John Francis Flanagan, M.D. (Jack), 92, died on Friday, December 18, 2020, in Lakeland, FL. For over 30 years, he was a doctor of Internal Medicine at the Watson Clinic where he served as Chief of Medicine and on the Executive Committee for 3 and 15 years, respectively.
Jack was born on July 12, 1928, on the family farm in Blacksburg, VA, where he was delivered by his uncle, Dr. Maury B. Limkous, who was the town doctor. His father died when he was six years old. That and growing up on the farm during the depression-built character and his work ethic.
He attended the local high school where he graduated as valedictorian. He went on to graduate with honors in Biology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. But for the generosity of his uncles, U. Grant Flanagan, and John T. Flanagan, he probably would not have been able to attend Duke University Medical School where he graduated first in his class in 1953 and became a member of Alpha Omega Alpha honor society.
Jack continued at Duke for his internship and residency in Internal Medicine. From there, he went to Emory University to complete a residency in Pathology. Further training was had during his service in the United States Air Force where he served as a pathologist at Wright Patterson Air Force Hospital. He returned to Duke to become Chief Resident at Durham VA Medical Center. Subsequently, he went to Case Western Reserve for a research fellowship in Preventative Medicine followed by a final fellowship in Virology at University of Pennsylvania.
In 1962, he returned to Duke as an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine followed by an associate professorship in the department of Microbiology. In 1967, he went into private practice at the Watson Clinic. During his long career, Jack was very dedicated to his patients and well respected for his diagnostic abilities. He could not have practiced as effectively without his loyal talented nurses.
When not working, he greatly enjoyed quail and duck hunting with his two sons and close friends and skeet shooting with the Pistol and Rifle Club of Lakeland. His other great passion was reading history, particularly about the Civil War.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Sarah Whiteside Flanagan (Sally) and his four children: Dr. Will Flanagan (Laurens); Barbara Flanagan; Dr. Brian Flanagan; and Clare Flanagan Cusato (Bill) in addition to his four grandchildren: John Flanagan, II; Scott Flanagan; Evan Cusato and Candler Cusato; sister-in-law, Minnie Lewis Moore, and brother-in-law, George W. Whiteside, III (Dee) and extended family.
The family deeply appreciates the dedication and kindness of his doctors and nurses. There will be a private inurnment service.
Condolences may be sent to the family at Heath Funeral Chapel.