In the days following the death of Maine business icon David Flanagan, the tributes highlighted the profound impact of the former Central Maine Power chief in tackling various issues in the areas of supply. energy, higher education, government policy and non-profit organizations.
“My daughter said to me, ‘Mom, this is great. But that’s not the guy who came to Thanksgiving, ”said his sister, Paula Dobrow, during her memorial service Saturday at the University of Southern Maine.
David T. Flanagan – whose smile was always lively and interest always sincere – was remembered as a devoted husband, brother and uncle, faithful friend, mentor of trust and a civil servant who, until the end, wished they had more time to do more.
Hundreds of family, friends and colleagues gathered at Hannaford Hall at USM for a service full of laughter and music. Flanagan spent his last days planning almost every detail, from the speakers and the food to the fuchsia-colored flowers that adorned the stage and surrounded his urn. Outside, a Maine flag hung between two CMP bucket trucks.
He was best known for his leadership in the 1990s at Central Maine Power, where he used his finely honed business instincts, Down East demeanor, and dry humor to build confidence in the utility company. His success has made him an essential turnaround specialist in other organizations facing challenges, including USM.
Governor Janet Mills, whose friendship with Flanagan spanned half a century, described him as an expert in housing, conservation, higher education energy, trees and public lands, children’s programs, cybersecurity and scale models. boats.
“David Flanagan’s talents and intellect are already sorely missed. His work ethic and relentless patience are second to none. His ability to solve problems and take the lead as he saw them with great integrity and raw honesty, without regard to political or personal fallout, invaluable and unprecedented, ”she said.
Flanagan was born in Bangor in June 1947, the eldest of eight children of Thomas and Constance Flanagan. He grew up in Bangor and Hampden before moving to Portland, where he attended Deering High School.
Flanagan graduated in 1969 from Harvard University, where he studied history and government. He went on to earn an MA at the University of London, Kings College, then attended Boston College Law School on scholarship and graduated in 1973. He married his wife, Kaye, in 1974 at Two Lights State. Park.
Flanagan’s passion for learning and traveling was evident from an early age. Fascinated by geography and history, he liked to challenge his family with obscure facts. He and his brother Terry would roam Maine on business trips with their father, learning why the rivers were littered with logs and the trees in Bar Harbor were black. His ability to focus, analyze and strategize was his super power, said Terry Flanagan.
Flanagan was the accomplished big brother, always attentive and interested in the lives of his siblings and, later, his nieces and nephews. He championed their aspirations and enjoyed family gatherings full of jokes and puns. After leaving Maine for college, Flanagan wrote long letters to his family describing his travels through Europe. He never failed to send postcards while he was away, said his sister, Lisa Flanagan.
“David was terribly sweet, nostalgic and sentimental. His kindness is genuine,” she said.
Friends shared stories of decades-long friendships with Flanagan, who has become a mentor to many. Mills described meeting Flanagan for the first time at a train station in Spain on Christmas morning in 1969 when she heard him speak with a distinct Maine accent. Their common bond has always been “our ages, our experiences, politics and our love of Maine,” she said.
“I am comforted by the thought now that if the good Lord ever needed an investigation, an audit, maybe a little help with the budget, David Flanagan is now by the Lord’s side in a place that looks eerily like Maine, ready to open the books, think from all angles… and solve the world’s deepest problems to make things a little better for all of humanity. Because that’s what he did on Earth, ”she said.
Kaye Flanagan shared the story of a canoe trip through the Maine countryside during the early years of their relationship. A local man helped save them when they ran into trouble on the river, and Flanagan then helped protect the house from the man in danger of being kidnapped, exemplifying Flanagan’s unwavering dedication to helping the people around him.
Greg Powell, president of the Alfond Foundation, where Flanagan served on the board, spoke about his 40-year friendship with Flanagan and their conversations about Flanagan’s cancer diagnosis. When he first announced his prognosis to Powell, Flanagan vowed to fight and said he wanted to keep working without sympathy or distraction, Powell said.
On their last visit together to Flanagan’s home in Manchester, they sat on the screened porch where David and Kaye Flanagan would sit in the springtime to watch eagles soaring over tall pines and Cobbosseecontee Lake.
“In a calm tone, her voice still going strong, we talked about life and what it all meant. Life, we agreed, has many gifts, ”said Powell. “But the greatest of his gifts is time and what we do with it. It takes more time. There was more good to do. “I know I can still help,” he said.
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