Albert C. Flaherty, Jr.




Al Flaherty was born in Boston, Massachusetts on July 31, 1924, and passed away April 7, 2005 in Phoenix, Arizona after a short illness.

Al worked most of his adult life for the United States Postal Service in Phoenix. After retirement he spent several years working on various ocean-going cruise ships as a tour director. In his later years he enjoyed traveling

 the western United States in his pickup and camper. He especially enjoyed the summers in Colorado.

He was preceded in death by Michael Flaherty, his eldest son. His survivors are: daughter Trisha Shearer of Phoenix, daughters Cathy Devitte and Karyn Oard of Sedona; a son  Joseph Flaherty of Phoenix; grandchildren

 Laura, Chantille, Allisa, Christopher, David and Michelle, and great-grandchildren Emily and Jacob, all of Phoenix.

Three siblings also survive him: Ruth Erwin of Lake Isabella, California, Jean Sharp of Scottsdale, Arizona, and Alf Hansen of Deland, Florida. 


                Top: Al Flaherty, age 17

               Right: Al Flaherty, age 80





 On sailing the sea in the ocean within,

on a ship that’s so full of an absence of sin.


We start on our journey and be not afraid

to comfort the sick and be not dismayed.


For our guide on this sailing is the word for today,

with the comfort of Christhood we have on the way.


Three ships that do sail on a tumultuous sea,

but they are all one on this voyage you see.


As we’re told in the chart room in that moment we’re

Done, we’ll arrive in that harbor and all three will be one.


As we pause to reflect on this wonderful trip,

in a heaven of safety on the glorious ship.


The waters are calmed and we are at rest,

and as we settle our senses we are at our best.


The name of this vessel as we can plainly see,

has to be Sonship for you and for me.


by Al Flaherty, 11/19/1998




Bobbi Jo Erwin Mitchell



Bobbi Jo Erwin Mitchell was born in Cambridge, Kansas on January 5, 1942, and passed away on May 20, 2005  in Farmington, New Mexico after a long illness. Her parents were Ida Marydean Protzman and Jesse Carroll “Jim” Erwin. Her grandparents were Michael R. Erwin and Minnie Olive Freeman.

Her life was celebrated in a Native American Church memorial service on June 11, 2005 at Lukachukai, Arizona, and her ashes were spread on the Pacific Ocean out of Redondo Beach, California on June 22.


Bobbi Jo was preceded  in death by husband George C. Mitchell, who passed in 2004. She is survived by a son, Auska Mitchell, and his wife Beverly, of Phoenix, Arizona, and a daughter, Sherry Mitchell, of Lukachukai, Arizona. She is also survived by three grandsons and one granddaughter.

Bobbi Jo Erwin married George, an elementary school teacher, before she graduated from high school. Many young ladies of the era married young, often at the expense of their education. Bobbi Jo, on the other hand—no doubt influenced by her husband’s scholastic accomplishments—was determined to finish her education. Strongly encouraged and supported by her husband—who was a Navajo Native American and the first of his family to graduate from a college or university—she began her scholastic journey.

While George was teaching at Hanford and Lemoore schools just south of  Fresno, California, she first earned a high school GED certificate at a local college. She then received a BA at Fresno Pacific College in Fresno. Later, when her husband took a teaching job in Arizona, she enrolled at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. There she earned an MA, as well as an  Ed.D in Education. Most would agree that her accomplishments were evidence of drive and considerable determination, especially while working part time and raising two children.

Along the way she also earned several certificates in the education field, all recognized by both California and Arizona:

·    Clear Standard Elementary Teaching Credential, specializing in Behavioral Sciences

·    Clear Specialist Instruction Credential in Special Education. Authorized field: Learning


·    Clear Administration Services Credential

·    Clear Pupil Personal Services Credential, specialization in School Counseling and School Psychology

When Bobbi Jo retired in 2002 she worked as an administrator for the Lancaster School District in Lancaster, California.


Bruce Irving of Bonshaw

Bruce Irving, current Laird of Bonshaw and owner of the Bonshaw Tower and adjoining mansion, passed away June 8, 2005 at Bonshaw near Lockerbie, Scotland. The funeral ceremony was held at the Roucan Loch Crematorium, Dumfries, Scotland on June 14, 2005.

Bruce Irving was a direct descendent of the twelfth-century Irvings, and in his role as Laird was conscious of his place in history. He and his wife were often gracious hosts to descendents visiting from the United States and other parts of the world. He was active in the affairs and events of various organizations that promoted family research, and always seemed to find time to courteously answer questions via e-mail. He was a gentlemen of the old school. He will be mourned by his immediate family in Scotland, and will be missed by his friends and extended family around the world.