CHESHIRE — Ellen Mary (Madden) Flaherty, 94, passed away on Sunday, April 26, 2020, at Elim Park Health Care and Rehabilitation in Cheshire. She was the devoted wife of the late Stephen B. Flaherty.
Ellen was born on July 31, 1925, in Waterbury, the daughter of the late William and Josephine (Moran) Madden. Raised in Naugatuck, she graduated from St. Francis School, Naugatuck High School, Class of 1942, and Adelphi University, where First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt addressed the graduates. She received her teaching certificate from Southern Connecticut State University. She began her career as a public health nurse and then in 1966 started with the Naugatuck school system as a nurse teacher, retiring in 1987. Ellen also proudly served in the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corp during WWII.
Ellen loved her hometown, she was committed to preserving the history of it and volunteered her time for a variety of causes: the Red Cross, the Naugatuck Valley Project, the Garden Club, Friends of the Library, a board member of the Naugatuck Valley Health District and was a Girl Scout leader. At Elim Park, she continued to volunteer her time.
Ellen cherished her lifelong friends from elementary school and the special bond she had with the nurses in the school system. Like many other girls, Ellen wear-tested shoes for Uniroyal and would remember the route she walked, stopping into the downtown stores or getting a soda at one of the pharmacies. The Memorial Day parade was never to be missed and she always hosted a July 4 party so that everyone could watch the fireworks from our lawn on Lorann Drive. Ellen loved to host holiday dinners to have all the family over. Everyone was welcomed. She baked the best pies: apple, pumpkin and strawberry rhubarb were her favorites. We all remember her beef stew and strawberry shortcake and the hidden supply of Hi-C pouches she kept for the grandchildren.
Ellen enjoyed crossword puzzles, Rummikub, Sudoku, board games and cards. She took pride in her backyard garden. She liked traveling throughout the U.S. and also visited Ireland, France, Spain and Italy. Visiting the Vatican was a treasured memory along with our summer camping adventure from Connecticut to California in the summer of 1972. Later Ellen and Steve spent many happy summers in their camper at North Stonington. They had a loving marriage that lasted 53 years. She was a loyal congregant of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Naugatuck, where they were married on Thanksgiving Day in 1953.
More than anything, she loved her family. Her walls and shelves were full of family photos and loved showing off her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We will all cherish the memories that we have of her and she will remain in our hearts forever.
Mrs. Flaherty will be dearly missed by her children, Kerry and Lori Flaherty of East Granby, Greg and Kathy Flaherty of Tennessee, Anne Flaherty of California, and Mary Ellen and Mark Nyberg of Massachusetts; ten grandchildren, Michael Flaherty, Matthew Flaherty, Meghan Molczyk, Jaime Newland, Jennie Pratt, Melissa Mearn, Kaley Collier, Finnian Flaherty, Spencer Hoover and McKayla Hoover. She is also survived by 13 great-grandchildren; her brother, Joseph and Ann Madden of Cheshire; her sister-in-law, Ruth Flaherty; and several nieces and nephews. In addition to her husband and parents she was predeceased by her brothers, William G., Edward, George and Charles Madden.
A private graveside service will be held at St. James Cemetery, Naugatuck. The Alderson-Ford Funeral Home of Naugatuck is assisting with arrangements.
Memorial contributions may be made to The Howard Whittemore Memorial Library, Friends of the Library.