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Bill Flanagan named Memorial Day Parade's Grand Marshall

Updated 11:56 pm, Sunday, May 22, 2011
  • Bill Flannigan will serve as Grand Marshal in Darien's Memorial Day Parade. Photo: Contributed Photo / Darien News
    Bill Flannigan will serve as Grand Marshal in Darien's Memorial Day Parade. Photo: Contributed Photo

 

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This year's Memorial Day Parade, starting off at Goodwives Shopping Plaza May 30 at 10 a.m. will culminate at a ceremony at the newly landscaped Soldier's Monument in the Connecticut Veterans' Cemetery. Everyone is welcome to participate in this event honoring soldiers.

William "Bill" K. Flanagan Jr., who served in the Navy in World War II and later the Darien community, will be the grand marshal.

Born and raised in South Orange, N.J., Flanagan attended public elementary and junior high schools in South Orange and graduated from Columbia High School in Maplewood, N.J., in June 1944.

Before graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and received his Boot Camp Training at Sampson Naval Training Center near Geneva, N.Y. He was then assigned to the 144th Naval Construction Battalion Advance Base Construction Depot and was sent to the South Pacific.

While on Guam, he competed for and was selected to attend officer training in the U.S. and was sent to the University of Mississippi for his freshman year of college. He was honorably discharged in June 1945 and received his A.B. degree from Brown University in June 1949.

While at Brown, he was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, the Brown Glee Club and the Cross Country Track team. After graduating from Brown with a history degree, he attended Rutgers Law School, was a member of the Law Review, the first president of the local chapter of the international legal fraternity of Phi Delta Phi and received his Bachelor of Laws Degree in May 1952. He was admitted to the New Jersey Bar in December, 1952, and to the New York Bar in 1988.

His legal career included five years of trial work with his father, William K. Flanagan, who was regarded as one of the outstanding trial lawyers in New Jersey. In March, 1957, he joined International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation (later renamed ITT Corporation) as the Assistant General Counsel and Assistant Secretary of a wholly owned ITT subsidiary in Clifton, N.J.

In October, 1961, he was promoted to the position of general counsel and secretary of Federal Electric Corporation, another N.J. wholly owned ITT subsidiary. In January, 1964, he was again promoted to the position of deputy general counsel of North America and transferred to ITT world headquarters in New York where he received a series of further promotions until March 31, 1987, when he took early retirement as Assistant General Counsel and Director of Legal Services completing a 30-year career with ITT. From 1989 to 1993, he was also the associate general counsel of Walsh Construction Company in Trumbull.

He has served the Town of Darien for more than 12 years: one year on the RTM, then eight years on the Planning and Zoning Commission including two years as its chairman; and then three to four years on the Monuments and Ceremonies Commission.

In 1997, he was endorsed by the Republican Town Committee as its candidate for First Selectman but lost by 68 votes in a primary contest with Robert Harrel. He has been very active in the Darien Senior Men's Association and served as its president in 2000-2001.

In recognition of his outstanding service to the Darien Community he received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Darien United Way and the Volunteer Center of Southwestern Fairfield County on May 9, 2006.

His wife, Lynn DeCesare, died in 1990. In 1999 he married Anne La Ferte Meyjes and together they have eight children and 15 grandchildren.