The cookie and cake lovers in heaven are rejoicing! Michael J. Flanagan passed away on the morning of June 12, 2021.
Maryem and Ray Flanagan and his older brother Joe welcomed Michael into this world on January 30, 1946. As the Flanagan family grew, he became a big brother to MaryBeth, Darris, Pat and Dan. After attending Fortine Grade School, he graduated from Lincoln County High School in 1964, and then the University of Montana.
Although he taught math at various schools around Montana, it was his role as guidance counselor at these schools (as well as a VISTA volunteer with the Trapper Creek Job Corps and Custer National Forest) where he experienced personal satisfaction. He provided a sympathetic ear, kindness and understanding, and guidance to countless young adults. It was natural that Mike would excel as a guidance counselor as he was deeply empathic to the pain and suffering of others.
Following retirement, Michael returned to northwest Montana where he enjoyed walks along the rivers and lakes and contemplated the scenic beauty of our land and nature. He had great pleasure in providing cookies and cakes to family and friends, and of course, in serving pancake breakfasts for his family – a Sunday morning tradition. His little grandniece referred to him as the Pancake Man.
Michael believed that all humanity is interconnected: any act that diminishes one person diminishes everyone; that every act of kindness and generosity improves humanity as a whole. He had as his core belief and motto, “All are one” (which naturally served as the moniker for his email address). He truly believed that despite our differences, if everyone showed a little extra kindness – to family, friends, neighbors and strangers, the world will be a better place. All are one.
Our beloved brother lived a life with happiness, but also depression, pain and suffering. He was an inspiration to those who knew him well. We will miss him terribly.
Brother Darris served as Mike’s principal caregiver during the last few years of declining health; and cared for him with extraordinary compassion and devotion. His siblings wish to publicly acknowledge his care of Mike. We thank Darris and are extremely grateful to him.
Graveside services will be June 26 at the Fortine Cemetery at 11:00. A reception will follow at the Trego Community Center. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Senior Citizens or the Tobacco Valley Board of History. Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Eureka. Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.schnackenbergfh.com.
Joe, Marybeth, Darris, Pat and Blanche, Dan and Fabiano, and our families.
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