KEVIN JOSEPH FLAHERTY
June 26, 1943 – March 25, 2005
Kevin was born in South Boston, MA on June 26, 1943 to loving parents John Edward Flaherty (1910-2005) and Anna Katherine Lee Flaherty (1912-1998). While both of his parents were born in Boston, their shared Irish “roots” were to guide Kevin and be a source of pride his entire life. The Flaherty family was rather small for the passionately Irish Catholic Clan. Kevin and his four brothers, John, Paul, Colum and James Flaherty combined to insure their 5 sisters Francis, Anna K, Regina M, Anna, Mary and Kathleen Flaherty understood the importance and safety of remaining close to family. “Southie” was a tough ethnic enclave of Irish and Polish families in the 1960s. Kevin attended and graduated from South Boston High School in 1961 that was later to become “ground zero” in the court ordered “bussing” when children were brought in from other neighborhoods and forced Southie’s children to be bussed elsewhere. Growing up and surviving the harsh streets of Southie in a family of 10 children prepared him well for what was to come in a land far from home.
On April 25, 1966, Kevin was drafted into the U.S. Army. While not in his plans, he never considered not serving. Rather than try to escape service or to minimize the risk to his safety, Kevin chose to serve as a Patrolling member of the 2nd Brigade LRRPs of the 4th Infantry Division in Kontum Province in the Central Highlands of Vietnam (1967-1968). This elite unit was later re-designated Company K (Ranger), 75th Infantry (Airborne) and the honor and courage with which Kevin served is passed along in his memory to the Ranger Battalions that remain today. It continues a tradition of the honor and commitment that was passed on to Kevin by the Rangers of WWII and Korea. The warrior spirit learned on the streets of Boston served him well according to the members who served with him. Kevin had a confidence and a military tenacity that his brother Rangers trusted. Fiercely courageous in the field and a “fun” guy to be around during “stand-down” Kevin set a standard for excellence Rangers seek to achieve even today.
Kevin earned his coveted Combat Infantryman’s Badge as well as numerous other awards and decorations for his service with the LRRPs of the 2nd Brigade. Upon his discharge in 1968, Kevin married the beautiful “lassie” Patricia Ann Joyce Flaherty in Boston and they had three children, two sons – Kevin J. Flaherty, and Shaun A Flaherty as well as a precious daughter Patricia Flaherty.
Kevin settled down after his discharge to raise his family while working for Trans World Airlines (TWA), and American Airlines. He enjoyed camping, fishing, traveling and spending time with his family. Shortly before his death, Kevin retired, but not before working in Fleet Service of the airlines for 40 years. It would seem his commitment and dependability was not restricted to that time when he relentlessly stalked our nation’s enemies in the humid jungles of Southeast Asia.
Kevin was proud to be a Life member 75th Ranger Regiment Association as well as member of the Robert I. Nickerson American Legion Post 382 of Squantum, MA. It was a peaceful comfort to “bend an elbow” and share memories with others who knew the satisfaction of service while viewing Boston Harbor from the Post’s Moon Island Road location.
On March 25th, 2005, Kevin Joseph Flaherty of Quincy, MA, formerly South Boston, an Army Ranger, died at his home. He was 61.
A funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Brigid’s Church, South Boston. Kevin was laid to rest in Pine Hill Cemetery, Quincy, MA
RANGERS LEAD THE WAY!