Mary (Rielly) Flanagan, age 80 of Darlington, passed away Tuesday, July 25, 2017, surrounded by her family. She was born Aug. 29, 1936, at the family home in Willow Springs Township in Lafayette County, the daughter of Harold and Irene (McKeon) Rielly. She graduated from Darlington High School, later from University of Wisconsin – Platteville with a degree in teaching, and furthered her education at University of Wisconsin – Madison. Mary began her teaching career at the Johnson School in Darlington, later teaching in Oregon and Monroe. She married Edward Flanagan on Aug. 6, 1966, at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Darlington. Together they had three children, Julie, Mike, and Pat. After farming in the Juda area, they moved with their three children to Darlington where they continued to farm.
Mary worked alongside her husband on the farm and also worked for the Cooperative Education Service in Fennimore and was a substitute teacher in the area. After losing their barn and cattle to a fire, Mary began working at Lands’ End in Dodgeville where she worked for 30 years. After her retirement, she enjoyed working part-time at the Johnson Public Library in Darlington.
Mary’s family was her entire life. She was actively involved with all of their activities and was their biggest supporter in whatever they did. She always said her children brought her generous love and pride. This love carried on to her eleven precious grandchildren whom she adored. One of her favorite sayings was, “I am so blessed.” She also valued the wonderful friendships she had with so many whom she felt were “the best of the best.” Mary was also very proud of her Irish heritage and was a true supporter of the University of Notre Dame from which all three of her children graduated. She was a devoted Catholic and was a proud member of Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Catholic Daughters of America, Council of Catholic Women, and also enjoyed being a member of Lafayette County Homemakers.
Mary’s loving parents preceded her in death as well as her brothers: Bernard, Joseph, and a very special brother, Lawrence, to whom she always referred to as her hero. Mary leaves her wonderful, loving children: Julie (Liam) Coen of East Troy, Michael (Christine) Flanagan of Sherrill, Iowa and Patrick (Julie) Flanagan of Cherry Valley, Ill.; their wonderful children, her grandchildren: Aidan, Brietta, and Nolan Coen, John and Daniel Flanagan, and Emma, Maggie, Annie, Jack Flanagan, Tyler and MacKenzie Callison; one brother: Edward (Jeanne) Rielly of Westbrook, Maine, with whom she was very close with her entire life no matter how many miles they were apart; several nieces and nephews, and many cousins.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held Tuesday, August 1, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Rosary Catholic Church (104 E. Harriet Street, Darlington) where Rev. Thomas Coyle of St. Francis of Assisi in Jefferson, officiated. Burial was in Holy Rosary Cemetery. A visitation was held Monday, July 31, 2017, from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Erickson Funeral Home (508 Main Street, Darlington) where a rosary was prayed at 3:00 p.m. A visitation was also held Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. at the church. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.ericksonfuneralhome.com.
For those who prefer, a memorial fund has been established in Mary’s name.