Obituaries
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Clason (Clay) John O’Flanagan, 59, of Buffalo, MN died on Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, MN. Clay was born May 7, 1961 in Buffalo, MN, to John (Jack) and Delores (Robasse) O’Flanagan and was the oldest of four boys. He grew up in Buffalo and graduated from Buffalo High School in 1979. In his youth, Clay loved sports, dancing, DJ’ing during lunch at school, and socializing with all his friends. In 1977, he met the love of his life, high school sweetheart, and soulmate Deb (Moore). They were married September 29, 1979 at Zion Lutheran Church in Buffalo where Clay became a member. Their love was bountiful, balanced, and caring, making them a perfect pair who were truly meant for each other. On April 11, 1982 they welcomed their first daughter, Jamie Lynn, and May 18, 1985 their second daughter, Sara Marie which made their family complete.

For most of Clay’s life, he worked as a machinist, but due to medical circumstances, he began driving bus for Greyhound out of Minneapolis, MN and eventually became the Supervisor of Driver Operations. In December 2007, Clay began driving school bus for the Buffalo/Hanover/Montrose school district, and retired in 2020. Clay loved kids and always had a smile on his face greeting those who rode on his bus.

Clay LOVED to fish and spend time at his and Deb’s cabin on Stalker Lake. Being out on any lake, and fishing, were two of Clay’s favorite activities. He proudly had many of his ‘trophies’ mounted on the wall at their cabin. He had a passion for woodworking and made beautiful and intricate gifts for so many people. Clay also loved to travel with his family. Clay and Deb visited all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and various places in the Caribbean. He attended an Alpha retreat with Jamie, which is about receiving the Holy Spirit, and he took Sara to Las Vegas for the first time (they even came out ahead!). A very memorable trip for Clay was spending 5 weeks with Deb driving to Alaska and touring the entire state.

Clay dedicated most of his life volunteering for numerous organizations. He was a proud member of the Lion’s club and served many roles leading up to becoming a District Governor in 2009-2010. He was a member of MEADA, a Boy Scout leader, called bingo at Parkview Care Center in Buffalo, worked in the Buffalo Community Center Toy Shop, the Buffalo Fishing Klinic for Kids, Bison Fishing Forever, a big brother in the Big Brother/Sister program, and a member of Life Source which brought awareness to organ donation. Clay also started a transplant support group after he had his kidney transplant on April 15, 1993. Clay’s youngest brother Tony donated a kidney to Clay which allowed him to spend almost 28 more years with his family and be his daughters’ Sunday School teacher, basketball coach, Girl Scout Leader, cheerleader at volleyball games, watch Sara in the Buffalo Marching Band, drive Miss Buffalo candidates in parades (including Jamie), a mentor, role model and best friend.

Clay was a very outgoing person who had many friends from all walks of life. You could find him, almost daily, having coffee with his best friend Tim Hance and the rest of the boys. Frequently, when Clay would see a person wearing a Veteran’s hat, he would approach them, ask about their time served, thank them for their service, then pay for their meal. When at the cabin, Clay would be out on the water every day fishing with neighbors John and Ron, telling jokes, and reeling in the big fish. He was also an extremely proud grandpa to Mackenzie and Jackson. He taught them how to play basketball, golf, be the ‘net’ girl or boy, how to drive the boat and school bus, and of course, fish. There are no words to describe how proud, and happy, he was to be a grandpa.

Clay is survived by his wife of 41+ years, Deb; daughters Jamie (David) Parks and their children, Mackenzie and Jackson of Waverly, Sara (Troy) Winter of Moorhead, youngest brother Anthony (Tony) O’Flanagan and his fiancé Tracy Farnick of Montrose, sister-in-law, Darla O’Flanagan of Chanhassen, lifelong childhood friend, Tim Hance of Rockford, dogs Bandit and Buster, and many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Jack and Delores O’Flanagan, brother Joseph, maternal grandparents Lawrence and Georgiana Robasse, paternal grandparents, Clason O’Flanagan and Helen O’Flanagan (Walter) Bolstad, father and mother-in-law, De L. and Ruth E. (Clay’s Gilligan) Moore, niece Ashley Johnson, and granddaughters Abbigail Ruth Winter and Baby Parks. Shortly following Clay’s passing, his brother Lawrence also passed away.

Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, September 18th at the Buffalo American Legion, 304 10th Ave S, Buffalo, MN 55313 with a Memorial Service beginning at 11:00 AM. with lunch following. After lunch until 4:00 pm, we plan to Celebrate Clay’s life, share memories and stories, visit, look at pictures, play his favorite songs, sing and have a great time like Clay would want.  ENTER IN THE DOOR FACING WEST as that is the event area that will not be open to the public.  There is also parking on that side of the building.

Please RSVP before Sept. 1 (new date) to busy_mom_deb@hotmail.com if you are planning on attending if you haven’t done so already!!  Lunch is being catered and we want to make sure we have enough food!!

DRESS: Very casual – wear your fishing gear if you’d like!!

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to The Peterson Chapel, Buffalo, MN.  On-line condolences can be made at www.thepetersonchapel.com

33 Guestbook Entries

  1. Gloria (Provo) de Meireles

    We extend our condolences to the family of Clay O’Flanagan, son of our late cousin Delores (Robasse). May Clay rest in peace and his family find comfort.

    Reply
  2. CHARMEIN GOSSEN

    My prayers go out to you and your family. Charmein

    Reply
  3. Tim & Crystal Juven

    Sending you our deepest condolences during this difficult time, along with God’s love and comfort.

    Reply
  4. Sue

    My deepest condolences! My prayers and thoughts are with all of you. All of us were truly blessed to have Clay grace our life’s.
    Sue Spike

    Reply
  5. WALTER JUDD

    DEB AND FAMILY SO SAD TO HEAR ABOUT CLAY. I WILL BE PRAYING FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.WE HAD A LOT OF FUN CALLING BINGO.

    Reply
  6. Doug Gorton

    Clay was a great man and a wonderful father to his daughters. Sorry for your loss.

    Reply
  7. Terry M Wyman

    RIP you will live on in the kids and grandkids. We Love you and see you above!!

    Reply
  8. Tony O'Flanagan

    I’m sad to see you go, but no more pain. I love you my big brother

    Reply
  9. Daniel Reich

    Deb and girls, my deepest sympathies to you at the loss of your husband and father. My prayers are with you.

    Reply
  10. Karen OFlanagan

    Deb, Our deepest sympathy to you and your family. Clay always made me feel so welcome at family gatherings. Look for comfort from friends, family and God.
    Karen, Kevin and Aiden O’Flanagan

    Reply
  11. John A Silvernale

    Can imagine Clay with fishing pole in hand, getting the go ahead from St. Peter. Asking him where the nearest fishing hole was and could he get his Dad & brother to join him. Great guy, will miss him.

    Reply
  12. Ilene macpherson

    What a beautiful tribute Sara and Troy, sending our prayers and hugs. Abigail will be welcoming grandpa home.

    Reply
  13. Stage Family

    Our deepest sympathy to you and your family. Clay will be remembered fondly by our family.
    Prayers and hugs.

    Reply
  14. Lee and Carol Kjesbo

    Deb, Jamie, and Sara, Please accept our sympathy at your loss. He was way to young. This has been a difficult time for you. Know that so many people are supporting you in the coming months. I have fun memories of Clay through the BHS Band.

    Reply
  15. Brent Ambuehl

    Such a fun loving spirit. Never a dull moment when I was around you. Thank you for allowing me into your families life. You’ll be missed.

    Reply
  16. Chris Chastek

    Our deepest sympathy and condolences to you and your family. Clay was a great man, and wonderful friend to so many. He will be deeply missed by all. Hugs and prayers for you all.

    Reply
  17. Susan Westphal

    Clay had a heart of gold, and was like a second father. Thanks for all the great memories! You will always remain in our hearts. -Susan W.

    Reply
  18. Pam Doughton

    Jamie and family, my condolences and my prayers to carry you through this time. My thoughts are with you.

    Reply
  19. Betty Krutzig-Young

    Clay has “fought the good fight, he has finished the race and has kept the faith.” Rejoicing that he is in heaven with the Lord and fully healed! We are continuing to pray for peace, comfort and strength for you, Deb, the girls, and all of your family.
    Love, Betty & Roger Young

    Reply
  20. Gretchen Bergman

    Deb and the girls I am so sorry my heart is hurting 💔 and I am praying for you all

    Love Gretchen Bergman

    Reply
  21. Todd Lundeen

    Debbie and family, so sorry to hear of Clay’s passing. You are in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

    Reply
  22. Carla Klingelhoets

    My heart is breaking for you all. Clay was a Magnificent Human Being and a Precious child of the King! The angels are rejoicing while all who knew and loved him are Heartbroken. I am so sorry for your unimaginable Loss. May God comfort you during this time of grief. I also pray you find some kind of peace knowing you will see him a gain one day in Paradise! God Bless you all.

    Reply
  23. Carla Klingelhoets

    My heart is breaking for your unimaginable loss dear ones. Clay was an Incredible Human being and a Precious Child of the King. As your hearts are breaking with the uncertainty and heartache of your Loss, I Pray you eventually find some peace and healing knowing Clay is wrapped up in Our Saviors arms in Paradise and you will see him again someday. Until that day this place we call home for now….will be a little less bright with out Clays Living Large presence of Laughter, Love and Generosity of Heart. May God Bless you and Hold you close as you Grieve this Great man.

    Reply
  24. Diana Heins

    My prayers go out to you and your family.

    Reply
  25. C. LeRoy Erickson

    Ms Deb and family you are in my thoughts and prayers. I have a lot of great memories from your high school days and a great deal of respect for all the volunteer work that the two of you have done. Clay often drove bus for our sporting teams and he was so positive with the kids. I am truly very sorry. Sincerely, C. LeRoy Erickson

    Reply
  26. Russ and Pam Johnson

    Deb and family we will always remember Clay and his zest for living and helping make the world a better place. His many hours given to children and especially girls made differences in so many young lives. He was one of a kind who brought smiles wherever he went. We are sorry for the loss of Clay.

    Reply
  27. Sam Pokorney

    After getting cut from the 6th grade traveling basketball team (maybe 1994?), I begrudgingly signed up for the house Junior Bison league and ended up on a team coached by Clay and Tony. I have always remembered it as being the most fun season of any team sport I have ever played – Clay helped turn a big bummer into a great experience. Sad to hear of Clay’s passing and my thoughts are with his family.

    Reply
  28. Rodney & Audrey Pletan

    Our prayers go out to you and your family.

    Reply
  29. MARIE c PIETROBONI

    Sending my heartfelt condolences to you, Deb, and your family.
    May your many memories of life with Clay help you through this difficult time.

    Reply
  30. MARIE PIETROBONI

    Sending my heartfelt condolences to you, Deb, and your family.
    May your many memories of your life with Clay help you through
    this difficult time.

    Reply
  31. Barb Johnson

    May all those wonderful memories ease the pain of your loss. Thinking of you, Praying for you and your family.

    Reply
  32. Mary (Tighe) Egan

    You were larger than life during high school and were always a good friend. We had so much fun back then! Heaven has gained another angel. You will be missed

    Reply
  33. Willie Krause

    Clay coached my daughter Katelyn in basketball. He touched many in the community in many ways. Good memories of a good man.

    Reply

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