Marie Flanagan Halstead, age 94, lifelong resident of Bridgeport and widow of Bridgeport Fire Department Lieutenant Robert E. Halstead, Sr., died Sunday, September 2, 2018, in her home, surrounded by her loving family. Born in Bridgeport on August 13, 1924, she was the fifth of eight children born to Irish immigrants, the late Michael Joseph Flanagan from Sligo and Mary Conroy Flanagan from Galway. Marie attended St. Augustine School in Bridgeport, and at the age of sixteen, she graduated third in her class from Central High School in Bridgeport; Marie graduated from St. Joseph’s College, Emmitsburg, Maryland, where she was elected to Kappa Gamma Pi, and she received a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Bridgeport. In her forty-year teaching career, Marie taught English and Business at Central High School and Read Middle School in Bridgeport. She was a lay member of the original faculty at Notre Dame High school in Bridgeport. Marie was also a Business instructor at Sacred Heart University. Forty years ago, in September 1978, Marie was one of the Bridgeport teaching workforce arrested and imprisoned at Camp Hartell in Windsor Locks during the Bridgeport Teachers’ strike. The strike drew national attention and became the catalyst for not only binding arbitration laws but stronger union laws and teachers’ rights. Marie lovingly devoted her entire life to her family, to her faith, and to education.
She is survived by six children: Joan Marie Halstead of Rochester, NY; Mary Ellen Halstead of Bridgeport, CT; Robert Edward. Jr. of Bridgeport; Dr. John M. Halstead and his wife, Dr. Deborah Jankura, of Lee, New Hampshire; Mark R. Halstead and his wife Sharon of Fairfield; Elizabeth and her husband James Keefe of Milford, and daughter-in-law Joan Carty of Norwalk. She also leaves behind her beloved grandchildren: Conor Halstead and his wife Kiersten, Catherine Halstead, Garrett Halstead, Kevin Grant, Jeremy Halstead, Amy Halstead, Emily Halstead, Bridget Halstead, Samuel Halstead, Margaret-Agnes Halstead, Patrick Keefe, Robert Keefe, and Bryan Keefe, and many cherished nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by brothers Bernard J. Flanagan, John M. Flanagan (USAAC), and James M. Flanagan, and sisters Peggy Flanagan, Irene Reynolds, T. Dorothy Money, and Agnes Flanagan; sisters-in-law Doris Beardsworth and Bette Flanagan; and brothers-in-law John Halstead, Paul A. Reynolds, and Ralph J. Money, Jr.
The family would like to extend heartfelt thanks to Marie’s caregivers, including long-time companions and friends, Pauline Mendez, Liz Singh, and Deolinda Alves.
A mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, September 8th , at 10:00 am, at St. Andrew’s Church, 435 Anton Street, Bridgeport, where Marie was elected to the first lay advisory board. Her cousin, Monsignor Michael Flanagan of Columbia, Missouri, will officiate. Interment will be in St. Michael’s Cemetery. Friends may call on Friday September 7 from 4:00 -8:00 p.m. at Larson Funeral Home, 2496 North Avenue, Bridgeport. Memorial donations may be made to Notre Dame Catholic High School Scholarship Fund, 220 Jefferson Street, Fairfield, CT.