Phyllis O’Brien Flaherty

December 26th, 2020

Phyllis M. (O’Brien) Flaherty, age 94, of Wilmington, passed away peacefully on December 23rd, 2020. Phyllis was born August 2,1926 in Boston, MA.

Beloved daughter of Cornelius and Margaret (Stewart) O’Brien. Phyllis spent her early years in Charlestown, MA before her family moved to Wilmington in 1932. Graduating from Wilmington High School in 1946 after which she worked in the Boston Financial District. During these years she became a volunteer for the John F. Kennedy campaign for U.S. Representative and later JFK’s various other elections with the final election she volunteered on being his presidential campaign. Phyllis considered this involvement in the political process to be interesting and rewarding and it led to her lifetime commitment of volunteerism and giving back to her community.

After leaving her work and volunteer activities in Boston, Phyllis devoted herself to raising her children and actively volunteering in Wilmington as Cub Scout Den Leader, Girl Scout Leader, Boy Scout Fundraiser, Parent Advisory Committee Fundraising for Scholarships. Phyllis is a 30 year member of the Wilmington Community Fund, Member of the Wilmington Women’s Club serving as vice president and various other roles.

Phyllis returned to the business world after raising her family working for the IRS in Andover and Raytheon Service Company until her retirement. Phyllis also worked as a real estate broker in the Wilmington/Tewksbury area for a number of years.

Phyllis was a founding parishioner of Saint Dorothy’s Parish and active in many of Church’s organizations.

Phyllis is the loving and devoted mother of Lawrence C. Flaherty and his wife Diane (Cellucci) of North Conway, NH and Norton, MA. Ellen (Flaherty) Ohlenbusch and her husband Alvin Ohlenbusch of Stratham, NH. Beloved Grandmother of Devin Flaherty and his wife Julia and Erin Ohlenbusch. Beloved sister and friend of Hazel M. O’Brien, Gerald (Jeff) O’Brien and his wife Ann of Tewksbury and Dennis, MA, the late James H. O’Brien and Cornelius (Mannie) O’Brien of Wilmington, sister-in-law of Alice O’Brien of Tewksbury. Caring Aunt to several nieces and nephews.

Phyllis will be fondly remembered for her love of family and the special times she spent with her children and grandchildren. She called them adventures and every gathering, trip or event created lasting memories. She loved jazz and spent many nights listening to live jazz music at jazz clubs in and around Boston. She and her sister Hazel were fixtures in the town and within the Jazz community and were widely admired for their friendship and good humor.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Wednesday, December 30th from 10:00-11:45 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Dorothy’s Church, Main St. (Rte. 38), Wilmington at 12:00 noon. Interment will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Masks are required to be worn while in the Funeral Home and in Church.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Phyllis’ memory to St. Dorothy’s Church, c/o Parish Rectory, 11 Harnden St., Wilmington, MA 01887.


7 Entries in Guest Book for “Phyllis O’Brien Flaherty”

  1. Nancy O'Brien Wheeler says:

    Phyllis was my aunt, as well as my godmother, I will always remember her as a fashion icon!!

    Thinking of all of you,
    Nancy O’Brien wheeler

  2. Karen Wolley-Palmer says:

    Ellen I am so sorry for your loss.

  3. Joan Searfoss says:


    As you know Hazel, Phyllis and I were board members on Community Fund together for many years and we valued her knowledge and generous spirit for the community. We shared some good times over the years and have missed seeing her on occasions when I ran into you not so long ago either at Market Basket or CVS. My sincere sympathy to you and your family.


  4. Cheryl Cazeau says:

    Deepest sympathies to the Wilmington Flaherty’s as well- Jim, Diane, Lance & Tori, Kevin and Keri, and Melanie and Ryan.

  5. Gene Inglese says:

    Our beloved next door neighbor
    Phillis was our neighbor for 26 years
    Phillis we will always remember your kindness and generosity

  6. Cheryl Soderquist says:

    Phyllis was our neighbor and we have many wonderful memories. Phyllis and Hazel shared many stories of growing up in Wilmington along with their many escapades when they were younger. We are sincerely sad at her passing. Chet and Cheryl Soderquist

  7. Ed English says:

    My condolences to all the Flaherty’s, I was saddened to hear of your loss.

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