John W. Flanagan

Saturday, August 4, 2018

John W. Flanagan went to be with the Lord from his residence of Highgate Senior Living on July 28, in Billings, of natural causes. He was 83.

John was born on August 6, 1934 at the ranch south of Utica to Lear and Mary (McKenzie) Flanagan. He grew up on the ranch, going to school at several locations around the state with his brother, Lear Jr., and sister Patricia. John married Anna Mary (Cecrle) in Hobson, on Dec. 28, 1960. They moved to the Antelope House until their house was finished at the ranch southwest of Hobson. John lived there until moving to assisted living in 2017.

John was a hardworking rancher and loved life to its fullest. Nothing brought a twinkle to his eye and a smile to his face more than when his grandchildren were around him. John was very proud of his children and happy to see that all of them received a good education.

Anyone who ever met John knew he loved life. John was always faithful about getting his family to church and was devoted to the ranching life. John never left the ranch except for weddings and graduations. If anyone ever met him they never forgot him and came away feeling like old friends, as he loved putting a smile on people’s faces. John generally had a witty comeback to most anything, even till the end, it just took a bit longer to get it out. John had friends all over the area and felt so blessed to have so many people allow him into their lives. He would help anyone he saw who needed a hand, whether alongside of the road or over the fence. John will always be remembered for having a stubby, mostly-chewed-on cigar or a chaw of Days-work plug tobacco in his mouth, sometimes both depending on how much work or fun was being had at the time. John had a nickname for many of his friends; Bearhorn, Frisky, Bubbles, Big Deal, PJ, Tag, and Goose to name a few. Goodbye from John was always “Toodaloo”

John is survived by his brother Lear Flanagan Jr. (Mona), sister Patricia Bushly Johnson; brother/sisters-in-law, Wayne and Dale (Cynthia) Cecrle, Dorothy Berry and Pat Cecrle. children, Kim (Denise) Kaupish, DeeDee Flanagan, Rick (Bonnie) Flanagan, Bill (Heather) Flanagan and Tayna (Shanlyn) Flanagan. Grandchildren include: Zeb, Zale, Zoie, Amber, Zachary, Audrey, Quade, Colter, Conner and Ryan. John enjoyed spending time with his nieces, Kathy, Nancy, Gloria, Becky and Susan and nephews, Brad, Brian, Mike, Tim, Mike, Tom and Bob.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Anna Mary; parents Lear Sr. (Mary) Flanagan; father/mother-in-law Frank (Mary) Cecrle, brother/sister-in-law Dean Cecrle, Dale Berry, Hugh (Swede) Bushly and niece Wendy.

Vigil and Rosary will be held at 7 p.m., Thursday evening Aug. 9 at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 100 2nd Ave. E, Hobson, with viewing at 6:30 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 2 p.m., Friday Aug. 10 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Rite of Committal will be at the Utica Cemetery. Following the graveside service, we will gather at the Oxen Yoke in Utica to celebrate John’s fun-filled life, share many memories and say “Toodaloo John”

Any donations can be made to the Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Arrangements are under the care of Creel Funeral Home. John’s family and friends can share memories and condolences at



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