Leo Raymond Flaherty was born Feb. 10, 1925, in Le Mars,, the son of Thomas and Cora (Sullivan) Flaherty. He grew up in Le Mars and was a 1943 graduate of Le Mars Central High School. Leo then entered the U.S. Army in 1943 and served his country overseas during World War II in the New Guinea and Southern Philippines Campaigns and the Occupation of Japan. He was a Forward Observer for Field Artillery with the 32nd Infantry Division. T Sgt. Flaherty was honorably discharged and received the Bronze Star in 1946.
Following the war, Leo returned home to Le Mars and married Helen F. Wilberding on June 14, 1947 at the Visitation Catholic Church in Maryhill. He enrolled at Westmar College and graduated in 1949. Leo also joined the Iowa National Guard and served with Company K from 1947 to 1963. He was a Past Commander of Company K and retired in 1963, with the rank of Major.
Leo was a longtime businessman in Le Mars involved in the insurance business. He was a representative with Prudential Insurance Company from 1949 to 1954 and was an agent for State Farm Insurance from 1954 to 1988.
During these years Leo was involved in many community offices. He served on the Le Mars City Council in 1964-65, was a member and chairman of the Plymouth County Veterans Affairs from 1961 to 1995 and was president of the Le Mars Development Corporation from 1977-78.
Leo was a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Le Mars, the Knights of Columbus, Trinity Council #1466, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie #1381, the American Legion, Wasmer Post #241 and the American Legion WWII Last Mans Club.
He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. Along with his wife Helen, Leo enjoyed traveling, spending winter months in Fort Meyers, Fla., and golfing.
Survivors include his wife Helen Flaherty of Le Mars; two daughters and their husbands: Jean and Mike Binder and Barb and Glen Mechtenberg, all of Yankton, S.D.; two sons and their wives: Mike and Frankie Flaherty of Missoula, Mont., and Jim and Mary Flaherty of Le Mars; 12 grandchildren: Rory Flaherty, Sarah Mechtenberg, Kevin Flaherty, Deirdre Flaherty, Karl Mechtenberg, Zach Binder, Bridget Flaherty, Ellen Flaherty, Greta Binder, Joe Mechtenberg, Anna (Flaherty) Rodriguez and Frae Binder; two great-grandchildren: Tucker Mechtenberg and Leo Rodriguez; a brother Robert Flaherty of Peoria, Ill.; two sisters-in-law. Anne Wilberding of Meriden and Delores Flaherty of Houston, Texas; two brothers-in-law, Al Wilberding and his wife Gerry of Remsen and Ray Wilberding and his wife Peggy of Melrose; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Cora and Thomas Flaherty; a son Kevin Leo Flaherty; a sister Margaret Flaherty; a brother Thomas Flaherty; a brother-in-law Lawrence Wilberding; and his parents-in-law Mary and Charles Wilberding.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Le Mars, with the Rev. Kevin Richter officiating. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery with military honors provided by the American Legion, Wasmer Post #141.
Visitation will begin at 3 p.m. Friday at the Feuerstein Funeral Home in Le Mars, where there will be a rosary at 4 p.m. and a vigil prayer service at 7 p.m., followed immediately by a Knights of Columbus rosary. Visitation will resume at St. Joseph's Church on Saturday morning for one hour before the Mass.
Memorials may be directed to Hospice of Siouxland or Le Mars Dialysis Services.