Cover photo for Kathleen A. Flaherty's Obituary
Kathleen A. Flaherty Profile Photo
1946 Kathleen 2019

Kathleen A. Flaherty

June 3, 1946 — December 27, 2019

While in the presence of her loving family on Friday, December 27, 2019, Kathleen (Anderson) Flaherty, 73, died in faith.  She is survived by her husband, Jim; her children John (Christy) Flaherty of Hayden, ID; Karen (David) Smith of Chattaroy, WA; her grandchildren Jordan and Kiera of Hayden, ID and Dawson of Chattaroy, WA; her sister Jan (Terry) Odle of Chatfield, MN; her granddaughters by marriage Shawna Billman and Tiffany Reed and her 10 great grandchildren from their families; and many nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her parents Arlyn & Ellen Marie Anderson of West Point, NE; and her older sister Joyce (Bud) Smith of Sandpoint, ID.


Born June 3, 1946 in West Point, Kathleen began her life as a Nebraska farm girl which remained rooted in her for her entire life.  Her parents, Arlyn & Ellen Marie, instilled in her a devoted faith in God, wholesome family values, and the importance of close connections to friends and community.  She was a middle child with strong lifelong ties to her older sister Joyce & younger sister Jan.  She inherited the "gift of gab" from her daddy and was always willing to be a part of the conversation with anyone.


Kathleen married Jim Flaherty on December 30, 1965 and they began their family life together, settling in Illinois.  She was an amazing homemaker and stay-at-home mom for her two children, John and Karen.  She loved adventure and had a wonderful habit of seeking out local history to spin a tale which brought the place and time alive for her listeners.  If she were in your area, you would be sure to get a phone call or a visit as she rekindled old friendships.


In 2001, Jim and Kathleen built their retirement home in the mountains of North Idaho to move closer to their children and her older sister who had already relocated to the area.  She valued the proximity to family and developed tight bonds with her grandchildren who adored her.  She was always willing to listen to life's daily events and dramas and even to entire books read in person or over the phone by her grandchildren.


Being very community oriented throughout her life, Kathleen was a tremendous support to groups such as Girl Scouts & Boy Scouts in her younger years, to her more recent years in Idaho, dedicated to the Sandpoint United Methodist Church,  United Methodist Women, the Community Assistance League (CAL), P.E.O. Sisterhood Chapter V, as well as being a lifelong supporter of wildlife welfare.


Kathleen loved festivities, exuberantly looking forward to family gatherings and luncheons with friends. She enthusiastically seized any excuse to costume up.  She loved to celebrate, especially at the holidays. Kathleen never sat idle.  She was like a hummingbird flitting from one flower to the next.  She loved to laugh and always had a playful heart.  She will be deeply missed, but her cherished memory will live on fondly in our hearts and minds. 


A "Celebration of Life" ceremony is planned on June 6, 2020, so that Kathleen may be honored with spring flowers in full bloom, a fitting tribute to her love of nature and creative spirit.  Details for the ceremony will be announced closer to the date.


Please visit Kathleen’s online memorial at and sign her guestbook.  Anyone wishing to make donations on her behalf, may make them to Bonner County Historical Museum or Bonner Community Hospice


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kathleen A. Flaherty, please visit our flower store.


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