Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Obituary for Virginia A. Flaherty

Viriginia A. Flaherty, loving daughter, sister, aunt, wife, mother, grandmother, and loyal friend, passed away June 6, 2011 at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison.

She was born October 28, 1929 to August and Viola (Nesheim) Zibell. The oldest child, she developed a fierce independence and resilience on the family farm. She left home to begin work and find her own life. An intensely private woman, Virginia loved beautiful blue things, mystery novels, cooking, and gardening. She knew that one little ingredient like cinnamon could change the whole meal and one flower the personality of a garden.

On November 2, 1957 she married William A. Flaherty, a navigator in the United States Air Force. She was a wonderful military wife: proud, loyal, and beautiful. “Mrs. Flaherty” traveled the world, learned about other cultures, and forged a special bond with Bill that seemed rooted in a strong sense of humor. Together they also shared a passion for wildlife, the beauty of an open meadow, the trailing of a hawk as it hovered above the car, and, of course, their beloved German shepherds.

First and foremost, however, Virginia was a mother. She loved her boys Andrew Charles and Michael August; Andy’s curiosity, his teaching and writing inspired her and Mike’s incredible parenting skills and his strong work ethic pleased her. She cared deeply for her grandchildren Mark and Mitchell; she loved watching them grow and had a fierce, protective pride for them.

In 1971 she moved with her family to Cambridge, Wisconsin to be nearer her brothers and sisters. She was employed at the Cambridge News and Printing for several years. She joined the Rockdale Lutheran church and was an active participant in its women’s organizations, acting as secretary and treasurer when needed. Virginia had a quiet faith and a love of old hymns that began when singing harmony with her mother at the kitchen sink.

Virginia is survived by her two sons, Andrew and Michael; 2 grandsons, Mark and Mitchell; brother Phil Zibell (wife Betty); sister Carol (husband Steve Hemersbach); sister Sandy (husband Steve Elmer); sister Suzie; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins, and was especially close to Stephen and Sarah. She was preceded in death by her husband Bill, brother Rolland, and her parents.

In keeping with her privacy, Virginia requested that there be no memorial service. She did request that all who knew and loved her step outside, pause, and contemplate the beauty around them. Her wish was that everyone find the everyday sacred around them and be grateful. Perhaps consider these words from the poem “When Death Comes” by Mary Oliver:

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular.

Cards/donations to her beloved Rockdale Lutheran Church may be sent to:

Andy Flaherty
5320 N. Sheridan, 1201
Chicago, Illinois 60640

No comments:

Post a Comment