Herta E. Flannery, 87, of Sun City and Phoenix, died Dec. 13 at Hospice of the Valley’s Ryan House after a brief illness.
Herta was born Oct. 27, 1928 in Königsberg an der Eger, Czech. and attended teachers college until the outbreak of World War II. She fled Czechoslovakia in 1946 with her soon-to-be husband, Jim, a captain in the U.S. Army then occupying the Sudetenland. When Russian troops began conscripting Czech citizens to work in Russian factories, Herta was disguised in a G.I. uniform and spirited out of the country in a Jeep by her future husband and the love of her life.
She and her husband went to work for a United Nations organization relocating postwar refugees throughout Europe. They married in a chapel at Germany’s Regensburg Cathedral in 1947, and left for the United States shortly after that. Herta became a naturalized U.S. citizen on Aug. 14, 1951. Her husband’s career as a U.S. diplomat took her all over the world, to Japan, Okinawa, Bolivia, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. While raising four children, Herta entertained heads of state and foreign dignitaries with class and style.
She nonetheless was a humble lady of many talents. She spoke four languages, played the piano and accordion expertly, was a wonderful cook and crocheted beautiful blankets for every baby she knew. She could also draw and paint beautifully, even though she would deny it. She always put others first, and loved her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren deeply.
Herta and Jim spent their early retirement years in Elizabeth City and Cape Hatteras, N.C., where they fished together. Herta once won a trophy at the Cape Hatteras Anglers Club Fishing Tournament. They moved to Sun City, Ariz. in 2000 to be near their son Patrick’s family. They traveled throughout the West and to Europe together until Jim’s death in 2005. Herta continued to enjoy participation in Sun City’s craft clubs until she moved to The Beatitudes in Phoenix in 2014.
She is survived by her son Jim (Sandy), of Pembroke Pines, Fla.; daughters Heidemarie, of San Antonio, Texas, and Shannon Soltis, of Snow Camp, N.C., son Patrick (Ellen), of Phoenix, sister Gertraud Züber of Berching, Germany, nine grandchildren, three great grandchildren, two nieces and countless grand-animals and friends.
A private family service will be held graveside at Arlington National Cemetery, where she will be laid to rest with her husband.Print Obituary & Condolences