John T. Flaherty, Sr., 92: Former Scarborough police chief, town councilor

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SCARBOROUGH — John Thomas Flaherty, Sr., 92, died April 19 at his home with loving family by his side.

Born in Portland on Aug. 9, 1917, a son of Edward A. Sr. and Mary Ann (Lee) Flaherty, he attended local schools, and graduated from Portland High School in 1935.

He attended the University of Maine and the Maine Criminal Justice Academy where he received certificates in criminal justice and management.

In 1940 he married his first wife, Alice Handlon. She predeceased him in November 1959. He later married Doris Nellie Harmon in January 1961. She predeceased him in July 2009.

During World War II, he briefly served in the U.S. Army until the death of his father in 1945.

In 1941 he founded the Flaherty Family Farm, the oldest and largest working family farm in Scarborough, which is still owned and operated by the Flaherty family.

He and his family built the farm from the ground up and he was most proud of the covered bridge farmstand that he and his sons built in 1983.

In 1953 he began working as an officer for the Scarborough Police Department. From 1965 to 1983 he served as the chief of police and was considered “tough but fair” by those who knew him.

Active in the community, he was a member of the Scarborough Lions Club, past commander of the American Legion Post 76 and served on the Scarborough Town Council for two terms.

He was predeceased by his two wives, Alice and Doris, a brother, Edward Flaherty, Jr., and two sisters, Margaret Ann Small and Patricia Feeney.

Surviving are his eight children, Judith Flaherty of Scarborough, Mary-Jo Taylor and her husband Dale of Windham, Susan Blanchard and her husband Edward of Scarborough, and John T. Flaherty, Jr. and his wife Connie of Scarborough, Bruce Flaherty of Cape Elizabeth, Stephen Flaherty of Bridgeport, Conn., Michael Flaherty and his wife Nina of Zephyrhills, Fla., and James Flaherty and his wife Jill of Scarborough; a special daughter-in-law Edith Flaherty of Scarborough; 20 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

The family gives sincere and heartfelt thanks to Ann Sturgeon of Scarborough who was a faithful caretaker and helper for John for the last two years.

Memorial services were held last week.

Arrangements are by Conroy-Tully Crawford South Portland Chapel, 1024 Broadway, South Portland.

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