Patrick Augustine O’Flaherty C.M., D.Litt., Ph.D.

August 16, 2017


Passed away suddenly at Keeles, Bonavista Bay, Patrick Augustine O’Flaherty of St. John’s, aged 77 years.  Predeceased by his parents Jane and Gus O’Flahety of Northern Bay and his brother Edward.  Leaving to mourn his loving wife Marjorie Doyle, his sons Keir, Peter and Paddy, his grandchildren Sarah Jane and Jack, Claire and Fiona, Patrick and William; his sisters Mary (Mike) King, Bernadette (Ben) Dunne, and Rosaleen; his brothers Bill (Florence Anne) and Fabian (Carol Anne).  Also leaving his Doyle brothers-in-law Bob (Dorothy), John (Sandy), Bill (Cindy) and their families as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews, colleagues and friends.

Patrick was an independent Newfoundlander.  He was smart, funny, self-effacing, hard working.  He was a scholar and teacher and an accomplished man of letters.

At his request, Patrick has been cremated.  The family will receive visitors at Carnell’s Funeral Home, 329 Freshwater Road, on Tuesday, August 22, 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. and Wednesday, August 23, 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.  Funeral service will take place Thursday, August 24 at 10:30 a.m. from The Carnell Memorial Chapel, 329 Freshwater Road.  Flowers gratefully accepted.  Those wishing to make a donation in Patrick’s memory may do so to the King’s Cove and Area Volunteer Fire Department, Box 12, 4 Main Road, King’s Cove, AOC 1SO.


“He was my North, my South, my East and West

My working week, my Sunday rest.”  W.H.Auden



2-4 p.m. on August 22, 2017

7-9 p.m. on August 22, 2017

2-4 p.m. on August 23, 2017

7-9 p.m. on August 23, 2017

Carnell’s Funeral Home
329 Freshwater Road
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10:30am, Thursday August 24th

The Carnell Memorial Chapel
329 Freshwater Road
View on Map


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He was one of the best, most entertaining, and memorable professors I had at MUN. Visiting St. John’s now and reminiscing. I searched his name and was very saddened to read of his passing.
Ed Cavin

Keir, Peter, Paddy,

I was terribly sorry to hear about your loss. Your Dad was hands down my favourite professor. I still think often of the courses I took from him and the issues he discussed with us regarding Newfoundland, its history, character and literature.

Mark Crosbie

To the O’Flaherty Family
So sorry and saddened to learn of Patrick’s sudden passing. We share in your loss and are rembered in our thoughts and prayers.
Dorothy and Bob MacLeod

Keir, Peter, Paddy and family
I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you. Your dad was legendary.

To the O’Flaherty Family :

I am so sorry to hear of your loss.

My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.

Bernedette, Mary and family, please accept our sincerest condolences on your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time.

I was devastated to hear this news. Patrick was a favorite professor back in my university days and we shaed many a long chat about literature, life, the universe and all manner of things in his ofice. If there is a place ‘we all go’ then Patrick is there having a grand discourse with o the many people who have gone before him that he has always wanted to meet. My love to the familyespecially my old friend Paddy. I loved your dad like my own.

I was shocked and very sad to hear about Patrick’s passing. He was a kind friend to our family. Sincere condolences at this sad time.

Marjorie and family. Thinking of you at this difficult time.

Oh, what a loss! I am so grateful to have known him and to have worked with him at MUN: an inspiring leader with amazing energy! I learned so much from him and, as Jerry Varsava has said so well, we “new people” in the English Department learned to relish his twinkle of mischief and his wisdom. Betsy Epperly

I am deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the untimely passing of one my greater professors in my academic pursuits. I am the grateful beneficiary of his impressive scholarship and inspiring pedagogy delivered so magnificently by Patrick O’ Faherty in his Newfoundland Literature course. Newfoundland and Labrador has lost one its best.

I was greatly saddened to learn of Patrick’s passing. He played an important and convivial role during the early years of my career at MUN. I shall ever remain grateful for many collegial kindnesses. No one could do a mischievous glint in the eye quite so well as Patrick. He packed a lot of living into one life. Sincere condolences to the O’Flaherty family.

We are so sorry for the tragic loss of Patrick we are sending prayers yo the whole family especially Bernadette Raeleen and families .

Dear Marjorie,
Please accept of deepest condolences on the sudden passing of your husband. His immeasurable contributions to Newfoundland and Labrador will never be forgotten. May you know you are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

Keir and family,
I was saddened and shocked to read of your fathers passing, like many Newfoundlanders I knew your father from his tv appearances and his writings. Always a very insightful man and a passionate Newfoundlander. I want to pass on my sincere condolences

Peter, Heidi, Sarah and Jack
Our condolences to you all.. Thinking of you.

The O’Flaherty Family,

Our sincere condolences to you all at this most difficult time. Your Father has made a lasting contribution to this Province that will be long remembered.

Peter, Heidi and family,
Thinking of you all today and every day as your mourn the loss of your dad. May the outpouring of affection at this time bring you some comfort and peace as you remember him….

Dear Marjorie

We are deeply saddened by the news about Patrick. What a a shock it must have been for you. You and all your family are in our thoughts at this sad time.

Catherine & Niall Gogan

My condolences to all the family. Always a pleasure to have a conversation with Dr. O’Flaherty.

Dear, dear, Marjorie,
I am at a loss for words…… There are none to express this tremendous loss of a great man and husband I am away but wish I could be there for you.
I know Patrick was your great love. Our deepest and sincere condolences to his children and to you, my darling girl

Korona and Bill Brophy

Dear Marjorie and family. What a sad and unexpected event! My heartfelt condolences. I know Patrick’s death has left an immense hole in your life and heart, and for those of us in Newfoundland studies there is a hole of a different sort, but nonetheless one that is hard to fill. Patrick’s contributions were immeasurable but if I might mention a personal one, the Duley family will always be grateful for his inclusion of Margaret’s work in his anthology and in various articles. With deepest sympathy.

O’Flaherty Family….thinking of you all at this difficult time. Extending my heartfelt sympathy!

My deepest condolences to the O’Flaherty family on the sudden passing of Patrick. My prayers go out to you all.

Marjorie and the O’Flaherty Family
We extend our sincere condolences to you all on Patrick’s sudden passing. His contributions will remain in memories and print.

Marjorie & Family
Please accept our sincere condolences at the passing of Patrick. Our thoughts and prayers go to you all at this time and may the days ahead not be filled with sorrow but love and wonderful memories of the one you loved. God Bless.

Marjorie and family,
We were deeply saddened to hear of Patrick’s sudden passing. We certainly enjoyed our friendship with Patrick over wonderful conversations , story telling and meals. We appreciate his contributions to our history and culture. May you be comforted by the treasured memories of your lives together and may they help to ease the sorry that you feel at this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and we hope to see you soon.

Marjorie, our hearts and prayers are with you on the loss of Patrick. May the memories of your life together sustain you through your sorrow. May he Rest In Peace.

Dear Marjorie and family: Dr. O’Flaherty taught me Newfoundland Literature at MUN and he was teacher par excellence. His name will be long remembered in the hearts of many. He lived a full life: “Is it so small a thing to have enjoyed the sun, To have lived light in the spring, To have loved, to have thought, to have done..”.Matthew Arnold. Celebrate his life in the midst of your sorrow that he made a positive difference in the lives of many and contributed so much to our province. I know there are no words to ease the pain of loss but to know that others care about you during this journey.

At this very sad time, our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. O’Flaherty’s family and friends, especially my old friend and team mate Paddy. I will remember Dr. O’Flaherty well as a smiling (but fiercely competitive) face at places like the St. Bon’s Forum, Brother O’Heheir Arena and other places we gathered. He was one of the parents from the old St. Pius X neighbourhood that made it a great place to grow up. His legacy will be sustained by his written works that have preserved NL history and most importantly through his three strong sons and their children. God bless Dr. O’Flaherty.

My condolences to all of Patrick’s family and friends.

Both Baymen, we were fellow students at MUN and at the University of London, England. Though we were long-term colleagues at MUN, we carefully avoided personal issues. Only once did Pat say something personal to me. So may I now say something personal about him, in my three rhymes shown below:


for Patrick O’Flaherty, 1939 – 2017

Your body moved
in quick precisions,
matching your spirit’s
swift decisions.

You camouflaged your
deepest caring,
with endless work
and fluent swearing!

You did not die
in senseless slaughter;
you swam to sleep
in sacred water.

– Harold Paddock

This is a grievous loss, for Marjorie and the rest of Patrick’s family, and for Newfoundland.

Dear Paddy,
Very sorry to hear of the tragic loss of your farther.
Please accept our sympathy.
Wallace and Rosanne Pinhorn

Majorie, I can not imagine what this is like for you. That a beloved might die is accepted. That your beloved died so suddenly having a swim is unimaginable. But it happened.
I can not say how sad I am, brilliant Patrick still in his prime, leaving you with an open wound. Depend on time, the great healer. I am thinking of you.

Dear Paddy, Peter and Keir,
Very sorry to hear about your Dad’s recent passing. Please accept my deepest condolences and blessings.

Your Father was a writer and contributor of NL. history, language, culture, politics, and the current events of the day. I always looked forward to reading your Dad’s columns in the local papers. Most of the time I agreed with his positions as he was one of the forerunners in advocating for a forward thinking province but also to remember the past.

God Bless and I am sure the ones that have gone before your Dad are looking forward to his opinions.

Brian O’Grady and Family

To Majorie and all the O’Flaherty extended family.
Especially Bernadette,,Mary .Rosaleen and Fabian
Out thoughts and prayers are with you all at this sad time.We have many great memories of taking part in the Northern Bay Races and having Paddy present medals to all finishers at a picnic in the family garden in front the house. A sad loos to the family and our province.

The O’Flaherty Family,
Sincere condolences to you all. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

Our sincere condolences to the O’Flaherty and Doyle families at this shocking and sad time ! Our prayers and thoughts are with you all .

So sorry Roseleen to hear your brother passed away . Thinking of you and your family . Hugs .
It has been awhile since I have seen you but you are slways remembered . ❤️

We are so sorry for the tragic loss your family is feeling. Please know that friends are thinking of your family and sending you all warm thoughts.

Lisa, Sophie & Charlotte

Good-bye, Paddy, Corpus Christi school house chum. Rest in peace

To Keir (and family) – So, so sad to learn of your father’s death. Please accept my condolences to you and yours during this difficult time.

To Marjorie and the rest of Patrick’s family: I was stunned and saddened by the news. I’ve known Patrick since I was 14 and it feels like the end of an era. Patrick was a wonderful man and I enjoyed reconnecting with him when I lived in St John’s a few years ago, and on my visits home. I will surely miss these get-togethers. My thoughts are with you.

When I was an undergraduate Dr. O’Flaherty ignited in me not only a passion for literature and Newfoundland heritage but also a life – long love of learning– a passion which I hope I passed onto my students during my subsequent 32 years as a high school English teacher. Undoubtedly he will go down in the annals of the Newfoundland history he loved so well. Rest in peace and condolences to all who knew him best.

Had the good fortune of taking four English courses with Professor O’Flaherty. Never missed one class. No more has to be said about this engaging personality and academic.

To all the O’Flaherty’s. I was very sad to hear of your dads passing. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.


Marjorie, Our deepest condolences go out to you, The Doyle & O`flaherty Family. We can not imagine what you have gone through. Praying for you all at this sad time. God- Bless.

Paddy, Claire, Fiona and Sue

So sorry to hear of your loss. Our deepest condolences, know that our thoughts are with you.

I am Patrick’ s first cousin. His Mom Jane and my Dad, Dominic Howell, were brother and sister. My Dad left Newfoundland many years ago and lived in New Waterford where he married My Mom and had six children. As a result we never met most of you.
I would sincerely like you to know that I am very saddened by Patrick’s death. I offer you my sincere condolence and hope that God will guide you along to get through your tremendous loss.

My heart aches and is saddened to hear about the loss of my cousin, Patrick. To his family, my sincerest condolences. St. John’s lost a prominent citizen for sure. I met Patrick and some of his family members many years ago. I used to teach in NL and attended my brother’s wedding in 1977….. Phonse and Bev Howell. Aunt Jane and my mother, Dorothy Markotjohn were sisters. Sending you all love and
prayers. Hope you find comfort and strength in his memories. There is another angel around the throne tonight. God bless all of you.
Edie (Markotjohn) Roach

I first met Pat O’flaherty as a young Reach for The Top contestant in January 1982. In the years since, it’s been my great privilege to call Pat my teacher and my friend.
It was through his tutelage, I first read King Lear and the Cantebury Tales.; And though I will never be the writer he was, it was Pat who first encouraged me to write. Today, as a High School Theatre director, I still look to that encouragement as my guide..
As an exchange student in London and France, Pat welcomed me into his flat in Bayswater and his chateau in Lexos. Due to his incredible generosity I enjoyed many delicious meals, not to mention my first opera ( Rigoletto).
In the last few days, He’s been called a great Newfoundlander and Prolific writer. In addition to these very deserving accolades, may I say that Pat O’flaherty was a friendly , generous and incredibly decent man. As much as I will miss his friendship I cannot begin to imagine the loss his family is feeling. My deepest condolences and my heart go out to Peter, Kerr, Paddy and Majorie.

John Battcock

Dear Marjorie,
Pat was a very special friend, always so bright and interesting, and a person of towering achievement.
Our deepest sympathy for your loss.
Sid Noel and Carol Hargreaves

I want you to know, Fabian and Family Members, that you are very much in my thoughts at present. God bless. Jim

Marjorie -I was so shocked and saddened by the news of your husbands sudden passing!! I remember him from my time on Reach for the Top in the 70’s !! May all your many loving memories help you through this very difficult time Doris

Marjorie -I was so shocked and saddened by the news of your husbands sudden passing!! I remember him from my time on Reach for the Top in the 70’s !! May all your many loving memories help you through this very difficult time Doris (Mayo )

Marjorie -I was so shocked and saddened by the news of your husbands sudden passing!! I remember him from my time on Reach for the Top in the 70’s !! May all your many loving memories help you through this very difficult time Doris (Mayo )

Dear Marjorie:

So sorry to hear about Patrick.

Kindest regards

Graham Wakeham

To Paddy’s Families; My Condolence
I work with his Mom & Dad for years. I meet each one of the children when they were very young. I visited Paddy last summer when he was doing some repairs on his summer home in Ochre Pit Cove. We sat on the picnic table on a sunny day and chatted for over an hour. I could sit and chat with Paddy for hours. Newfoundland has lost another Intelligent, witty and important person. RIP Paddy ! GOD Bless you all.

Didn’t know you well, Patrick, but we often spoke and I had a lot of respect for you. My sincere condolences to an old friend, Marjorie.

“Patrick was an independent Newfoundlander. He was smart, funny, self-effacing, hard working. He was a scholar and teacher and an accomplished man of letters.”

Dear Member’s of Patrick’s family,

All of this epitaph is true to my experience. I knew Dr O’Flaherty as a great teacher. I had been a lover of literature before encountering him, but grew in appreciation through his lectures and his interest in each of us in his classes. I will continue to think of him as I read Dr. Johnson, John Donne, and others of that period, and I have a continuing interest in developments in Newfoundland writing from doing that course with him.

My deepest sympathy on your great loss.
Patricia Donnelly

Keir, Peter and Paddy, our condolences to you and your families on the loss of your dad. Thinking of you.
Connie Fleming and Jeff Purcell


I am shocked and saddened to learn of Pat’s passing. I spoke with him briefly last year at the Symposium on the Book and he was as vigorous and assertive as ever. He made a singular contribution to Newfoundland Studies and was a legendary teacher. I wish you and the families consolation in the many wonderful memories he must have left you.

Dear Marjorie,
We are deeply saddened by Patrick’s untimely passing. Our prayers and thoughts are with you. Our deepest sympathy to you and family.

Dominic & Paula

Mary, Bernadette and families, my condolences to you on the tragic loss of your brother, Patrick. May you be comforted by your precious memories and receive strength from the love and support of family and friends.

Marjorie. Our sincere condolences to you, the Doyle and O’Flaherty families at this sad time . Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

My condolences to Patrick’s family. He was a lovely man, always a pleasure to talk with, a delight to know and appreciate. He did much to encourage scholarship and his books remain a fine legacy. He has left us too soon.

Peter, Keir and Paddy,
So sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. He was a wonderful man. My deepest condolences to you all during this difficult time.

Keir, so sorry about the loss of your father. My thoughts and prayers along with those from the people you worked with at MUN Bookstore.

Sorry to hear of Patrick O”Flaherty’s passing. He was one of my boyhood acquaintances in Northern Bay more than 60 years ago. Even then, he was a very knowledgeable person who was known for his intellect.
Ralph Dale

Peter, Heidi and Family.

Our sincere condolences on your loss and please know that we are thinking of you during this difficult time. On behalf of your friends at Ocean Choice International we wish to express our deepest sympathy. While we know that words are only a small gesture of support during this difficult time it is important to reflect with your family and friends on all the wonderful times you enjoyed with Patrick. He was a hard working individual who was respected and liked by all. I am sure he will be truly missed, but you should take solace in the treasured memories as they will remain in your hearts forever and will help you and your family through this difficult time.

Marjorie, my condolences go out to you, the Doyle and O’flaherty families. May the prayers and thoughtfulness of others help you all through this sad and difficult time. You are in my prayers and thoughts. May Patrick rest in peace.

My sincere condolences to your family at this time. Dr. O’Flaherty was a professor of mine in 1992. I had a passing fondness for poetry before taking his poetry class, then absolutely fell in love with it through his enthusiasm and passionate teaching. I’ll always remember how he loved Seamus Heaney’s poem, “Digging,” and how it left a mark on me. Tennyson’s “Crossing the Bar” came quickly to mind when I heard of his passing.

Again, my sincere condolences. May it bring you comfort to know what a wonderful difference he made for so many others.

It is sad to say goodbye to a friend of nearly 60 years. I shall miss his wit, wisdom and fellowship. Condolences to the family. Requiescat in pace.

Dear Paddy, Peter and Keir,

I am very sorry to learn of the passing of your father. May he rest in peace.

The O’Flaherty Family,
My sympathy to your family.
Dr. Patrick O’Flaherty was a frequent visitor to the university library, and I had the pleasure of serving him over the years. He was a lovely person.
God Bless.

Donna Barron
QEII Library

So sorry to hear of the sudden passing of Patrick. I got to know Pat through working at CBC on the show “Reach For The Top”. It was always a pleasure working with him.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and the family.
God Bless

Padraic and family,
Passing along my deepest symphaties to you all. Condolences, Love and Peace.

My sincere condolences on hearing of Dr Patrick’s passing. I remember when Peter and I, along with Jim Efford and Joe Shapter, represented Brother Rice as the school’s Reach for the Top team. Dr Patrick was the judge and he gave us a very good motivational speech before we went on air.


Sorry to learn of the passing of your father. My condolences to the family.

Sincere sympathy to the family. May Paddy rest in peace.

Dear Marjorie,
I am so thankful we visited with both of you last week. Thinking of you and all the family during this very difficult time.

Dear Marjorie,
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your families during this difficult time. So sorry for the loss of your beloved Patrick.
Your friend,

So sorry for your loss. My prayers and thoughts are with Patrick’s family. Keep your memories alive, they will help you through this difficult time.

Barb Ashley

To my dear friend Marjorie,
My heartfelt condolences to you and your family. May your memories of Patrick sustain you through this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with you always. Love Anne Marie