Robert Joseph “Bob” Flanagan died peacefully at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital on June 21, 2021, in O’Fallon, Illinois at the age of 92.
Bob is survived by his loving wife Fran, his children, Mark of Mascoutah, Il, Ann (Joe) Flanagan Petry of Kirkwood, Mo, Robert (Lisa) of Winnetka, IL, Mary (and Mark) Flanagan Dean of Chesterfield, Mo. He is also survived by his beloved grandchildren, Noah, Alex, and Natalie Flanagan and Jack and Audrey Dean.
He is preceded in death by his parents Emma and Francis Flanagan of Peoria, IL, and his brother Tom (Mary) Flanagan also of Peoria.
Bob was born on April 11, 1929, in Peoria, Illinois to Emma, nee Moutier, and Francis Flanagan. He graduated from Spaulding High School in 1948, and St. Ambrose College in 1952, with a B.A in Philosophy. Bob excelled in sports, especially football, where he earned first team All-State honors at halfback in 1946 and 1947. He was named Peoria Athlete of the Year in 1948. Bob began his college career at Notre Dame, then transferred to Bradley University. He then enrolled at St. Ambrose in 1951 to enter the Seminary. Bob earned All-American honors in football at Bradley and St. Ambrose. He was inducted into the Greater Peoria Area Sports Hall of Fame in 1979. He is also a member of the sports halls of fame at Spaulding H.S. (now Peoria Notre Dame), Bradley University and St. Ambrose University.
Growing up, Bob was always passionate about his Catholic faith. He decided to enroll at St. Ambrose seminary school to purse the priesthood. His calling was derailed when he met Mary Watson, who soon became the love of his life. They married in 1955, which Bob often noted was the “best decision I ever made.” The couple welcomed four children Mark, Ann, Rob, and Mary. Bob was a very devoted father and a constant presence in their lives. He especially enjoyed supporting his children with a variety of sports, scholastic and spiritual endeavors.
Bob served in the Army during the Korean War, which led to a position with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as a Special Agent. Bob spent 30 years in the FBI, stationed in Philadelphia, Detroit, Bay City, Michigan and finally, Belleville, Illinois. During his FBI career, Bob participated in a number of notable investigations, including as a member of the task force assigned to the Kent State shootings in 1970. He remained active in the Society of Retired Special Agents of the FBI for over 35 years.
Bob remained steadfast to his Catholic faith throughout his life. He rarely missed a day of mass at Holy Childhood Parish and served in many volunteer roles for the church, including Eucharistic Minister and instructor for the RCIA and the CCD. He was also a long-time member of the Knights of Columbus, Council 4380.
The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at the Freeburg Care Center, St Elizabeth’s Hospital, and the Moll Funeral Home. Their dedication, compassion and support over the past several weeks is deeply appreciated.
In lieu of all other gifts, memorials may be made to Holy Childhood School, 215 North John, Mascoutah, IL 62258 or The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, 13 Vieux Carre Dr # 2, East St Louis, IL 62203, svdpsouthil.org. Condolences can be sent to the family by visiting mollfuneralhome.com.
Visitation: From 10 to 11 AM Friday, June 25, 2021 at Holy Childhood Catholic Church, Mascoutah, IL.
Funeral: A funeral Mass will be held 11 AM Friday, June 25, 2021 at Holy Childhood Catholic Church with Father Paul Wienhoff celebrating. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Bob’s life. Burial with military honors will follow in Holy Childhood Catholic Cemetery, Mascoutah, IL.