Marian Flaherty, 84, of Red Bank and most recently of Shrewsbury, died peacefully at home on Wednesday, November 30.. She was born on May 31, 1932 in Jersey City, the daughter of Harry and Elizabeth Foley.
Marian graduated from St. Aloysius Academy and studied at Fordham University. She earned a degree from Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School.
Marian was married to the love of her life, Frank, and as she liked to say, “I chased him until he caught me.”
She was a longtime communicant of St. James Roman Catholic Church, in Red Bank, and in recent years was active at Holy Innocents Roman Catholic Church in Neptune.
At a young age, Marian would visit Foundling Hospitals just to hold and comfort babies who had no parents. Perhaps that’s where her interest in children began because she went on to have 10 children with her Frank.
While raising her family, she stepped outside to help others. Her passion for the pro-life cause energized her to co-found Birthright of Red Bank in 1978, a non-denominational program that provides support to those facing an unexpected or crisis pregnancy. Her commitment to Birthright continued for the next 30 plus years, and for her efforts she received a number of awards recognizing her devotion to the pro-life cause. But she did so much more. She would get up before dawn to pick up day-old bread from local supermarkets to deliver to the Barn for the Poorest of the Poor. She sought out nursing home residents who had no other visitors; brought communion and comfort to hospital and nursing home patients, and found safe homes for expectant moms. The Church was central to Marian’s life and these are a few examples of how she lived her Christian faith.
Marian enjoyed spending a day at the beach, a social game of bridge and the challenge of the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle. She enjoyed Irish music and singing show tunes, especially when accompanied by her sister and best friend Eileen on the piano.
Once their children were grown, Marian and Frank travelled extensively, often to visit their Irish relatives. Grandchildren brought new opportunities for more adventure. After her husband died, Marian continued to support her family and welcomed great grandchildren. She will be remembered for her quick wit, hearty laughs, love of family and her deep faith.
In addition to her parents, Marian was predeceased by her sister, Eileen Faherty; and Francis X. Flaherty, her husband of nearly 52 years. She is survived by her 10 children and their spouses: daughters, Ann McSween (David) of Alexandria, Virginia, Mary Beth Bauerle (James) of Chalfont, Pennsylvania, Virginia Rodriguez (David) of Alexandria, Virginia, Patricia Farrell (John) of Yardley, Pennsylvania, Kathleen Marhan (Paul) of Glen Ridge, Eileen Donahue (Mark) of Shrewsbury and Deirdre Costanza (Joseph) of Red Bank; and sons: Francis X. Flaherty Jr. of Alexandria, Virginia (Patricia Roos of Chester Springs, Pennsylvania), Harry Flaherty (Janine) of Little Silver and Kyle Flaherty (Susan) of Upper Montclair. She is also survived by her 33 grandchildren: Allison, Katherine, Greg, Brian, Sarah, Erin, Gretchen, Amy, Melissa, David, Andrew, Frank, Brittany, Jim, Sean, Christine, Harry, Zach, Jake, Abigail, Jesse, Emily, Shannon, Meghan, Jeanne Marie, Annelise, Max, Madeline, Kyle, Keira, Emma, Peter and Olivia. Marian has also been blessed with 13 great-grandchildren.
John E. Day Funeral Home, Red Bank, was in charge of arrangements. In Marian’s memory, donations may be made to Birthright of Red Bank, 294 Broad Street #1, Red Bank NJ 07701. Please visit Marian’s memorial website at www.johnedayfuneralhome.com.
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