Cover photo for Thomas Flanagan's Obituary
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1919 Thomas 2015

Thomas Flanagan

September 11, 1919 — July 4, 2015

Dr. Thomas M. Flanagan, 95, died on Saturday, July 04, 2015 at his home. He was born in Norwich, New York on September 11, 1919, the son of James S. Flanagan and Lena Manley Flanagan. He was predeceased by his parents and his brother, Dr. James M. Flanagan. He attended the Norwich Schools and graduated from Mercersburg Academy in 1938, Cornell University in 1942, and Syracuse Medical School in 1945. He then served as a physician in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps.

On September 11, 1948, he married Esther Coyne. They lived in New York City while Dr. Flanagan completed his surgical residency in the specialty of urology at the New York Polyclinic Postgraduate Medical School and at French Hospital. They returned to Norwich in 1951, where Dr. Flanagan established his practice in urology.

Dr. Flanagan, along with his brother, Dr. James Flanagan and Dr. Phil Aronson, was instrumental in building the Medical Arts Building and was credited with bringing medical specialty care to Chenango County. He was a past president of the Medical Staff and a Chief of Surgery and Urology at Chenango Memorial Hospital. He was a consultant and operated at the Sidney and Walton hospitals and served as a clinical professor in urology at the State University Hospital at Upstate Medical Center. He became a member of numerous local, state and national medical societies, holding leadership roles in many. He was a member of the American Board of Urology, the American Urological Association, The American college of Surgeons and a Fellow of the International College of Surgeons. He served as a delegate from Chenango County to the New York State Medical Society and in 1984 received the President’s Award from this society, given to the doctor from New York State who performed outstanding service to his community in areas unrelated to his medical practice. He established Nursing Scholarships in honor of his uncle, Dr. T.F. Manley and his brother, Dr. James Flanagan. In 1966, he volunteered with CARE-MEDICO as a urological surgeon in Afghanistan.

Dr. Flanagan had an abiding interest in serving his community. He was very active in the Norwich YMCA, serving as a director and later as President of the Board of Directors. In 1974, he was elected to the YMCA Board of Trustees and upon his retirement from the Board in 1995 was made a Trustee Emeritus. He was the first chairman of the Chenango County Youth Committee; a director of the Norwich Community Chest and an ardent supporter of the Little League and Pop Warner football. He was the first chairman of the Norwich Urban Reforestation Project and was named Forester of the Year for several conservation projects.

Dr. Flanagan loved to hunt and won many awards for skeet shooting. He laid the ground work and, with the help of friends, established the Lost Pond Club. With the goal of producing championship English Setter bird dogs, he founded Grouse Ridge Kennels, one of the largest kennels in the country, now run by his son, Peter, and his wife, Katie. Grouse Ridge Will, a championship setter, was elected to the Field Trial Hall of Fame in 1981. Dr. Flanagan was a national figure in the field trial world, serving as president of the Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America and as a leader in many local and state clubs. He was a respected judge at field trials throughout the country and handled his own dogs in countless amateur stakes. In 1999, he was elected to the Field Trial Hall of Fame.

Golf was another sport Dr. Tom enjoyed. He especially loved playing in family tournaments and many different Member-Guest Tournaments over the years. In 2008, he was elected to the Greater Norwich Golfers’ Hall of Fame.

Always a believer in education, Dr. Tom maintained a strong loyalty to Cornell and Syracuse Medical School and to the friends he worked with over many years. He had a special place in his heart, however, for the Mercersburg Academy, where five generations of family members have received their secondary education – and the list continues to grow. He returned to serve the school for over fifty years; first as a member of the Alumni Council, then to serve on the Board of Regents and later to lend his support and advice wherever needed. He treasured his Mercersburg memories and his Mercersburg friends.

He was a teacher of the first order and imbued his sons with a love for the outdoors and an appreciation for history, literature and music.

He placed loyalty above all and was a singular traveling companion. His abiding sense of humor stayed with him until the last, a testament to the joys of love and life.

Dr. Tom will be missed by young and old, but none will miss him more than his loving wife and family.

Dr. Flanagan was a member of St. Paul’s parish.

He is survived by his wife, Esther, and their seven sons: Thomas M. and wife, Carol, Timothy J. and wife, Nancy, Peter C. and wife, Kathryn, Stephen M., William C., David C. and wife, Linda and Patrick J. and wife, Erinn. He is also leaves seventeen grandchildren, seven great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Dr. Flanagan will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, July 10, 2015, at St. Paul’s Church with Rev. Ralph Bove, pastor, officiating. Burial will take place at a later date in St. Paul’s Cemetery. Friends are invited to call at the Wilson Funeral Home on Thursday from 2 - 4 p.m. and 6 - 8 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial contributions to the Norwich Family YMCA, 68 North Broad St., Norwich, NY 13815.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas Flanagan, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

First Visitation

Thursday, July 9, 2015

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Second Visitation

Thursday, July 9, 2015

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Friday, July 10, 2015

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

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