Congressman Cohen remembers ‘Mayor of Midtown’ Mark Flanagan

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) remembered his good friend and colleague and “Midtown Mayor,” Mark Flanagan, who died June 15, and issued the following statement:

“Mark Flanagan was considered the mayor of Midtown. He was a resident and supporter of Midtown Merchants for over 50 years. He was the founder of the St. Patrick’s Day Irish Eyes of Memphis pub crawl from downtown, ending in Overton Square. With Silky Sullivan and Thomas Boggs, the pub crawl was a boon to all the bars along the route. Mark has also been involved in many other community activities, including making Overton Square and Overton Park more pedestrian friendly. His impact on Memphis is immeasurable. He was a person of distinction in Overton Square from its earliest days and had the brainchild of the Cooper-Young development, which he nicknamed “Coopertown”, and owned some of the major real estate which he sold to Charlie Ryan, who developed this. Mark owned Plywood Paneling in the 1960s and 1970s and was involved in restoration ventures, advising Silky Sullivan, Bud Chittom and Thomas Boggs. Mark served on the state’s Democratic Executive Committee after his involvement in the draft-Ted Kennedy movement in 1980, and served as Kennedy’s delegate to the Democratic National Convention that year.

“Mark was a friend of thousands with a heart as big as the outdoors and an even bigger personality. He was a great friend and advisor. His life was well lived, he will be remembered well and he I will miss.

His Memphis family — his partner Brenda Ofenheusle, his daughters Margaret “Peggy” McNamara Flanagan and Hallie Goodman Flanagan, and his brother Dennis Flanagan — are planning a celebration of his life this summer.

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