MARY BARELLI GALLAGHER AND PROVIDENCIA PAREDES COLLECTIONS OF KENNEDY MEMORABILIA
Hantmans is honored to present the Mary Barelli Gallagher and Providencia Paredes Collections of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorabilia. During their combined twenty four years of employment with the Kennedys, Mrs. Gallagher and Mrs. Paredes assembled a wide variety of artifacts touched and used by the Kennedy family. These two collections represent what many believe may be two of the last private collections of Kennedy personal artifacts and documents to be sold at auction by intimates of the Kennedys.
Mary Barelli Gallagher
Mary Barelli Gallagher was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, the youngest of twelve children. She first worked for a local paper company and through one of its former salesmen, Kenny ODonnell, she was hired by newly-elected Senator John F. Kennedy in 1952 as a secretary in his Senate office. In January 1953, Mary moved to Washington D.C. and in 1955 married Raymond A. Gallagher. She continued to work for Senator Kennedy until the birth of her first child, Christopher, in 1956.
Shortly thereafter, Mrs. Gallagher began as a part-time a secretary for Mrs. Hugh D. Auchincloss, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedys mother, at her estate in Mclean, Virginia. In the fall of that year, Mary also started to work as a personal secretary for Mrs. John F. Kennedy. After the birth of her second son, Greg, in 1957, Mary eventually concluded her services with Mrs. Auchincloss to devote full time to Mrs. Kennedy with the onset of the 1960 Presidential Campaign.
Mrs. Gallagher accompanied Mrs. Kennedy to the White House and continued as her personal secretary through the White House years, 1961-1963. During her employment Mrs. Gallagher accompanied the Kennedys to Palm Beach, Hyannisport, and was with Mrs. Kennedy on the fateful trip to Dallas in 1963. Following the Presidents assassination, she remained with Mrs. Kennedy until Mrs. Kennedy moved from Washington D.C. to New York City in 1964.
In 1969, following Mrs. Kennedys marriage to Aristotle Onassis the previous fall, Mrs. Gallagher wrote her book, My Life with Jacqueline Kennedy, a biographical account of her twelve years with President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy.
Providencia Paredes, a native of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, arrived in the United States in 1948 with Francisco Thomen, Ambassador to the United States from the Dominican Republic. At the conclusion of the Ambassadors term in Washington D.C., she returned to the Dominican Republic and was reunited with her first child, Hector, who was born in 1945. Several years later, Provi (as she is known to friends) returned to the United States, where she remarried and gave birth to her second child, Gustavo, in 1954.
In 1957, Senator John F. Kennedys personal secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, introduced Mrs. Paredes to Senator Kennedy. After meeting Mrs. Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Provi began working for the Kennedys in their Georgetown home at 1707 Dent Place N.W. and later at 3307 N Street N.W. Upon Senator John F. Kennedys election as President, Mrs. Paredes became a U.S. citizen and accompanied the Kennedys to the White House and was employed as Mrs. Kennedys private attendant. Her role was noteworthy in that she was the only staff member of Hispanic descent in Camelots inner circle. Chief among her duties was the care and oversight of the First Ladys extensive wardrobe and personal accessories.
During the Kennedy White House years, Mrs. Paredes traveled widely with both the President and Mrs. Kennedy. She accompanied President Kennedy on trips and official state visits to Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Columbia, France, Mexico, and England, and was a companion to the First Lady on trips to Mexico, India, Pakistan, Italy, Greece, Cambodia, Thailand, Turkey and Switzerland. While many trips were official business, others were recreational.
After President Kennedys assassination, Mrs. Paredes worked for Robert F. Kennedy until his untimely death, and for Senator Edward M. Kennedy briefly. In 1969 she assumed a position in the United States Postal Service Library Division from which she retired in 1992 after thirty one years of public service.
To this day, Mrs. Paredes and her family maintain close relationships with many members of the Kennedy family.