William Howard "Bill" Flaherty

Obituary
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William "Bill" Howard Flaherty, 87, of Monmouth Beach, passed away Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011, at home, surrounded by his loving family, after a brave battle with cancer. Born Dec. 10, 1923 in Brooklyn, N.Y., he spent many wonderful and fun filled summers in the Galilee section of Monmouth Beach, moving there permanently in 1948. He spent a great deal of time on the river, at the beach talking to the fishermen as they brought the fishing boats ashore, and at the MB Coast Guard Station which was right next door. Bill was a very proud and strong willed Irishmen with a heart as big as the sky. He lived life right. Leading by example, he made a point of teaching his children and grandchildren to do the same. When he talked, you listened. Smiling, he would boast about never getting a traffic ticket. He had a great sense of humor, a remarkable memory, and countless stories about his very active adventures as a boy. His big blue eyes and huge warm smile will be missed dearly by his family. A true family patriarch in every sense of the word, he was more concerned about his family in his final days than his own passing. He spent his last days in the constant company of his two Jack Russell Terriers, Fred and Talya. Bill retired from the U.S. Government after 35 years, working at both Fort Monmouth and the Bayonne Ocean Terminal. He served his country bravely in the U.S. Army Air Corps, as a master sergeant from 1941-1945. Part of the 17th Bomb Group, he served as a machine gunner on a B-26 Marauder. Stationed in France, he flew 130 bombing missions over Germany until the war ended. He enjoyed traveling all over the country each year to attend his Bomber Squad reunions. He was an extremely proud World War II veteran. He organized and ran the Memorial Day services in Monmouth Beach in 1962 to honor all war Veteran's, which continues to this day. More recently he pushed for a Veteran's Day ceremony in MB that he actively participated in. He was a member of the VFW Brighton Memorial Post 2140, where he served as Post chaplain for many years. Bill was an active exempt member of the Monmouth Beach Fire Company serving as president and as a line officer for five years until serving as Fire Chief in 1962. He was also a founding member of the Monmouth Beach First Aid, serving as President of the squad.

Bill was predeceased by his wife and childhood friend, "the love of his life", Marilyn (Terry) Grace Heiser Flaherty, in 1984; his brothers, Jack and Jim; his sisters, Peggy, Eileen and Mary (MiMi).Surviving are his sons, William J. Flaherty and Jack Flaherty; daughter and son-in-law, Carol Ann and Joseph Mellaci; two granddaughters, Karen Ann Poole and Tracy Kathleen Madonia; and seven great-grandchildren, Alexander, Christopher, Jonathan and Morgan Katherine Young, Michael J. Ciaglia Jr., and Lisamarie and Anthony Madonia. Also surviving are two nieces, Patricia Rosenberg, and Eileen Flaherty, and sister-in-law Patricia Flynn.

Visitation will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 23 at the Damiano Funeral Home, 191 Franklin Ave., (corner or Third Ave.), Long Branch. The funeral will be at the funeral home on Monday, Jan. 24. Family and friends may begin to arrive at 9 a.m. for a 9:30 a.m. service. Interment will follow at Woodbine Cemetery, Oceanport. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made in Bill's memory to the Monmouth County SPCA, P.O. Box 93, Eatontown, NJ, or the Veterans Memorial Home, 132 Evergreen Road, Edison, NJ 08837. The family invites you to leave an online condolence at www.damianofuneralhome.com.

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Funeral Home
Damiano Funeral Home
191 Franklin Ave. Long Branch, NJ 07740
732-222-2312
Funeral Home Details
Published in Asbury Park Press from Jan. 22 to Jan. 23, 2011
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