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Mary Susan (O'Hehir) Flaherty
July 12, 1946 ~ February 3, 2024 (age 77) 77 Years Old
Mary Susan Flaherty, 77, of St. Paul, Minnesota passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on February 3, 2024, after a long battle with cancer.
Susan, the eldest of four, was born July 12, 1946, to parents Edward O’Hehir, a St. Louis County Deputy Sheriff, and Janice (Albrecht) O’Hehir, a social worker and 1942 graduate of The College of St. Scholastica. Susan relished her role as big sister, best friend, and guiding light to siblings John, Sally, and Marty as they made their way through childhood, first in west Duluth and then in the family’s longtime home on Eileen Ave.
In 1964, Susan graduated from Duluth’s Stanbrook Hall where she made cherished life-long friends. With her gift of gab and command of the English language, she excelled in college at UMD, and went on to earn a master’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Armed with degrees, youthful optimism, and a sense of adventure, she moved to Chicago where she began her teaching career. This brief bohemian period, however, came to a screeching halt when a Duluth boy named Tim Flaherty showed up, and decided almost on the spot to marry her. Susan fell in love and followed Tim to Portland, Oregon
After beginning their nearly 50 year marriage in 1975, Susan and Tim settled in the Twin Cities where they raised their three boys, Brendan, Daniel, and Michael. As the boys grew older, Susan returned to teaching, spending over a decade as a reading, theater, and English teacher at Woodbury Middle School.
Susan was fiercely proud of her sons not only for their educational and career accomplishments, but also because she considered each to be good husbands, parents, and caring members of their communities. She very consciously instilled in her boys the need to work hard, respect others, and help the less fortunate - messages she also molded into her seven young grandchildren.
Inquisitive, principled, and caring, Susan delighted in learning about other people’s lives, making countless friends including classmates, teaching colleagues, neighbors, fellow international travelers, competitive bridge partners, and others. She counted her wonderful care team at the University of Minnesota among those many friends. Susan and her entire family are grateful for the compassionate, skilled, and personal care she received through her cancer journey.
In her always-modest words, “My life story was simple. I made a life out of family and friendships and the business of daily life. I leave content, knowing all is as it should be.”
Survivors include husband Tim Flaherty; sons Brendan (Chelsea) Flaherty, Daniel (Michelle) Flaherty, Michael (Erin) Flaherty; brother John O’Hehir; sister Sally (Charlie) Hokkanen; brother Martin O’Hehir; and grandchildren Eliza Flaherty, William Flaherty, James Flaherty, Lola Flaherty, Silas Flaherty, Piper Flaherty, and Kira Flaherty.
Mass of Christian Burial Monday February 12th 10 am at Assumption Catholic Church, 51 W 7th Street, St. Paul. Visitation one hour prior to the mass.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to the Dorothy Day Center or Doctors Without Borders.