Timothy J. Flaherty, 63, of Yarmouth, a devoted husband, father, grandfather and best friend to many, passed away on Aug. 30, 2011, after fighting a courageous battle with myelofibrosis, a rare bone marrow disorder, with his loving family by his side.
He was born on July 12, 1948, in Portland, the son of Martin Flaherty and Arlene Smith Flaherty. He grew up in Portland and attended Portland High School, where he met his high school sweet heart and love of his life, Therese Rotolo. They were married on July 19, 1969, at St. Peters Catholic Church and recently celebrated 42 years of marriage.
He graduated from Portland High School and then attended SMVTI where he studied culinary arts and then later worked for a family owned restaurant.
On Oct. 15, 1972, he joined the Portland Fire Dept. where he served for 33 years. He served as a lieutenant for 27 of those years, and retired from Engine 11 on Feb. 28, 2005. At the same time, he had a part time painting business that continued to grow after his retirement from the Portland Fire Department.
He loved spending time with his family and mostly his grandchildren who were the joy of his life. He was always there to attend their activities, usually low key, on the sidelines, but Papa was always there. It may be a soccer game, concert, or simply stopping by for the school bus with donut holes in hand. He would love to come home to the ‘home cooked meals’ and his ‘woman.’
He was a jack-of-all-trades and a master of many. His enthusiasm of the outdoors led him to many activities such as hunting, fishing, clamming and gardening all of which he loved which he shared with his best buddies. Many of his friends could depend on him fixing anything, from a simple lawnmower to a car engine. He was always there to lend a helping hand to anyone that needed it. He got so much enjoyment from his vegetable garden in the summer, always challenging his daughter to keep up with his unmatched green thumb.
For a man that led a full-time job in the fire department and a part time job on the side, it was amazing how much he would squeeze in between, allowing many of us lucky enough to share him. To see him pull his truck in at home, or ‘just drop in’ to your driveway was priceless. He was a man who made each day count, living it to the fullest. His wit was refreshing, his advice based on common sense, and he said little, but at the same time said a lot. We are sure that all would agree, the phrase ‘salt of the earth’ was made for him. He is survived by his loving wife, Therese (Terry); son Mark of Los Angeles, daughter, Melissa McNaboe and her husband Michael of Yarmouth and their children; his grandchildren, Benjamin, Morgan, Brayden and Oliva (Olive), ‘the recent apple of his eye.’ There are truly no words to sum up the life of Timothy J. Flaherty, he will fondly be remembered for his kindness, simple and sweet nature, and a smile if you were lucky to see it once, you had it for a life-time.
Contributed by Jennifer Acker
These represent first person accounts of real people living with Essential Thrombocythemia, Polycythemia Vera and Myelofibrosis. It does not represent the views or opinions of anyone associated with the MPN Research Foundation. Please consult your doctor before taking any action to manage your health.