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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Richard Joseph Flanagan - Part 10

After almost 57 years of marriage, Dick lost his wife, Dorothy, on October 24, 1997.  She passed away from lung cancer.  She had been diagnosed around 1993 with the disease.  It was most certainly caused by her chain smoking.  Her cancer was treated only to return again in 1995.  On a beautiful Fall day in Napa, California, Dorothy Marie Borchers Flanagan was laid to rest at Tulocay Cemetery.

Dorothy Marie Borchers Flanagan, Napa, CA - 1921-1997

Dorothy had been ill for a number of years and it did take its toll on Dick.  He still hung in there though.  Over the years, Dick would say that he had suffered many health issues.  I recall him saying once that he was not the most healthy child.  In in his twenties, he suffered from stomach ulcers.  The pain would sometimes make him roll on the ground.  As he got older, the ulcer problem subsided.  I truly wonder if it was ulcers.  He had a doctor who recommended a glass of red wine with dinner every day.  He followed doctor's orders. 

When Dick was around seventy-nine, he had open heart surgery to repair his descending aorta and to clean thinks up a bit. It is interesting to note that Dick suffered from low blood pressure and had low cholesterol.  He still did after surgery.  They removed his gallbladder during that surgery too.  It had golf ball sized stones in it.  It does make you wonder if that was his pain back in his twenties.  I could go on about the gallbladder but will refrain.  Needless to say, there are countless many in my family who have theirs removed, including myself.

Dick did not have the best eyesight.  I'm not sure if that was a life long problem for him.   He suffered from cataracts in the 1960s.  He had surgery to remove the cataracts and ended up with hard contact lenses.  He went from wearing glasses that were as thick as the bottom of a coke bottle to no glasses needed except for reading.   As technology progressed, he was able to use soft contact lenses.  I still remember (when I was a kid) watching him put those hard contact lenses into his eyes in the morning.

Ironically, by the time that Dick was 87, his eyesight had deteriorated again.   He elected to have Lasik laser eye surgery done.  At age 87, Dick was back to having 20/20 vision again.

To be continued...............

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