Mary Eleanor Flanagan

31 July, 193129 May, 2024
Obituary of Mary Eleanor Flanagan


Murphy Funeral Homes

Mary Eleanor Witkowska Flanagan, neé Lubienska, passed away quietly at her home on May 29th with loved ones by her side. She was preceded in death by her husband Colonel Robert J. Flanagan, parents Sofia and Stanley Lubienski, brothers Ricardo and Walter Lubienski, daughter Elizabeth Witkowski, and daughter-in-law Jane Inge. She is survived by her son Matthew Witkowski, grandson Jesse Mathias Inge Witkowski, brother George (Rose Marie) Lubienski, stepchildren Ginger (Craig) Huller, Linda Flanagan, Robert (Nancy) Flanagan Jr., Kathleen (Michael) Cox, Patricia (Joseph) Natale, and countless grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Mary was born July 31st, 1931, in Detroit, Michigan, to parents who emigrated from Poland. She attended the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, earning a BA in Art History and an MA in Art History and City Planning. After moving to Northern Virginia in 1961, Mary worked for many years on Capitol Hill as a Congressional Aide, serving under Congressman Lucien Nedzi, Congressman John Dingle, and Congressman Henry Nowak. During her employment with Congressman Nedzi, she served as the Secretary of the Committee to raise funds for the purchase of what became the John Paul II Polish House in Rome; the site was a gift to the pope from people all over the world, and today serves as a shelter for Polish pilgrims and a proud marker of the continuing history of the Polish nation. Mary, a founding member of the Friends of John Paul II Foundation Chapter in the Washington, D.C., area, was a beacon of leadership and dedication. She served as President and in various other roles, including editor and publisher of the newsletter, a task she shared with her husband Robert and her grandson Jesse. Mary was a key figure in numerous other Polish organizations and non-profit groups, such as the American Council for Polish Culture, and was a powerful voice for all aspects of American Polonia. She is the author of With Paintbrush and Sword, a biography about the Polish painter and muralist Jan de Rosen. Of the many awards she received, Mary was most proud to be a Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Sylvester, an honor bestowed upon her by Pope John Paul II. Among her other accolades are the Pride of Polonia Award from the National Shrine of Czestochowa in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and the Cavalier’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland. A funeral Mass will be held at St. John the Beloved Roman Catholic Church in McLean, Virginia, on June 15th at 11AM. Mary will join her late husband Robert in burial at Arlington National Cemetery; interment has yet to be scheduled. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Friends of John Paul II Foundation Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Chapter or to any other Polish organization of your choosing.

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Past Services

Saturday, 15 June, 2024

Funeral Mass