SOUTH PORTLAND — Alice Marie Flaherty, 96, died Oct. 2, at Pine Point Nursing Center.
Flaherty was born in Portland, a daughter of Patrick H. and Annie C. Fitzmaurice Shannon. She attended St. Dominic’s Grammar School, graduated from Cathedral High School in 1935, and was a 1937 graduate of Northeastern Business School.
While at Northeastern, she met her future husband, John “Bozo” Flaherty. The couple married in 1944 following John’s return from military service during World War II. She often said, “my life began after I met John.”
Following her college days, Flaherty was employed as a secretary at Porteous and Rines department stores, at Burnham and Morrill, and at the Portland Chamber of Commerce. After she married and started a family, she changed careers and began working as a teacher. She started as a substitute at Holy Cross School and later became a full-time kindergarten teacher for several years.
From 1966-1975, the Flaherty family lived in Brunswick. She continued to teach as a substitute at St. John’s School in Brunswick. When the family returned to South Portland, she resumed teaching as a substitute at Holy Cross and occasionally at St. Patrick’s School, fully retiring in her mid-70s.
In 1958, the family purchased a summer cottage on Peaks Island. She loved the island and the beach, as well as the many friends there. She and John loved to travel. They visited Ireland twice and made a trip to London. They enjoyed cruises in the Caribbean and a special cruise to Alaska. They also enjoyed Maine Line Tours, especially the Mystery Tours.
Flaherty enjoyed people, and she and John were often “the life of the party.” They loved to dance, and she was fond of telling stories with Irish wit and charm. She also enjoyed movies and attending plays with her friends.
She was a longtime communicant of Holy Cross Church, and was a member of the Sodality and of the Daughters of Isabella. She enjoyed the activities at the South Portland Community Center, including exercise, swimming and playing bridge.
Her love of learning continued her entire life. She was member of the South Portland Library and was a voracious reader. She enjoyed Irish history, novels and reading the newspaper each day.
She was predeceased by her husband, John, in 2002; three daughters, Jean Rosanna, in 1947, Margaret Mary, in 1948, and Helen, in 2007; son, Daniel John, in 1957; four sisters, Margaret J. Carr, Helen S. Cole, Grace Ridge Elliott and Mary A. Shannon; and two brothers, Richard and Joseph Shannon.
She is survived by her daughter, Alicia E. Flaherty and husband Richard B. Orelup Jr., of South Portland; granddaughter, Margaret Flaherty Orelup, of South Portland; four nieces, Ruth A. Libby, Patricia Ridge Pacillo, Nancy Cole Ray and Marcia Ridge Brown; nephew, Richard Shannon; all the Flaherty nieces and nephews; two sisters-in-law, Anne Flaherty Stone, of Portland, and Marjorie L. Flaherty, of Old Orchard Beach; and several great-nieces and great-nephews.
The family would like to extend special thanks to the people at Scarborough Terrace’s Rose Garden unit for the friendship and compassionate care, and to the staff at Pine Point Nursing Center for their loving care and compassion during her stay there.
Visitation was held Oct. 4, at Conroy-Tully Crawford South Portland Chapel, South Portland. Prayers were recited at Conroy-Tully Crawford followed by a Mass of Christian burial at Holy Cross Church, South Portland. Burial followed in Calvary Cemetery.
Those desiring, may make donations in Flaherty’s memory to the Helen J. Flaherty Scholarship Fund at South Portland High School, 637 Highland Ave., South Portland, ME 04106, or to the Catherine McAuley Scholarship Fund, 631 Stevens Ave., Portland, ME 04103.