Obituary: Richard R. Flaherty

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Richard R. Flaherty
May 4, 1932 ~ April 14, 2008

Longtime Meeker High School Principal Richard R. Flaherty died April 14, 2008, at Pioneers Hospital in Meeker.
Dick was born in Leadville to Emmett and Mae Flaherty on May 4, 1932. He was preceded in death by his first wife Jerry in 1991. His current wife Erika is residing at their home in Meeker. His son Steve and daughter Angie both live in Meeker.
Dick’s love of the outdoors was readily passed on to his family. Fishing and hunting were family affairs but his love for skiing was extended to the entire community. This began on the little hill across from Nine Mile Ranch and quickly grew to driving the bus and instructing an untold number of Meeker School District students. Dick began golfing while still working and upon retirement moved into a new career mowing lawns — or at least fairways. This allowed him to justify spending more time on the course.
His professional career began as a high school math teacher in Nucla. It was here that he met Jerry who was working in Uravan at a drug store. Following their marriage in 1960 they moved to Meeker where Dick continued teaching math until changing roles to become high school principal in 1971, then eventually moved to junior high principal prior to retiring in 1990. It was while he was at the high school that he had many opportunities to introduce quite a number of his students to the “board of education.” Those of us who connected with this educational tool usually tried to avoid a repeat introduction.
In addition to the time he gave to helping his students, he also gave his time to our community. He was a long time member of the Lion’s Club serving in many roles. Dick also volunteered as a member of the fire department — serving both as a fireman and EMT. He also served as a director for White River Electric for many years.
In addition to his wife, Dick is survived by four children, Steve Loshbaugh and his wife Avis; Angie Castaldo and her husband Bobby; Randy Ridgeway and his wife Theresa; Cheryl Mazzola and her husband Anthony; six grandchildren, Heath, Lavender, D.J., Jason, Danny and Anthony “Bubba.” He is also survived by four great-grandchildren, Tanner, Macy, Madison and Dayton as well as his brother Emmet Flaherty and his wife Joan of Fountain, Colo.
Funeral services were held Wednesday, April 16 from St. James’ Church. Interment was made in the Highland Cemetery. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Meeker Youth Golf Program through Cochran Memorial Chapel which has care of the arrangements.