Cover photo for Walter Flanagan's Obituary
Walter Flanagan Profile Photo
1929 Walter 2022

Walter Flanagan

March 4, 1929 — June 30, 2022



March 4, 1929 - June 30, 2022

Walter was born to Caroline (nee Pickett 1902-1977) and Albert Flanagan (1902-1986) in Toronto, Ontario. Predeceased by his sister Eleanor (1927-1929) he grew up with his sister Bernice (Holmes/Crowter 1930-2017) in Toronto. The Flanagan family started a lodge on Morrison Lake in Muskoka, where Walter met his future wife Mary Passmore (1928-2019). Proposing to Mary on his high school graduation, they married in 1953. Settling in Don Mills, they had four children: Jeff, Andy, Nora, and Diane. He is predeceased by his grandson Matthew (2002). The family were closely tied to the Donway United Church (now the Donway Covenant United) through the ‘Couples Club’, Boy Scouts, Guides, weekly badminton, and annual church auctions. During COVID, Walter enjoyed attending Donway services via Zoom.

Graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Toronto in 1955, Walter’s early career was with Parkin Architects. He was especially proud of the working drawings that he did for Nathan Phillips Square at City Hall in Toronto, including the iconic arches over the the fountains. After several years teaching high school drafting, Walter returned to the practice of architecture, eventually starting his own firm ‘Flanagan, Beresford, and Patteson’ from the basement of the family home. Walter was an early adopter of the ‘work from home’ model before the firm moved to larger office spaces.

Walter’s labour of love was planning and building the family cottage at the property on the Severn River in Muskoka. Everything from the kitchen cupboards, beds, staircase hand rails, doors, and boats were hand made. Many family memories were made at the cottage, with the 4 kids spending summers there with Mary while Walter commuted on weekends from the city in the early days. Once a road was put in, much attention was spent on its upkeep, which required the heavy equipment of a tractor, dump truck, front-end loader, and a backhoe. In later years, the grandchildren enjoyed rides in the backhoe with Grandpa Walter. Many family summer ‘picnics’ were held at the cottage for both Walter’s family (the Picketts) and Mary’s family (the Passmores). To this day, the family enjoys the use of the cottage on the Severn, and the road can be found on Google Maps as ‘Flanagan Trail’.

Walter enjoyed his retirement years living at the cottage and became involved with the community in and around Gravenhurst. People remember Mary and Walter attending twice weekly excercise classes at the pool, followed by lunch at the Steadman’s Lunch Counter in town. In their later years, both Mary and Walter were cared for by the staff at Granite Ridge, where they made their last home together. The Flanagan family is extremely grateful to the staff at Granite Ridge, and the extended family of residents for creating a family environment for both Mary and Walter in their final years.

Walter and Mary are survived by their four children: Jeff (Sharon), Andy (Ann), Nora Pratter (Karl), Diane (Byron Lonneberg); seven grandchildren Lisa (Jeff Taylor), Scott, Sean (Pamela Willis), Katie, Eliza, Nickolas, Alex; and great granddaughter Indie.

Celebration of Life will be held Monday July 11 at Cavill-Turner Funeral Home in Gravenhurst. Visitation with family from 1-2pm, service at 2pm, followed by a reception. The wearing of masks would be appreciated by the family. Link to the live-stream can be found below.

In lieu of flowers, the family would be grateful for donations to the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital in Bracebridge.

This Service will be LiveStreamed.

Should you wish to virtually attend the live-stream of the funeral service through Forget Me Not Ceremonies, please refer to the following instructions:

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, July 11, 2022

1:00 - 2:00 pm

Cavill Turner Funeral Home

215 Bay St, Gravenhurst, ON P1P 1H1

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Celebration of Life

Monday, July 11, 2022

2:00 - 3:00 pm

Cavill Turner Funeral Home

215 Bay St, Gravenhurst, ON P1P 1H1

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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