Cover photo for Esther Ellen Flannery's Obituary
Esther Ellen Flannery Profile Photo
1933 Esther 2015

Esther Ellen Flannery

April 2, 1933 — March 24, 2015

Esther Ellen Flannery, of Seattle, Washington, originally of West Pittston and later of Kingston, passed away on March 24, 2015 after a brief illness. Esther was born on April 2, 1933 in the Pittston Hospital to Frank John Flannery and Esther Brennan Flannery. She graduated from Wyoming Seminary, Georgetown Visitation Junior College, and College Misericordia and received her masters in teaching from Temple University.

Esther had a love of teaching and learning; she taught at Dallas Senior High School from 1975 – 1982 and then joined the faculty at Luzerne County Community College from 1982 until her retirement in 1998. In her retirement, she found new purpose in a variety of civic issues, including work at the Catherine McAuley Center and on John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign – note that Pennsylvania is acknowledged to have hinged on the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton area, and Senator Kerry won the state.

Esther is survived by her son, Andrew, his wife, Jen, and their children, Anja and Soren. In 2008, she took a leap of faith, sold her home in Kingston and moved far west, to Seattle, to be with her family. It is a decision she didn’t regret, as it was the beginning of a totally new phase of her life. She’d only been to Seattle a handful of times prior to moving, but she threw herself into becoming a Seattleite. Having never been a football fan for the previous 75 years of her life, she became a diehard Seahawks fan, remarking on the team’s loss in the most recent Super Bowl the following day by bemoaning, “They had Marshawn Lynch! Why didn’t they rush?”

Esther loved being a grandmother. It was the role of a lifetime for her, and she played it well. Be it taking Anja to the ballet, checking out Bill Gates’ house with the children or enjoying the spectacular Seattle summers, she loved being with her family. She also found new joy and a new lease on life during her years in the Pacific Northwest. She made many new friends, who will also miss her in her passing. Her only regret was the dearth of good pizza.

Throughout her life, Esther stitched beautiful needlepoint works, a talent she learned from her mother and later passed along to her daughter-in-law. From the piano bench, done when she was a girl, to many Christmas ornaments and framed pieces, Esther’s works were and are beautiful. In her later years in Seattle, she also enjoyed entering her works into art exhibitions.

Esther was predeceased by her parents, brothers, John and Frank, a sister, Helen, and first cousin, Nick; throughout their lives, she and Nick were all but twins. Her dearest friend since early childhood, Helen Rutledge, also predeceases her; their relationship for 75 years stands as a hallmark for what a true and unequivocal friendship should be.

Celebration of Esther’s Life will begin Monday, April 6th with visitation from 4 to 7 PM at McLaughlin’s, 142 South Washington Street, Wilkes-Barre and continue with a Funeral Mass on Tuesday, April 7th at 9:30 AM in The Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola, 339 North Maple Avenue, Kingston.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to Esther’s dearest charity, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or

Memories and condolences may be shared with Esther’s family at
To order memorial trees in memory of Esther Ellen Flannery, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, April 6, 2015

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Mass

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Starts at 9:30 am (Eastern time)

Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola

339 North Maple Avenue, Kingston, PA 18704

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