Betty D. Flanagan
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Retired Oakland Unified School District Teacher Betty D. Flanagan beloved mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, neighbor, and friend departed her earthly life on October 10, 2008 in Oakland, CA. She served as a dedicated teacher with the Oakland Unified School District for over 37 years. She influenced the lives of countless students who attended: Frick Jr. High School, McChesney Jr. High School, Lowell Middle School and Castlemont High School. She devoted her talents and efforts to providing the students of Oakland with an education that would prepare them to become tomorrow's leaders. She is survived by Vester Flanagan Sr.; stepmother Alice Sheriff; her two daughters Valerie and Vicki; one son, Vester; four sisters Carolyn, Brenda, Sharon, and Pearl; two brothers Fred and William; two grandchildren, Hadiyah and Miles; and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. Services will be held Thursday, October 16, 2008 at 11am at CP Bannon 6800 International Blvd., Oakland, CA 94621.

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Published in Bay Area News Group publication from Oct. 14 to Oct. 15, 2008.
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Memories & Condolences
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41 entries
May 4, 2016
I know that this may be too late, but I just found out. Ms. Flanagan taught me about life. She always told me, "Make the best of life Bertrand!" I hope I'm making her proud. To the family, God continues to bless you real good.

Pastor Bertrand Todd III
C/O 2002 Castlemont High School
Bertrand Todd
August 27, 2015
Ms.Flanagan the most memorable teacher at Lowell Jr high and her love for all things Tina Turner!
Tsnya Johnson
February 17, 2009
Thank you everyone for the kind words about our mother. We miss her dearly and it has not been easy on us. Our family appreciates all of your kind words, thoughts, and prayers. Our mother was truly a wonderful woman who gave her best and expected the best from all that knew her.

Valerie Flanagan-Garrett
Valerie Flanagan-Garrett
January 31, 2009
Ms. Flanagan, the best. I will miss you Ms. Flanagan. You were the greatest teacher and person of all-time. I was in her history and drama class at Lowell Middle School. I was a shy, quiet kid and she helped me out of this to become a more out-spoken person. I can't believe your gone. Like someone wrote, some people you think will just live forever, and even though your gone you will live forever through the many, many lives you touched. I love you Ms. Flanagan and you will always be in my heart. My condolences to her family, and I'd like to let her family know that they are not alone in this loss. She touched everyone she came in contact with and we all love her and will miss her. Good-bye Ms. Flanagan Rest in Peace.
Marvin Clark
November 9, 2008
To the Flanagan family my cousin may god bless and keep you all together, your mom my aunt was a very good and funny lady I remember alot of fun times, when you guys lived on 26th ave down the street from Big Momma & Big Daddy. My god bless you and your family. Your cousin Dorothy
Dorothy Smith
November 9, 2008
To the flanagan family, my cousin my heart goes out to you for your lost of your mom and my aunt. My god bless you all. your cousin Dorothy
Dorothy Smith
October 30, 2008
Oh my goodness, my deepest condolences and sympathies! I was in touch with Vester in North Carolina a couple of years ago when stationed there. I was so surprised and proud to see him as a news anchor in Craven County! I recognized him instantly even though it had been many years since Miss Show Me had introduced my siblings and I to her children. Vester was the youngest--and still is!--and I thought Vickie and Valerie were the most beautiful teens on Earth! That beautiful hair and gorgeous skin. I so wanted to be like you guys. I am sure you may not remember me, but your mother was responsible for my success in making it out of poverty, shame, and drug addiction. She made a difference in my life and was always close to my thoughts and never outside of my heart. I recently moved to Arizona (we are a military family) and was determined to go and see Ms. Betty D. You guys are a private family and I knew it would take much to get permission to see her. I am crying as I write this because imagine my surprise that I had just missed the funeral and that she is actually gone! There are persons in your life whom you just assume are going to live forever and Mrs. Flanagan is one of them. To maybe jog the memory of the children, your mother used to pick me and my FOUR siblings up from our house in Oakland and take us to McDonald's! One time, she had to borrow money from Valerie to pay for our food! I will never forget the look on Vickie and Valerie's faces that night. That wagon got us many places! She then took all of us to your house and I know that look now because my children give it to me! "You always pick up the strays, Mom!" But that was Miss Show Me--always a special place for children in her heart. Particularly me and mine. We were really downtrodden but I was soooo smart she used to say. I won the Spelling B with her tutelage and many trophies at graduation for 7th and 8th grade. My condolences to you all. I hope to talk to you all again and may God continue to pour his many blessings on everyone in your family.

Keiotha Blake
Keiotha Blake
October 28, 2008
Ms.Flanagan,touched and changed my life! She stayed on me at Lowell Middle School,in U.S. History,Drama class,in the halls,at lunch,when ever,where ever. I loved and respected her for that with all my heart!! I'm trully sadden,cuz they don't make-um like that no more. A trully great teacher, a great mom,and a great all around person. I LOVE YOU Ms.Flanagan. My deepest sympathies to her family
Damon Carver
October 28, 2008
Dear Valerie and Family,

Shshane Thomas just informed me of your mother's passing on Friday. She was my favorite middle school teacher who inspired me to reach for the impossible and never allow anyone to stop my dreams. I love and appreciate your mother for making an impact on my life to help mold me into the woman I am today. My prayers are with you.

I lost my mom in 2001, and what a tremendous shock it was. However, my message to you is time heals the pain. Stay encouraged and continue to be the prosperous individuals that your mother dreamed you would be. God bless you.
October 28, 2008
What a sad surprise!! One of Gods angels time has expired. Mrs. Flanagan has touched the lives of soooo many both young and old. She will always be remembered for many things. She will be remembered by many as being one tough teacher and parent. She loved her girls and talked about them in her classrooms all the time. She thought very highly of them and only wanted the best for them as she wanted for all of her students as well. Vickie and Valerie, you guys were blessed to have such a loving and caring mother that will be awaiting your presence. May God keep and Bless you all in your time of grief.

Teruko Carver-Jones
Teruko Carver-Jones
October 21, 2008
Please accept my deepest sympathies.
Mrs. Flanagan was my favorite teacher of all-time. She used to holla at me everyday until I got that history lesson right. I LOVED HER for that.
She will be truly missed............
Rodney Lewis
October 17, 2008
To the Flanagan Family,

Mrs. Flanagan will be dearly missed. She taught me and many of my family members at Lowell Middle School. She took me home many a day because I couldnt afford to get there. That BLUE FORD TEMPO!!!! :)

Everyone in the school knew that she was a LEO and knew who ran things!

God bless you all and you have my deepest condolences.
Dr. Rafael Simmons
October 17, 2008
To the Flanagan family. Ms. Flanagan was my teacher at Frick Jr. High when teachers gave a darn about their students and students learned what they were suppose to do. I owe her alot me and my sisters because my mother didn't have to worry about a thang with us Ms. Flanagan had it and if it was wrong she would get us and then our parents would also. She was one of the few who loved her students and we loved her. My prayers are with her and her family. It was a pleasure to be one of her students
Jewel Clay
October 17, 2008
"RESPECT" MRS BETTY D. FLANAGAN that is what she taught me. I was her student at Frick Junior High. You had no second chances, and don't even think about talking back or making a gesture she would let you know on day one who house you were in and as long as you are under her roof you play by her rules. I saw Mrs Flanagan at JJ's earlier this year she looked "GREAT" and still had that gift for gab. She will always be a inspiration to me. Mrs Flanagan will truly be missed by us all but knowing the positive impact and the many lives she touched will always bring a smile to my face. God Bless
October 16, 2008
To the Flanagan Family,
My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Your mom was a dear friend to my grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Terry. May GOD continue to bless and keep you in your time of bereavement.
Tracy Mills-Smith
October 16, 2008
To the Family of Mrs. Flanagan I offer you my deepest sympathy and my family is praying for you in your time of sorrow. Mrs Flanagan was a great lady. She touched the lives of many. I was a student in Mrs. Flanagans eight grade History class at Lowell. She was much more than a teacher. She played such a postive roll in the lives of many young people. She taught the importance of being young ladies and always emphasized the importance of carrying ourselves in a respectful manner. She really had A positive influence on our upbringing. The life lessons she instilled in us were greatly appreciated. I remember when my little sister passed away (Rosiland Martin) also a former student. Mrs.Flanagan was there for our family. It was as if she carried us when we thought we would not be able to go on. She supported us during the time and provided us with support as time passed she frequently stopped by just to offer her love and blessing and assist in the healing process. That woman is something special. Sonya Perkins and I was just talking about her not long ago. We were remebering her famous quotes. Her bluntness will never be forgotten. I remember a boy pushed a girl down in the hallway and Mrs. Flanagan went out there and gave him the business. She told him, "You're not a man your a mouse-Squeak! Squeak! Squeak! She said -I am Betty Jean Dalson Flanagan the boss in the barnyard and I will not tolerate you disrespecting the young ladies now apologize! She had her own way of identifying us.I remember her saying just look at them one thin as a dime and the other thick as a nickel referring to Charon Fluker and Sonya Perkins. I was hips. I saw her at a carnival for Castlemont and she still called me hips. Mrs. Flanagan I love you and I appreciate all that you have given me. I am most gracious and thankful to have been blessed to encounter you in this big busy world. Thank You.
Yvonne Thompson
October 16, 2008

Our prayers are with you and your family. As I read the tributes to your mother all I can say is WOW! What a wonderful testimony.

God Bless you - The Faithful Servants of Brookins AME Church Sunday School Class
Charlene Haynes
October 16, 2008
To Vester and the rest of the Flanagan family,

Wow! I got the phone call at 12:45 last night that Ms. Flanagan had past and I wasn't able to really sleep this morning.

It is my sincere prayer that God comforts the family at this time. It has been many years since I have seen Vester, Vicki and Valorie. it's so interesting I was literaly thinking about the family as I was driving past their old house going to see a freind just last week.

If any of you need anything please feel free to get in contact with me. Even though it's been many years Vester you are still my freind and brother and you can call me for anything.

May God give you and your family the strength to move forward.

With much love

Hervin S. Balfour
Skyline C/O 91'
Feel free to get in contact with me:
Hervin Balfour
October 15, 2008
My brothers and neighbors were Ms. Flanagan students from Frick JHS. I worked with Ms. Flanagan at Castlemont High she was a mother and a friend to me. Thank God that I got the chance to work with an excellent leader. She will be with me for the rest of my life.
Percy Foster
October 15, 2008
To the Flanagan Family,

Your mother was a truly exceptional person, she touched all our lives in a very positive way. I had her for English at Frick Jr. High and it seems like it was just yesterday. She left that long lasting impression on you that you could never forget. May God keep you and bless you.
D. Griffin-Morgan
October 15, 2008
Ms. V. Flanagan
May God be with you and your family. From Your Parker Elementary Family.
Ms. Davis
Deborah Davis
October 15, 2008
We love them but God loves them more. God Bless you and your family Ms. Flanagan.
Cynthia Harding
October 15, 2008
Cynthia Davis
October 15, 2008
Betty: You were and still are the cousin we looked up too, I feel it was yesterday when you spoke at my dads service on how much family is important. During our growing up how we sat on the stairs on magnolia street played and talked, and when you talked everybody listen even the kids all around which we will never forget. I love you so much and our daily talks in the past week were so helpful to me. Vicky, Val,Vester we are here for you and we love you very much.
Kathleen Dawson ( Cousin )
October 15, 2008
Valarie, Vicki, and Vester:

Your mother was an exceptional person who not only touched my life, but the lives of many, many people. Value and hold fast to the things that she's passed on so that you may pass them on to your children.

Only time will heal the hurt that you're feeling right now, but know that even through these low times, GOD is still in control.

My prayers are with you and your family.
Jacqueline Anderson
October 15, 2008
To Valerie, Vicki, Vester, Miles, Hadiyah and Family of Betty D. Flanagan,

On behalf of the thousands of students, teachers and administrators of the Oaklanad Unified School District whose lives were enriched by your beloved Betty, I express sincere thanks and appreciation. Mrs. Flanagan played a significant role in my success as a principal at Lowell Middle school. She was a team player who was sensitive to the needs of students, faculty and parents. The essence of Mrs Flanagan's profession as a teacher is captured in the expressions listed in this guest book.
Betty was the matriarch of our Lowell Middle School Family.Through the years she has kept us together. She was a great mother who instilled those character values in her children and grandchildren. Her vibrant spirit and legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of those whose lives she touched.
"......But the temple the teacher builded...Shall endure while the ages roll:- For that beautiful, unseen temple Was a child's immortal soul."
Betty D. Flanagan was not just a teacher, she was a Builder.
Leola J. Washington
October 15, 2008
Val, Vick, Vester Jr.
Her presence is still felt and evident every day in each of you. She raised 3 remarkable, intelligent, caring and unique children and 2 beautiful grandkids. Continue to hold your head high as this is what she has ALWAYS told us. I love you guys.
Pacquin Raquel Dwyer
October 15, 2008
To the Flanagan Family,
Your Mom was certainly a great Teacher! I was one of her students at Frick Jr. High School and she made a lasting impression on me and the entire class! I can easily remember her coming into the classroom with deodorant, a clean wet towel and soap telling the boys, "Betty Flanagan's room will not stink so take this and get on to the bathroom!" She didn't play. She taught us to be able to recite and say passionately the poem "Invictus" and I often dramatically recite this poem when I speak. In fact, I thank your Mom in a book that I have written to help empower parents. Your Mom was one of a kind and I'm just one of many lives she touched. Each of my sisters (the Griffin Girls) all had her as a teacher and I even remember how much she talked about her beautiful children. The two girls with the long beautiful hair and Vester, the love of her life! Remember that God will never leave you nor forsake you and weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning! Heaven is celebrating and a lot more energetic because of Betty D Flanagan. Take care and God bless,
Darlene Griffin-Willis
October 15, 2008
To The Flanagan Family,
Your mother touched our lives when all 6 of our daughters attended Frick Jr. High School. She was a wonderful person who made a difference in all of our lives. She will be missed. May God give you comfort during this season.
Sheryle and James Griffin (Manteca, CA)
Sheryle Griffin
October 15, 2008
Thank you everyone for all of your kind words, phone calls, cards, and love. We are deeply shocked and hurt about the passing of our mother. She was a wonderful woman who loved her children, grandchildren,family, and friends, and neighbors. She truly dedicated her love and talents to the students of the Oakland Unified School District. It was a true honor to have her as my mother. I will never forget her and will always remember the lessons that she taught us. My mother touched lives and inspired all of us to do our best! We thank all of you for your support and ask that you continue to remember the happy times that you shared with our mother. She was a class act and will be deeply missed!
Valerie Flanagan-Garrett
October 14, 2008
To Valerie, Vicki, and Vester
May God Bless You at your time of need. We were all blessed with your Mother's presents. She touched so many people with her love.
Ralph and Roberta Dawson
October 14, 2008
To Valerie, Vickie and Vester Jr.
I attended Frick Jr. High and your mother was an excellent role model and educator. She taught us to speak eloquently, cared about our appearance, our behavior and most of all she loved us. I will miss her very much. I would even joke and tell her,, I know you named your daughter "Valerie Lynn" after me.
Valerie Lynette Thompson
October 14, 2008
October 14, 2008
To the Family--- It's been 34 years since I was a student in Mrs. Flanagan's class at Frick Middle School. To say the least, she left an indelible impression on me as a teenager and young adult. Mrs. Flanagan was direct, honest and didn't hesitate to point students in the right direction; especially when she thought they were heading down the wrong path. As I reflect back to her classroom, I can clearly see how interested she was in the African American students and desired for them succeed. It's too bad that my children won't be able to experience the "Mrs. Falanagan Factor"... She was quite a lady.
Sereptha Williams-Thompson
October 14, 2008
Ms. Flanagan was my english teacher in the seventh and eight grade at Frick. She also taught my older sister. The things she taught me, the way she taught will always, always be with me. When I became an adult, her son was in elementary school with my son and nephew at Redwood Heights although he was older. I remember being at a soccer game with her and the other parents were calling her Betty and my sister and I asked when would we be able to call her Betty? Everyone reading this can imagine what she said. We never called her Betty. And when my mother died, 20 years ago, she was there for my family and my children.
I was just talking about her the other day. I will always, always, hold her memory in my heart.
Brenda Butler
October 14, 2008
I attended both Frick Jr. High and Castlemont High School. I remember Ms. Flanagan as an outspoken and energetic educator. Because of her and other teacher's like her, I currently teach at Chabot College. I thank God for meeting her and being impressed by her skills.
Terrance Thompson
October 14, 2008
My dearest spoke so eloquently as you said goodbye to me in so many words and I hadn't seen you in years. you looked in my eyes and knew me so well i felt peace in your presence. I look to you to remain in my heart until i get to chill with you on another level plane.

My prayers of peace, love and support.

Emani Dawson-Bey
Emani Erica Dawson-Bey
October 14, 2008
Although it's been a long time since I'd seen Betty, I do remember her laughter and lovely smile. I will keep her family in my prayers.
Debra Walker
October 14, 2008
Vicki and Family, As God blessed your Mother may he continue to bless you and your family through this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.
Anita Ilsley
October 14, 2008
Betty you will truly be missed by the family you were not just a cousin to us you were like a sister. I will miss our phone talks and your laughter I know you are in a better place so we as a family will have to continue on. Your death took us by surprise and the fact that we just bury our uncle a week ago makes this so hard.
I will always keep you in my heart.
Paula Hunter
October 14, 2008
Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.
C.P. Bannon Mortuary
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