from him - from all of us.
Timmy was a very active child with long dark eye lashes, along with his beautiful blue eyes. He was so full of life and always looking for the next activity. As a young boy, he was up on current events and politics. He was very athletic, agile and a coordinated boy who lived to play outside. The cul-de-sac was the center of activities for him, his sister and all their friends. Whether it would be his big wheel, roller blades, skateboard or jumping wood planks and cinder blocks on his bike, he always had fun and never received a broken bone or stitches. He was all boy! A daily trip to the lake or a pond to fish was his routine. He enjoyed Camping, baseball games, tackle football, soccer, tennis, hockey, golfing, water guns, and later, as a teen, Homemade milk shakes, hoodies, baseball caps, his long board, bond fires, video games, wool socks and Mac ‘N Cheese. He followed Mixed Marshal Arts; his favorite fast food was Chipotle and the loves of his life – his beloved friends, his dog, music, the Cubs and fishing.
The greatest memories I treasure are the adventures we would take exploring. We would ride our bikes, walk or drive and enjoy nature. We would find frogs, bugs, and plants, hunt wild life, whatever was unusual or beautiful. We would get muddy, suffer the bites, collect rocks and discuss what we came across. He was so sweet and always melted my heart. My fondest memory of him was when we rode our bikes to the ponds by the bike path. Ackman Road was closed, waiting to be repaved. We came across a HUGE snapping turtle and when Tim came near it with a stick, the turtle snapped it like a tooth pick. He couldn’t stand the thought that the turtle would possibly be paved with the road. We hurried home to return with the wagon to transport him, but the turtle was gone. Not sure how we would have lifted that monster into the wagon, but of course he had a plan. Nature and the environment were very important to him.
Tim loved reading, but while all his friends were raving about the Harry Potter Series, he absolutely refused to read the books. When he started wearing glasses in 4th grade, he looked so much like Harry and was insulted when EVERYONE was noticing the resemblance.
I am privileged to have fished with him that hot September day when the picture of him in the boat with his Bass was taken. It was a last minute decision to go that humid afternoon because he had a class in a couple of hours. He was so happy to be at Three Oakes, awaiting “the big one”. I treasure this memory, that photo op and that fish.
Tim loved his new life away at Western Illinois University where he made many new friends that he loved. I had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with them when we traveled to the tree planting ceremony at the campus in his honor.
He was so darn cute at every age and had a beautiful soul, along with a great sense of humor – this of course goes without saying.
Special thanks to Chris Cheney and his family, everyone who contributed to Tim’s memorial tree at 4 Colonies Park and for the South High School Scholarship Fund.
I am proud to say that I am Tim’s mother and proud of who he became and who he would have become. I miss him more and more every single day and his memory will always be a part of who I am.
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