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Diane Marie Sterner Gallagher, age 79, returned to her creator on April 25, 2023, in Tacoma WA.

She passed away at home with family at her side.

Diane was the joy of everyone whom she met. She was born to Frank and Anna Sterner in July,

1943, in Hutchinson, MN. Her mother passed when Diane was 4 years old and her stepmother,

Fredricka “Freddy” Hagen Sterner became her mom. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at the College of St. Scholastica, Duluth MN. Diane served in the Army Nurse Corps (ANC), with most of the time in Japan during the Vietnam war. After being honorably discharged, she returned stateside and moved to WA State. She worked at the Seattle VA Hospital, Tacoma General Hospital ICU, Tacoma General Hospital School of Nursing and the Cardiac Study Center cardiology practice of Doctors Anderson, Nagle, Strait, and Lapin. She established the patient education / rehab program visiting hospital patients and developed the Device Clinic, following those with implanted pacemakers and defibrillators. She married the love of her life, Brendan Gallagher on January 24, 1976. They shared 42 years of happy marriage living in the Browns Point WA community. She retired early to care for Brendan who passed away with Alzheimer’s disease in 2018.

Diane had a passion for all things beautiful: herself, her faith, her loving care of Brendan and extended families of nieces and nephews. Colleagues, friends, and neighbors relished in her gourmet cooking and exquisite gardens, at home and at the Browns Point Light House Cottage.

Diane was preceded in death by her parents, five siblings and her husband, Brendan. She has extended family in Ireland and many nieces, and nephews throughout the United States.

Diane wanted to give special thanks to nieces, Mary Stucky and Peggy Borders for their generous and supportive care, especially during the final course of her cancer. Special thanks also to Dr. John VanBuskirk, Medical POA and friend and to Susan K Wenski, neighbor and friend, for their always present kindness in caring for her. Thanks also to Dr. Nicholas Hamill for his compassionate care, the MultiCare medical team, the Providence Nutritional Support team, and the CHI Franciscan Hospice team, especially Cindy RN and Marie, Social Services.

Tacoma WA – The Vigil was held on Wednesday, May 17th at 5:30 PM and the Funeral Mass on Thursday, May 18th at 12:10 at St. Leo Catholic Church. A live-streamed recording can be found on the YouTube channel at  A luncheon followed in Bichsel Hall.

Winsted MN – The visitation will be held on Wednesday, July 19th at 10:00 AM and the Funeral Mass will follow at 11:00 AM at Holy Trinity Catholic Church. After mass, Inurnment with military honors will follow at Holy Trinity Cemetery. A luncheon will follow at the Blue Note.

In lieu of flowers, donations would be welcomed by the Neighborhood Clinic (a free urgent care clinic for the marginalized) where Diane volunteered for over 20 years.  1323 South Yakima Ave, Tacoma WA 98405-4457

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