Daniel T. Flaherty, 89, of La Crosse, died Friday, June 14, 2013, at Clare Bridge of La Crosse after a brief illness.
He was born July 22, 1923, in West Bend, Wis. to Raymond and Hildegard Flaherty.Â Dan was a graduate of Holy Angels Grade School in the class of 1937, and a 1941 graduate of West Bend High School, graduating Class President of his Senior Class. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1941-1943, and Dartmouth College in the Navy V-12 program in 1943-1944.Â He graduated with his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1949 with high honors.
Dan served his country with pride as an Officer and Lieutenant JG in the United States Navy during World War II, serving some of his time aboard the USS Cottle, an attack transport.
Dan met his wife Lorraine (nee Lousier), of Two Rivers, Wis., in the spring of his senior year in high school, debating in the Wisconsin State High School Debate Championship.Â The â€œaffirmativeâ€ Two Rivers team, of which Lorraine was a member, defeated the â€œnegativeâ€ West Bend team, of which Dan was a member.Â Dan and Lorraine met again at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and married in 1947.Â Dan and Lorraine were married for almost 63 years when Lorraine passed away in January of 2010.
Dan and Lorraine moved to La Crosse in 1949, when Dan started his career as an Assistant District Attorney, and as an attorney with Johns, Roraff & Coleman, which changed over the years to be the current-day Johns, Flaherty & Collins, S.C.Â Dan practiced law passionately for over 60 years.Â He was a past President of the La Crosse County Bar Association, a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and worked as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association.
Dan made many significant contributions to his community and his state in assorted ways.Â He served on the City of La Crosse Plan Commission, and various judicial and legislative commissions for La Crosse County and the State of Wisconsin.Â Advocating for justice on the City of La Crosse Equal Opportunities Commission, Dan served for over thirty years.Â He was a member and past President of the La Crosse Chamber of Commerce, member and past President of the Kiwanis Club, member and past President of the University of Wisconsin Alumni Association, member and past Vice President of the La Crosse Country Club, member and past Vice Chairman of the Democratic Party of La Crosse County, and a member and past Chairman of the Third District of Wisconsin Democratic Party.
Danâ€™s love for nature, fishing, and hunting was evident in his service on the State of Wisconsinâ€™s Natural Resources Board from 1975-1981.Â Dan was the founder of the Wisconsin Trout Stamp, and a founder of the La Crosse Chapter of Trout Unlimited.Â He was also a founder of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, an organization that works to acquire and preserve nature areas for public use. Dan worked for the Natural Resources Foundation for over thirty years as a Director and President.Â He was also a Wisconsin Trustee for The Nature Conservancy.Â He further enjoyed the outdoors playing golf, and in his younger days, was a force to be reckoned with on the golf course.
Survivors include his four children, Maureen Flaherty DeWeerd of Grand Prairie, Texas; Daniel F. Flaherty of La Crosse, Ellen Flaherty (Paul Schweke) of Salem, Wis., and Catherine Flaherty (Charles Guadagnino) of Shorewood, Wis.; 11 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; his sister, Joan Stewart, of Memphis; his brothers John Flaherty of St. Louis and Stephen Flaherty of Montello, Wis., and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents and wife, Lorraine, Dan was preceded in death by his brothers James Flaherty of Manitowoc, Wis., and Thomas Flaherty of Montello, Wis.
The family would like to express its sincere gratitude to the amazing staff at Clare Bridge of La Crosse, who cared for Dan lovingly during the last months of his life, and Sheila Teboh, who cared for Dan for the last few years as though he was her father or grandfather.
Visitation will be at the Roncalli Newman Center, 1732 State Street, commencing at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, June 17, 2013, with a Mass of Christian Burial to follow at 11:00 a.m., to be officiated by Father James Kurzynski. Entombment will follow in the Catholic Cemetery Mausoleum with military rites by the American Legion Post # 52.
Memorials are requested to the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, or to the Alzheimerâ€™s Association.