This past week our city lost a great man in Mayor Bill Flanagan. Working in our community over these past six years, I had the great privilege to get to know Bill and First Lady Lou on a personal level. While the bulk of our conversations began by discussing city business and how we could keep getting better and doing better for the citizens; we often finished those talks discussing faith, family, politics, hobbies, and stories about Claremore’s yesteryears.
Since I am not originally from Claremore, I do not have the historical relationships and knowledge that Bill and many others do. What was apparent about our Mayor above all, was his integrity and the intense responsibility he felt to make sure each and every citizen of Claremore was properly served.
The impact Bill Flanagan had on Claremore cannot be measured or relayed in a single article. Bill’s service to Claremore far exceeded his time on the City Council and as Mayor. His service to multiple philanthropic organizations and councils were done so in the same manner as his service to the city. His goal was not only to contribute financially, but to add real value and functionality to ensure that everything he was involved in was sustainable and could serve a long-term mission.
Bill fought to make everything he believed in better and did so without complaint. He fought as a father, husband, grandad, college football player, soldier, accountant, Christian, and friend. He also fought against corruption, bad policy, poor management and even fought and beat cancer. He was indeed a fighter for each and every one of us.
Claremore is a far better place because of Bill Flanagan and the loss leaves a huge gap in the community and our hearts. God’s speed Bill. Rest now in the way you deserve in the presence of the Lord God. I will miss my Mayor, but above all I will miss my friend.
John W. Feary
Claremore City Manager