Florence Lea Flaherty

Florence Diane Lea Flaherty of Fort Dodge passed away peacefully while surrounded by family Saturday January 30, 2021 in St. Paul, MN after a lengthy battle with cancer. She was a shining light in this world for all who knew her, recognized as a hard worker, never afraid of a challenge, generous with her time, and a person of strong faith who dearly loved her family and friends.

Florence Diane was born April 13, 1950 and grew up on a farm near Waterville, the fourth of nine children.  She learned the value of hard work early in life, and never forgot it. She attended Waldorf College in Forest City and Luther College in Decorah. She then attended the University of Iowa, where she met her husband, Michael. They married in 1978. She taught English at Fort Dodge Middle School for over 30 years and won the Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching.

“GG,” as Florence Diane was affectionately called by her grandchildren, cherished the time she was given here on earth. During her battle, she visited Ireland twice, shared her talent for cooking, and imparted life lessons to the youngest generation. She was strong in her faith and held it close throughout the challenges she faced.

Florence Diane is preceded in death by her husband, Michael Hugh Flaherty; her father, Ambrose Lea; and her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Hugh and Iva Flaherty of Fort Dodge. She is survived by her children, Scott (Adam) Flaherty and Kristen (Matt) van Vleet; four grandchildren: Hudson (6), Theodore (5), Quinn (4) and Christian (3); her mother, Eunice Lea; her siblings, Gilbert Lea, Joe (Sheryl) Lea, Dorothy Lea, Linda Lea, Theresa Lea (Frank) David, Tony (Mary) Lea, LaVonne (Randy) Peterson and Donna (Dave) Faber.

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