Maureen Flanagan PhD.

December 6, 1946 - March 9, 2022

12/06/1946 - 03/09/2022

Past Services

Wednesday March 16, 2022
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Altmeyer Funeral Home - Southside Chapel
5033 Rouse Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
(757) 422-4000 | Directions
Thursday March 17, 2022
1:00 pm
Church of the Ascension Catholic Church
4853 Princess Anne Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
757-495-1886 | Directions

Maureen McNamara Flanagan passed on from this life on March 9, 2022 from complications resulting from mitochondrial myopathy. We sorely miss her presence here on Earth.
Maureen McNamara Flanagan was born in New York City (Queens Borough) on December 6, 1946 to William Ronan McNamara and Mildred Dunn McNamara. William was an elementary and secondary education teacher and principal in the New York City School System. Mildred was a homemaker and elementary school teacher in Nassau County, NY.
Maureen grew up in Valley Stream, NY. Her primary education was at Holy Name of Mary Elementary School in Valley Stream; her secondary education was at Sacred Heart Academy in Hempstead, NY. Maureen received a Bachelor’s Degree from College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, NY, in 1968. She attended graduate school in communications studies at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA, receiving a Masters Degree in 1985 and a Doctoral Degree in 1995.
Maureen met and fell in love with Paul Dennis Flanagan when they were both early teenagers. They were married on June 22, 1968 at Holy Name of Mary Church in Valley Stream, NY. They moved to Virginia in 1968 and she was a Virginia resident until her death, living in Virginia Beach for her last 40–plus years.
Maureen had many varied careers. She was a wonderful homemaker, mother, grandmother and long–term companion to Paul’s mother. She held diverse jobs: docent at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC; teacher at Notre Dame Academy high school in Washington, DC; Executive Director of Hope in Northern Virginia (a pregnancy assistance service in Falls Church, VA); Producer of the daily “We Are One” television show for the Rock Christian Network; adjunct instructor and then faculty member of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, where she was an early adopter for distance learning; reporter / writer for the Catholic Virginian newspaper in Richmond, VA; Technical Staff member at Computer Sciences Corporation in Hampton, VA; Marketing Director and co–Founder of Christopher Technology Consulting in Virginia Beach, VA; Developer and presenter for Unlock the Box Seminars in Virginia Beach. She is the coauthor of “The Fourth Side of the Triangle,” a book on leading change in organizations.
Maureen was very active in diverse volunteer work as well. She was a Den Leader in Cub Scouting. With her husband, Paul, she was a team presenter and coordinator for Worldwide Marriage Encounter. She was very active at Catholic Church of the Ascension in Virginia Beach. Her ministries there including liturgy support (lector, visuals), adult initiation (RCIA), adult faith formation (Sunday School and many seminars), and hospitality. She was Chair of the Communications Commission for the Catholic Diocese of Richmond.
Maureen is predeceased by her parents, stepmother Blanche, and two brothers: William and John Gerard.
Maureen is survived by her husband of 53 years, Paul; her sister Barbara McNamara Lerner (Joseph) of New York City, and her Flanagan family in Simpsonville, SC: her son Mark, daughter(–in–law) Deanna (nee Gibson) and two grandchildren: Ariana Elizabeth and Maura Grace.
Arrangements are coordinated by Altmeyer Funeral Home of Virginia Beach; a visitation will be held there on March 16th from 4-7 PM. The funeral will be at Church of the Ascension in Virginia Beach on March 17th  at 1 PM. She will be inurned at the Columbarium of Ascension Church at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please give a donation to an organization near you that helps people.
Visit her tribute page, by clicking HERE.
But, who was Maureen Flanagan? The text above covers the dry basics of her life. Dates, family, education, survivors, funeral arrangements, etc.
From public and private records, we can learn where she was or when she was or her job title or her accomplishments.
Yet, all of us, including Maureen, are not the sum of the facts of our public and private records. From these we get a surface picture, a superficial understanding of the person behind the facts. We may think we know a person from their records or from our encounters with them, but …
But who was the Maureen Flanagan that we knew? Really.
Maureen and Paul fell in love as young teenagers. In the 60–plus years since, they matured and changed in so many ways. Through this adventure of many decades, we all learned who Maureen really was.
Maureen lived by the mission statement: Let us be the instruments of God’s love in the world. She lived in a way that everyone she encountered had some experience of God’s unconditional love. She interacted with each person so that they could feel better about themselves. She helped them to see themselves as God saw them: as beautiful beings totally loved by God. Despite what the world would say to these people, either explicitly or implicitly, Maureen wanted them to feel good about the inner core that was who they really were.
Maureen always wanted to help people be better. As a Docent in the Folger Shakespeare Library, she helped visitors see the art as an expression of what they could be. As a volunteer and later Executive Director of a pregnancy counseling and support service organization, Maureen helped women and their families transit the sometimes–difficult journey of pregnancy. As a professor at Old Dominion University, Maureen helped people overcome their fear of public speaking and learn effective communication skills. As a team with Paul, she helped couples find more joy in their marriage. As a communications coach and seminar leader she helped attendees “unlock the box” of their hidden strengths to achieve more of their potential. As a writer she helped people convert their ideas to published articles. She visited an incarcerated man for years helping him determine how to navigate his situation and to prepare for a life as a returned citizen. In all her interactions, Maureen wanted the other be come away with renewed hope, a better sense of their intrinsic value, and ways to bring that value to be more active in their life.
Maureen worked to make situations better for people, not just herself. When she encountered the obstacle of a requirement for the Virginia graduate school application that every female applicant needed the written approval of her husband or father, she led the effort to convince the Commonwealth authorities for higher education that this requirement needed to be abolished. It was rescinded and future female students had one less barrier to higher education.
Maureen was willing to give her time and talent to support people in new or different settings. For 10 years she was a near–daily companion to her mother–in–law to help her finish her earthly life in a new community. Maureen was always available to help, to advise or just be present.
Maureen believed and implemented intense hospitality. She was always willing to welcome a person and help them enjoy a better time wherever they were. At Ascension Catholic Church, Maureen coordinated the Hospitality Ministry to encourage and support all visitors and newcomers. At any social gathering, Maureen always looked for who was being ignored or under–served. She then helped those people to become more included in the event.
Maureen sometimes expressed her hospitality saying: “If there is room in the heart, there is room in the home.” Over the years she hosted many people in her home, enabling them to succeed in their lives. These temporary housing experiences included women dealing with a difficult pregnancy, refugees from war, people recovering from illness, students needing housing, new employees needing a temporary room, etc. Maureen made sure that each person could receive what they needed to make their way through one of life’s new experiences.
Maureen always saw people in their best light. She never defined people based on their worst decisions or experiences. She always looked for the good and strong in their soul which could be encouraged to be more present. Even when people hurt her, she recognized that their actions stemmed from their internal hurt. In circumstances of harassment or conflict, she looked to ways to improve the situation rather than just punish someone. Maureen truly believed the saying of Saint Ambrose: You cannot heal yourself by hurting someone else.
Maureen was a best friend, wife, lover, mother to a son and his family. She was a partner in business and in life. She was a friend and helper to all. If you left an encounter with Maureen and you weren’t feeling better about yourself, then you weren’t paying attention. That’s who Maureen Flanagan really was.

Notify of
12 Condolences
Inline Feedbacks
View all condolences
Larry Lee Rowley
1 year ago

Dr. Maureen Flanagan was my professor at ODU in the late 1980s. She was one of the most generous, encouraging, brilliant teachers/mentors I have ever known. I am saddened to learn late of her passing. I have no doubt she has gained her heavenly reward.

May God comfort her family.

Minister Larry Lee Rowley, Ph.D.

1 year ago

Three Ladies

1 year ago

Christmas in RVC

Robert W Fanning
1 year ago

What a beautiful lady, inside and out. I know she will be missed by all who knew her. She left a wonderful legacy of love.

Kendall Shuffler
1 year ago

Dearest Mark and Paul – Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the loss of Maureen. Your beautiful words captured her perfectly. She was gentle kindness and generosity personified. I can imagine the moment she leapt into her father’s arms and heard the words, “Welcome home good and faithful servant.” May God’s love surround you as you celebrate a life well and beautifully lived!

Sherry & Rick Roebuck
1 year ago

Our condolences to you and your family Paul. Maureen was such a kind and gentle soul in this world.

Pete & Irma
1 year ago

We will all miss her!

Wendy Bahr
1 year ago

Paul, I am so sorry for your loss.
Take comfort that Maureen rests in the arms of our loving God.

Paul Flanagan
1 year ago

There is a tribute page for Maureen at:

Greg and Jan Franceski
1 year ago

Paul, Mark, Deanna, and family,
Jan and I offer our deepest sympathy for your loss. As told in her obituary, Maureen was so much to so many, She will surely be missed by everyone who knew her. Be strong for each other . . . as she would want . . . and may God continue to bless you all.