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1943 Diane Gay Flanagan 2023

Diane Gay Flanagan

April 13, 1943 — September 26, 2023

Colonial Heights


In Loving Memory of Diane Gay Flanagan


Diane Gay Flanagan, aged 80, of Colonial Heights, passed away peacefully on September 26, 2023, at the VCU Medical Center in Richmond, surrounded by her loving family. She leaves behind a legacy of love, compassion, and a life well-lived.


Diane was born on April 13, 1943, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to her parents, Vail and Taimi Konen, who were first-generation Finnish immigrants. In 1945, the Konen family moved to Geneva, New York, nestled beside the serene Seneca Lake. It was in this picturesque lakeside town that Diane enjoyed a blissful childhood, reminiscent of her parents' Finnish heritage. She was an active member of the Lutheran church and found her voice in the church choir.


Upon graduating from Geneva High School in 1961, Diane embarked on her journey of higher education at the prestigious Skidmore College for women in Saratoga Springs, New York. Fate smiled upon her on her 19th birthday in 1962 when she met the love of her life, Bill Flanagan. Within three short months, they were engaged, and that summer, Bill began his distinguished 30-year career in the United States Army. Diane and Bill were married on February 16, 1963, and their love story endured for over six decades.


Diane was the epitome of a devoted officer's wife, serving as a den mother and Sunday school teacher. When their four children reached school age, she returned to college and earned her B.S. in Nursing, graduating as the valedictorian of her nursing class. Her nursing career took her to various healthcare settings across the United States and even to Germany during her husband's assignments abroad, where she often held leadership roles as a nursing supervisor or charge nurse.  She was particularly proud to serve as a nurse in the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, which was the designated medical center for soldiers wounded in the Middle East.


Even in retirement, Diane continued to serve her community and pursue her diverse interests. She was the past Chair of Tri-City Area Republican Women, President of Ikebana of Richmond, and Regent of the Catholic Daughters’ Court Regina Coeli 2032. Active in her church as a Parish Nurse, Lector, Eucharistic Minister, Liturgy Coordinator and a Minister of Services, Diane was also a Dame in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem that supports Palestinian Catholic schools and institutions in the Holy Land. Diane's curiosity knew no bounds; she studied French and German while living in both countries, cultivated beautiful gardens, collected art, and traveled the world alongside her husband, visiting or residing in over 60 countries.


Diane's most remarkable quality was her capacity for friendship and empathy. She touched the lives of countless individuals with her warmth and kindness. Her circle of friends extended far and wide, a testament to her remarkable ability to connect with people from all walks of life.


Diane Gay Flanagan is survived by her loving husband of over 60 years, Bill Flanagan, COL USA Ret., her four cherished children, Michael (Melia) Flanagan, Christopher (Dr. Lucila) Garcia-Flanagan, William Flanagan the 3rd, and Taimi Schweighardt; her 7 grandchildren, Thomas Flanagan, Mary (Jon) Frazier, Kirsten (Canyon) Baffert, Catherine (Philippe Armand) de Bonneval, Thomas (Abriana) Schweighardt, David Garcia-Flanagan, Ian Garcia-Flanagan, and her 7 great-granddaughters, Madelyn, Rosalie, Claudia, Audrey, Zoë, Eliot, and Summer.  Diane was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Elaine Konen Carroll. 


In honoring Diane's legacy, we remember her as a loving wife, a dedicated mother, a skilled nurse, and a compassionate friend whose life was a source of inspiration to all who were fortunate enough to know her.


A Mass of the Resurrection officiated by Father Ernest Bulinda will be held at 6:00 p.m., October 6th at St. Ann Catholic Church, 17111 Jefferson Davis Highway, Colonial Heights, VA 23834 preceded by Visitation from 4:00 to 6:00pm and a brief prayer service led by Catholic Daughters.  A reception will follow in the Condon Hall.  A brief service and interment will be held at a later date in Arlington Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in


Diane's memory to St. Ann Catholic Daughter’s Court Regina Coeli 2032 (please put the name of the ministry on the memo line), 17111 Route 1, S. Chesterfield, VA 23834.


May Diane Gay Flanagan's soul rest in eternal peace, and may her memory be a blessing to us all.


Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Colonial Heights Chapel of E. Alvin Small Funeral Homes and Crematory, 2033 Boulevard. Condolences may be registered at

To send flowers to the family in memory of Diane Gay Flanagan, please visit our flower store.

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Friday, October 6, 2023

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Friday, October 6, 2023

Starts at 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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1 Memorial Ave, Arlington, VA 22211

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