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John Patrick Flaherty, Sr. Obituary


Memories & Candles

“Seventy-two Hours I arrive too late for meaningfulconversation, As no coherent thoughts canpenetrate the encroaching haze of death But I can...Read More »
1 of 4 | Posted by: John

“John was my favorite Uncle! I remember when he lived with us (his sister Kathryn's family) for a while in Fulton, NY after graduation from Boy's Town...Read More »
2 of 4 | Posted by: James Sayre - Syracuse, NY

“My sincere condolences on the passing of the father of one of my dearest friends at East Liverpool High School. ”
3 of 4 | Posted by: Tina Adkins Wang

“What a beautiful tribute! I met John when I started college with his son John in 1974. I lived about a half hour away from the family and would visit...Read More »
4 of 4 | Posted by: Tony Corasaniti


John Patrick Flaherty of Mesa, AZ died Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at home surrounded by his children, grand children and loving wife of 57 years, Rosemarie. John was born in Altoona, PA the son of John Patrick Flaherty and MaryAgnes (Carr) Flaherty. He was the eighth of nine children born to his Irish Catholic family. His father worked as an engineer on the Pennsylvania Railroad. At age 9, his father took ill and died. Six months later his mother followed. John and his siblings were orphaned. He was placed at St John's Orphanage in Cresson, PA. He was never happy there and would not "run away" but "run to" the people and places he loved. At age 14 he left Pennsylvania to live in Fr Flanagan's Boystown outside Omaha, NE. There he participated in the Boystown Band by playing the trumpet, traveling up and down the rail lines of central Nebraska and playing in all the small towns along the way. After graduation he reunited with his sister and worked for the Swiss Chocolate Corporation. Shortly thereafter he joined the US Air Force and was assigned to the 6969 Support Squadron. He served in the Military Police for six years. He was honorably discharged in 1954. He attended Penn State University where he met Rosemarie Louise DeConna, also of Altoona, PA. The two married in 1955 and had 4 children: John Patrick Jr, Francis Joseph, Daniel Eamon, and Idamarie Colleen. Later in life he and Rosemarie would adopt Joseph Flaherty and raise him as their own son. He completed his 4 year degree from Penn State and graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science in Business and Accounting. His first major employer was Westinghouse Corporation of Elmira, NY where he worked in the accounting department. In 1966 he took a position with Allied Chemical Corporation of Binghampton, NY where he worked for two years before he was recruited by the Jim Walter Corporation. In 1968 he moved his young family to East Liverpool, OH to take the position of Plant Manager at a Celotex plant in Chester, WVA. There he would remain until his retirement, turning the Chester Celotex Plant into one of the highest producing plants in the Jim Walter's family of companies. John always spoke highly of the Catholic Church because, as he would say, "They saved my life." In his later years, John would be sought after to tell stories of his days at Boystown, as he was a member of the last graduating class under Fr Flanagan, whose untimely death was announced the night of his prom. John had one story that describes the relationship of most Flaherty's to famous figures. "One day me and one of my friends were walking down the hill away from "the Farm" (Boystown). We were going to play hookie and skip school that day. As we walked down the one lane road, a long, black limousine rolled up behind us. An electric window whirred and, from inside, came the voice of Fr Flanagan, saying in commanding tones: "Get back to the Farm!" John and his wife lived in Winslow and Holbrook, AZ after his retirement. John would do charity work and taxes for people. He loved to tinker with an old camper and an even older Chevy Suburban which he referred to often as his "getaway car." John still loved to "getaway" once in a while (just as he did in his youth) and he referred to these respites as effective marital aides. He loved all his children and helped them out financially as much as he could. He was a generous soul. John and Rosemarie both made Cursillo's back in the 1970s. This seemed to re-invigorated John's Catholic Faith for the rest of his life. John liked to attend the 'Traditional' Catholic liturgies as they reminded him of the Mass of his childhood. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and attended Mass frequently, right up to the weeks before his death. John leaves as his legacy 9 grand children: Andrew, Thomas and John III of Grand Island, NE; Frankie Flaherty, East Liverpool, OH, Nicole Soto of Cordes Junction, AZ; and Charlie and Jon Cooley of Mesa, AZ; and their sister Kandice Tyer, also of Mesa, AZ John remained a strong man right up to the last several months of his life, when years of smoking seemed to take its toll. He died in the arms of his loving wife and surrounded by his children, in his home, just as he hoped he might, thanks in part to Hospice of the Valley and the friends and clergy who helped his family navigate the waters of his passing. Today he is in the arms of his Mom and Dad, arms that fell away from him so many many years ago, arms that now enfold him in Heaven with his Beloved Lord and Savior.

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