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Eleanor Flaherty

1925 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Eleanor Flaherty Obituary

Eleanor "Ellie" Kinnane Flaherty, 88, passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by her beloved children and dear brother, on February 22, 2014. Although devastating, this graceful and gentle passing was seen as fitting for a beautiful woman with a profound faith. She was born on December 18, 1925 to the late James and Nell (Lenihan) Kinnane in the Fair Haven section of New Haven. She attended St. Francis Catholic Grammar School, which parish was the center of Irish life in Fair Haven. While there, she joined her older sister Anne, whom she loved and admired dearly, and who was already an accomplished trumpeter in the Fife and Drum Corp. Possessing only marginal skills, she medaled infrequently, choosing rather to focus on the great fun to be had and establishing lifelong friendships. She graduated from Hillhouse High School, Class of 1943. After graduation, she worked for the phone company and then St. Raphael School of Nursing, where she obtained her RN. She was then selected from her nursing class to attend Georgetown University, on scholarship, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1954. She loved Washington DC and its attractions, making frequent trips to the Zoo. Upon her return home, she went to work at the West Haven VA Hospital. Her dedication to veterans, who sacrificed so much for their country, continued as a lifelong devotion donating regularly to veteran causes. While caring for one particular notable veteran of WWI, his son was so impressed by her devotion, compassion and beautiful auburn hair, that he asked her to coffee. Noticing his striking blue eyes and gentle ways, she conspired with fellow nurses to be made aware of his presence. Six months later they were married, a union that would last for 55 years. Together they made their happy, funny home is West Hartford where they raised their 5 children. She went back to work at St. Francis Hospital in the newborn nursery and worked for 20 years, until her retirement in 1990. She was highly regarded by physicians, co-workers and patients alike for her strong work ethic, compassion and honesty. She had great fun at her job, and was only occasionally late for work. She was so happy to work with such talented fellow nurses, aids and lab technicians. Eleanor, or El, Ellie, Miss Ellie, Big El, or Lulu, depending on which aspect of her life you were part of, was a woman of deep Catholic faith, selfless love, and loyalty for her family and friends, and had a unbelievable wit and sense of humor. She will be deeply missed by all, most especially by her children. She leaves behind Frank X. Flaherty, her loving husband of 55 years, her children, Mary Rose Palmese and her husband Paul; Francis X. Flaherty, Jr., and his wife Joanie and their children, Liam and Shannon; Patricia Anne Flaherty and her children Brendan, Danny, Matthew and Tess; James F. Flaherty, MD and his children, Eilish, Declan, Cailin and Colum; and Margaret Prevost and her husband Paul and their children Eden, Tatum and Peyton. She also leaves behind her dear brother, Father James F. Kinnane whom she loved beyond words. Eleanor was predeceased by her daughter-in- law, Le-An Flaherty, her sisters, Mary Doucette and her husband Larry, Sister Francine Marie (Margaret) and Anne (Nana) Kinnane, and the family pet Bucky, who she was afraid of. Funeral procession will be Saturday, (March1), 9:15 am from the Sheehan Hilborn Breen Funeral Home, 1084 New Britain Ave., West Hartford, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial, 10:00 am in St. Mark the Evangelist Church, 467 South Quaker Lane, West Hartford. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery, West Hartford. Calling hours will be Friday, (Feb. 28) from 5-8 pm at the funeral home. Memorial donations may be made to Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675. Online condolences may be made at

Published in The Hartford Courant on Feb. 26, 2014
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