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T. Richard Flaharty ( Missoula 1944 )

posted: Apr 11, 2017

Dick, 96, died April 9, 2017. He was born in Winnethka, IL, April 29, 1920.

After his father deserted the family in the late 1920s, he grew up in a boy's home on the north side of Chicago. In that home he became interested in music and became a talented drummer and played at many events in his late teens and early twenties. At the same time he was an active member of the Methodist Church and registered as a conscientious objector prior to the start of WWII.

Dick spent four years with the Civilian Public Service (CPS) during which time he volunteered for the smokejumper program in Missoula. The CPS provided 240 men to the smokejumper program during WWII and was instrumental in keeping the smokejumpers alive during the war. Dick has three fire jumps that year.

After the war Dick went to Roosevelt College where he received his BA in 2 ½ years and later his Masters in Social Work from the University of Pittsburg in 1951. His professional career was primarily in child welfare programs and involved work in Wisconsin and Michigan before moving to California and continuing as a Director of Family Services for the Volunteers of America.

Dick was very important in keeping track of the CPS jumpers for the NSA and involved in their smokejumper reunions that started long before the NSA was founded.