Thomas Lee Flanigan
1972 - 10
Ansberg-West Funeral Home
3000 Sylvania Ave
Toledo, OH
Thomas Lee Flanigan

10/31/1972 - 04/27/2021

Well, that's it. I have completed my shift as the great American cliché. In the spirit of what turned out to be my last New Year's letter, my wild and crazy life has again taken a new, unexpected turn with my shocking and unexpected, yet fabulous, exit. Yes, I have joined the likes of Princess Diana, John Belushi, and Steve Irwin the Crocodile Hunter in leaving while still at the top of my game as an iconic superhero who seemed almost too good to be true.

It was a good run. No, a great run, but I can't take all the credit. Northern Michigan University and my Lambda Chi Alpha brothers, Wayne State University Medical School, The United States Army, colleagues, various celebrities, random cartoon characters, people who make memes, Russians and other friends and family all contributed. As you know, my wife, Amy, and my kids Joey (14), Evelyn (13), and Sylvia (10) are the absolute best. Please take good care of them like the priceless treasures they are.

I will admit that I originally got married for the husband jokes and had kids for the dad jokes. It did not disappoint. The jokes I mean, but Amy and the kids were pretty good too. Going to school events, dance competitions, and eight zillion hockey practices at the crack of dawn really makes a man's life worthwhile. I also saw some other delightful things in my time here - Hawaiian volcanoes, Egyptian pyramids, and even the advent of air fryers. I will say, it was magical, all of it.

In case you've heard the rumors, I did dabble in a few other things along the way during my 48 years, like serving my country in combat on two separate tours, earning the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and saving countless lives as an accomplished surgeon and MD. Oh, there was also that whole, fulfilling, "cosmetic and reconstructive surgery" stint too. Yada, yada, yada. Let's talk about my real legacy, though...The dad jokes, the New Year's letters, the Facebook memes. What was I to this world if not a beacon of light shining upon those who couldn't scan the internet for their own hilarious and entertaining comic relief? I guess what I am trying to say is that you're welcome and you owe me big time.

I know it's impossible to believe, but I, the Ginger God of Surgery and Shenanigans, have fought my last cow (you're welcome Tim) and ridden off into the glorious sunset after re-enlisting with a new unit. Due to the unknown and cosmic nature of my next mission, this will be our last communication. It will self-destruct in five minutes. My whereabouts are now top secret, but let's just say I have made some new friends by the names of Elvis and Kenny. The Church of Tom is closed for business, but please continue to worship me, light candles, and send money. You know the deal.

Visitation will be held from 12:00 – 8:00 on Thursday, May 6, 2021 at Ansberg-West Funeral Home located at 3000 W Sylvania Ave, Toledo, Ohio. A private life celebration will be held for family on Friday, May 7, 2021.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the "Flanigan Children Education" account located at Signature Bank. Condolences for Tom's family may be expressed online at

Published by The Blade from May 2 to May 4, 2021.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
12:00p.m. - 8:00p.m.
Ansberg-West Funeral Home
3000 W, Toledo, OH
Funeral services provided by:
Ansberg-West Funeral Home
Sponsored by Ansberg-West Funeral Home.
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37 Entries
Thanks for treating me back in the day Dr. Flanigan, you will be dearly missed.
Lee Thalcine
August 2, 2021
Thank you for putting me back together. Im glad you where here to help God perform so many metricals.
Dave Chio
July 12, 2021
Thank you for performing emergency surgery that saved me! I am forever grateful... Very sad the world lost a great man ......Gingers Rock! ( sign i read before went under and a great radio station was on)
Nicole Rader
June 23, 2021
I am so sorry about this great guys passing. He will be missed by all who knew him. I’m so sorry for the family’s loss.
Angela Rayle
June 3, 2021
I was very sorry to hear about Dr Flanigan's passing. He did a scar revision surgery on me that ended 60 years of problems. I was awake during that surgery and got well-acquainted with Dr Flanigan and his sense of humor. I know my surgery was minor compared to a lot of the other surgeries that he has done and the lives he has saved and the lives he has changed. After reading about all that he has done in his service to his country as well as to all his patients, his loss is great. All of that, I know, is nothing compared to the loss I know you as his wife and family are feeling. I can only offer my sincere condolences to you and your family on your loss and pray for your family to get through this very difficult time.
Patricia Haupt
May 11, 2021
My sympathies to Dr Flanigan family I'm one of is patients he operated on my hand recently I'll really miss his care and friendly demeanor
Michael Heard
May 11, 2021
Dr. Flanagan called me his “problem case” I initially broke my ankle on both sides due to a car accident. And after having surgery to repair my ankle I ended up with an open wound who I then went to a different surgeon to try to close the wound. But due to the plate and how small my ankle was it was rejecting it. Which later caused a terrible infection that had gone into my blood stream and was put on IV antibiotics for several months, Dr. tank then referred me to Dr. Flanagan and said he was one of the best plastic surgeons in our area. I couldn’t agree more prior to seeing him I already had three surgeries on my ankle. Flanagan had done the next four. Everything he did for the first three the wound kept opening, finally the last option which he wanted to avoid doing was a free flap where he took part of my arm and artery and hooked it up to my foot. He is the only plastic surgeon to complete this surgery in northwest Ohio he told me if it wasn’t for him I would have to go to Ohio state or Cleveland area to have this done. I did however have complications and he took me right back into the OR totaling 10 hours just for that surgery alone. He did it an amazing job even though he had leaches stuck to my ankle every 4 hours ( didn’t even believe that to be a thing but he used them! Lol) he saved my foot from having to be amputated. I can’t thank him enough! Such a great, caring, talented man!! I still to this day have a staple that needs removed where he put the integra together to prep my arm for a skin graft, I don’t know if I’ll even be able to walk into your office knowing he won’t be the one to remove it! This breaks my heart for his family and kids, I hope they realize how great and talented he is! And all the lives he has saved.
Amanda Rose
May 10, 2021
I hope there is free orange juice in heaven. My favorite tik-tok doc will be missed.
May 9, 2021
I love you Tom, I'm so heart broken that you've left this world. You were one of my families favorite doctors and you helped saved my father (Chuck)'s life. Because of you he was able to return to his Feed and Seed store which he is currently renovating. Fly high brother, you were an hero to my entire family.
Jonathan Sneed
May 9, 2021
David Goodwin
May 8, 2021
My deepest condolences to you all.
Sincerely,A Facebook blogger
Cynthia Powers
May 7, 2021
Yes Dr Flannigan was my surgeon on December 11,2020 I am very Happy with my results. He was Very Happy and excited to tell me he made me a new belly button. I will miss him dearly
Cathy Daugherty
May 7, 2021
Tom was a great neighbor. My parents and I all really enjoyed chatting and getting to know him in the backyard by the lake. He was really kind, funny, and enjoyable to talk to. We will all greatly miss him and his presence in this wonderful community will be remembered dearly.
Nikita Ajmera
May 7, 2021
You died too young. We were good neighbor's for a few years. Shared jokes, beers, cigars and more. You were a unique individual for sure and this world, those that never knew you, have suffered a sad loss as has your family, friends, colleagues and patients. Wherever destiny has taken you, please watch down on those you left behind. God bless your family.
Chris & Lily
May 7, 2021
Dear Tom, it’s taking days for me to be able to sit down to write something about you. Your exit left us all very hurt, in shock and speechless but more than anything with a huge void. The response to your passing has been tremendous and it really is commensurate to who you were as a person: a great friend, an awesome doctor, but more importantly, who you were to your family, a great husband and father. My heart goes out to them! They have lost so much in your passing I will keep them in my thoughts and prayers!
Dear friend, you have made medical school bearable. The “Fight Club” and “Office Space” lines were memorable and properly delivered in front of Scott Hall during our breaks The evening and nightly study sessions in the Green Hall day after day, the chatting outside of Scott Hall, on that bench where we were all congregating, venting and complaining about all that studying are forever bored in my memory; and then there was the Green team at Receiving and how excited you were to be there but really hating the q 2 calls; all these memories are coming back to me just like it was yesterday I was so happy to see you again when you were rotating at the VA and Oakwood after so many yearssame funny, blunt, solid guy you always were.
You were a great friend to so many. I wish you knew how many people you have touched and how many lives you had made better. Your jokes, humor and support made some of the most difficult times in my life easier to handle. And for this I will always be grateful. I know you called yourself an American cliché but I think you were an American hero. Combat in Middle East x 2, and then zillion years spent between undergraduate, medical school, general surgery, and two fellowships just so you can be a great physician and surgeon to your patients takes commitment and drive and grit and it is NOT for the faint of heart.
I wish I were there in person for your family today, but know all my thoughts are with them and my prayers will be with them in this most difficult time It is a good reminder to cherish and be grateful for the people in our lives! It’s a good reminder that life is too short
Dear friend, you are one of a kind! Your friendship and humor, your strength and grit, your compassion and drive helped make so many lives better along your short and well lived life! And for that we all owe you big time! You will be greatly missed by all who ever met you!
Lieutenant Colonel, thank you for your service to your patients and your country!
Tom, until we meet again!
Despina Walsworth
May 6, 2021
May God blanket your family with a sense of peace and calm in the days, months and years ahead. Evelyn and Sylvia always have a soft place to fall in my art room at West Side Montessori. My heart aches for all of you.
Jennifer Marra
May 5, 2021
Namaste . Corporeally, We might be shipmates, or even Warriors Supreme. God’s speed Angel Warrior. Just reading your hearts mind here, is an honor. Though We’ve never met in this density my tears of happiness tells me that are kindred spirits. Always know that we’re birthed sinless.
Your brother in Arms.
Muhammad Shakur #95BRAVO USMilitary Police. ‘78-79. Disabled.
Muhammad Shakur
May 5, 2021
Rest easy soldier.
Valerie Loveys
May 5, 2021
I woke this morning here in Perth, Australia and read the same old daily media news reports but amongst the articles found one about Thomas and his - to say the least - impressive self written obituary and boy, like the man himself I’m sure- it did not disappoint!

What a true champion, much respect to Thom :) and condolences to all his loved ones.

Sincerely, Drew Straker.
Drew Straker
May 5, 2021
May 5, 2021
I didn't know Tom but read his fabulous obituary online! I loved it and I wish i had known him. A short but very well lived life! I wish his family lots of love and light and hope the memories will help them through the sadness. Rest in peace Tom...I hope you're having a ball up there!

Greetings from Ireland
May 5, 2021
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Janet young
May 5, 2021
Tom Flanigan was a star whose light continues to shine. He lives in those who knew him, especially his family and friends.
Ken Kish
May 5, 2021
My condolences to the family. I didn't know the good doctor, but after reading his obituary, it is clear that those who knew him lead fuller lives because of HIM. He is not gone, just transformed into his heavenly body. Keep an eye out, for im sure he will do things to let you know he is still with you in spirit.
May 4, 2021
To Tom's family: I never met Tom....I read about this amazing obit online and I wanted to extend my condolences. May he rest in peace. What a great tribute to his family; what a great life he must have had.
Louise Murphy
May 4, 2021
May 4, 2021
I did not know Dr Tom, but saw his obit in the news, as it is becoming a news sensation. It made me smile, and has reached further than I'm sure he could've imagined. So though I don't know you, sincerest condolences to Amy and kids. What a special dad and husband you must have had!
May 4, 2021
I don't know Tom. Never heard about him til today, yet I mourn for him. Seems like he was an AMAZING human being!! Saddened his journey ended so soon, but at least he left awesomeness behind for Amy and the kids (bless their hearts!)

Thank you for your contribution, Tom! Thank you for your services, and thank you for this obit!!!

Here's to Tom!!!
May 4, 2021
Like Angie, I did not know Dr. Tom; I came across his obit while looking for a co-worker who had passed this weekend. We never know where our intuition will take us but I clicked on it and like Angie, feel this is the ultimate obit.

A tribute from Dr. Tom to those he left behind; I am certain he thought more of them then anyone could ever imagine.

What a way to go out, on top, with a sense of purpose, a sense of humor, and a sense of LOVE to the highest degree.

I actually am of the belief, especially after reading this, that we all should write our good-byes, assuming we have the time. I am not sure what possessed him to write it but am glad he did.

My condolences to the family, friends, co-workers, and anyone whose path Dr. Tom crossed.

I amazed and honored to write on this page, with that said, I remain,


Chris Felix
Chris felixFelix
May 4, 2021
Hard to know where to start... as I think about the aspects of your life, I think about the holes you left behind. Family, professionally, friends-in every area of your life, you were a giant. Your commitment, loyalty, compassion, honestly, intelligence and humor were rolled into an orange haired plastic surgeon-This is how I first came to know you. You surprised me all the time: you thought deeply about others and their problems, and worked to solve them-it was never a question, you did not leave things unfinished-ever, you committed to excellence-no matter how tired, you realized how privileged you were to have a great family-and didn’t take them for granted.
When I remember you, i deeply miss a good friend and a great person, I wish there were more time. Those holes you leave make me understand the good you did for others-you inspire me to do the same.
May 3, 2021
Tom you were a man among men. Not just for your service but for your kind heart, strength and confidence. You were a warrior. I never told you this but I envied you. I would say to myself “Hey why can’t I be like that guy?” Truth is nobody could. Even though we lost touch through the years I wondered about you often. But I never worried.
My deepest condolences to your family. I love you man. Till we meet again
Mehul Soni
May 3, 2021
Amy and family, I am so very sorry for your loss. I enjoyed working with Tom when he joined ProMedica. Terri Kowalski
Terri Kowalski
May 3, 2021
Joshua Nicke and family
May 3, 2021
I didn't know Tom. This is the best Obit I have ever read. My mom and family will welcome you home.
May 3, 2021
Dr. Flanigan was an amazing Doctor. He showed love and passion to his patients and was easy going. When I was attacked by a pittbull 3 years ago Dr. Flanigan was a miracle worker and my arm looks amazing after his work. I can never thank him enough and I hope he found peace and can still feel all the love his family friends and patients have for him. God Bless you and your family! You will never be forgotten!
Cassandra Melvin
May 3, 2021
Soon after moving to Toledo in 2016, Tom and I met through his wife Amy where we soon after established a client - personal trainer relationship at which point I had the privilege to kick his butt a few times a week in the gym over the last few years.

Tom and I quickly became very good friends which eventually led us past just the client/trainer relationship with him becoming my training partner and best friend in Toledo this past year. Other than my wife, I’ve spent more time with Tom this past year than anyone else.

Tom would always come to my gym every Monday and Thursday evening after everyone else was long gone and both our days were wrapping up and coming to an end. A good workout session was a great way for each of us to end our work days. And then we would also typically meet every Saturday at noon to work out and essentially have our “guy time”.

Saturday workouts were always much longer and more energetic with us both being more rested, often lasting two hours. But half that time was talking, sharing ideas, thoughts, goals, frustrations, current events and so much more.

Tom always expressed gratitude for our time together every week as I gave it back to him for being there as well. I guess you could say we expressed our gratitude for our “bromance” time.

Many people are not fortunate to find amazing friends that make them a better person, help them see things through a different lens while learning more or to feel relief by just having an ear to listen to you while you vent some of life’s frustrations or share exciting life news. Tom and I both got this and so much more out of one another with our time together every week.

There is a long list of things I have admired, respected and loved about Tom.

Tom was a “man’s man” who could fix, build or do just about anything around the house and in life. If he didn’t know how, he figured it out and made it happen. It always amazed me how he somehow found the time to do so many of the things he did. As many of you know, Tom has quite a list of accomplishments and an impressive life’s resume.

The man would work an insane amount of hours saving lives performing surgeries every week, then come workout at the gym with me after from 7:30 - 8:30 pm, then take his son Joe to hockey practice almost an hour away and finally get home and (hopefully) in bed by midnight and do it all again the next day. Then somehow found time to fix and build stuff around the house and so much more with the little bit of spare time he had off on random weekends - when he was often still on call with the hospital.

I learned a lot about Tom’s time in the army and his college days and some hilarious stories that came from them. Tom often shared stories of times with his old and long time friends, whom he respected so much and loved.

He appreciated his staff at work and had talked about how important it was for him to try and treat them well and give a little back each year to show his gratitude for them.

And he truly cared about his patients too, no matter the hour of day. I can’t tell you how many times we would be in the middle of a conversation or workout and he would drop everything to go answer that phone of his to help anyone with questions or concerns on the other end.

Unlike many medical professionals, Tom always insisted on giving patients his personal phone number to call him directly if they needed anything. That was the kind of caring person Tom was - willing to personally do whatever necessary to help anyone in need.

And of course, he LOVED his family. He would literally do ANYTHING to make Amy and the kids happy and comfortable - no matter the cost to him. He loved and talked at length about his trips to Hawaii and especially when he dragged his family to go explore Egypt a couple years back... I’m pretty sure Tom was the biggest geek kid of the family on that trip.

Tom was just the most unselfish and giving person I think I’ve ever known.

Tom was a poster child for being:

Incredibly intelligent
Very giving
Driven and determined to succeed with anything he sets his mind to
A loving husband
An amazing father
A best friend to many

Just a few days before he left us, Tom and I had our last workout together. As usual, he was expected to come at 7:30 in the evening. I was exhausted from working 4 days straight putting in 10-12 hours.

I honestly didn’t feel like working out that Thursday night.

Then Tom comes walking in and I knew by the look on his face he felt the same. Tom was also 5 minutes late (typical)... I quickly learned that Tom had worked some cases the night before till 1:30 am at the hospital and just finished another long day after a very minimal amount of sleep.

My workload and level of fatigue was now laughable in comparison to Tom’s, which I instantly realized I needed to “man up” and stop feeling tired.

Tom shared a few stories of cases he worked the night before. In short, he saved a couple more lives; just another typical day in the life of Tom Flanigan... He was so humble, so often. To me, he was kind of like a superhero.

As we got our workout underway, both of us started to liven up. He announced to me that the offer him and Amy put on a house was accepted. He was excited as I was for him as well with happiness back and for him and the family.

I was getting ready to leave for vacation to go hike the Grand Canyon in less than 36 hours and he kept a secret from me knowing that my brother - whom I had not seen in a few years was going to be showing up there for a surprise visit. Good job staying quite Tom!

As our workout continued on, the energy started pumping into the room and, into each of us. We circled back around to talk about his cases from the night before, because as usual - I had questions due to my never ending curiosity to learn about more of all the medical miracles this man would often perform. After some more insights, I made it a point to stop for a moment to express some thoughts to Tom

I prefaced to him by saying “I am not trying to get all soft and mushy on you but” and proceeded to tell Tom how much I admire and respect what he is able to do and how much of a gift he is to the world with all he does and how many lives he impacts. And kind of rambled on for another 90 seconds expressing my respect and admiration for him and how much my wife and I and so many others appreciate him.

Instead of shrugging it off like he often does (he is very humble), he looked me in the face and said “thank you for saying all that man, I really appreciate that” and then of course proceeded to give me a compliment as well (typical Tom trying to one up me)... All this was said with a little heavy breathing by the way, we were getting well into a good workout and heart rate zone.

True story: Tom broke his all time record for cable pull downs that night by moving 220 lbs for over 12 repetitions over several sets. That is a crazy heavy weight to move We didn’t leave till almost 9 pm because we kept going down rabbit holes talking about all kinds of stuff.

Just a few short days after our last workout and since hearing of Tom’s passing, it was difficult for my brain to process that it was actually real. It just doesn’t feel like this could have been possible.

I’ve had so many thoughts, feelings and emotions with all that has happened. Some confused, others very angry, and many still revolving around disbelief and a heavy heart.

I still keep going back to my last time with Tom just days before he left us and the few times earlier in the week we spent together. I will honestly say at least one good thing I feel is knowing that I was able to personally express my gratitude for and to Tom directly during our last couple of hours together.

Like many others, Tom has had a very positive and lasting impact on me. He may not have performed surgery or saved my life like he has for countless amounts of others, but to me Tom was an influence and prime example of what a great husband, father, friend and accomplished man is. The world would be a much more awesome, fun, intelligent and productive place if it had more Tom Flanigans living in it.

For these reasons and so many more, Tom will always live on in our hearts and memories. I will surely miss you BIG time my friend.
Roger Bowman
May 2, 2021
I will never forget Dr. Flanigan coming back to my desk for the Kit Kat bars I kept in a candy jar. He would always ask if he could have one. When our practice left his office to go to our new location, I bought him his own bag of Kit Kats and put them on his desk in hope that he would think of me when he ate them. I just wanted to share this memory. I'm saddened to hear of his passing. My prayers are with his family during this time.
Cheryl Sansing
May 1, 2021
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