Charles “Chuck” Flanagan died on September 8, 2021 in Oak Ridge, TN, after a short illness. He was the son of Paul John and Mabel Celia (Bloomquist) Flanagan.
Born on October 14, 1931, in Indiana County, PA, he earned an undergraduate degree in engineering physics at Lafayette College, Easton, PA, the first in his family to complete college. Through the ROTC program he joined the army, where he was able to assist in the Nevada atomic bomb tests in 1955. He then joined Westinghouse Electric Company at the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory in Pittsburgh where he met his wife, the former Jane Pell.
Chuck was active for forty years in technical management of nuclear fission and fusion programs. At Bettis he contributed to the design of the Shippingport Atomic Power Station, the first commercial nuclear plant. Later, he managed the nuclear engineering department, responsible for reactors in more than 100 ships in the nuclear navy. In 1975, he became a project manager in the newly formed Westinghouse fusion program. He moved to Oak Ridge, TN in 1980 to become Deputy Manager of the Fusion Engineering Design Center at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He was the US delegate to the International Thermonuclear Reactor (INTOR), a collaboration of the US, European Community, USSR and Japan, which led to the creation of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). He spent 3 years in Munich as project coordinator for the ITER conceptual design phase. Upon his return to Oak Ridge, he served as Deputy Team Leader of the US ITER program. He retired from full-time professional activities in 1995, and continued as an international consultant and scientific advisor until 1998.
Chuck enjoyed the outdoors. He was active in golf, tennis, swimming, biking, hiking, and Tai Chi. He was a proud member of the morning swimming group “Swimmin Wimmin.” He climbed to the summit of each of the official 48 highest peaks in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and completed a month-long trek in the Annapurna Mountains of Nepal. During his career and following retirement, he and Jane traveled to locations around the world, including to each of the seven continents. Following retirement, he and Jane spent six summers as staff members at a YMCA family camp in New Hampshire, a camp they loved as campers every summer since 1968. The young adult staff members knew Chuck as “Blue,” a nickname he treasured.
His survivors include: his wife, Jane, their daughter Cathy (and husband Andrew Flint), grandchildren Evelyn and Alan Flint, their son Bill (and wife Ann Norelli) and grandchildren Miles and Mia Flanagan. His sister, Betty Lou Little, survives him. Two brothers, Norman Roy McCurdy and Ronald Eugene Flanagan, and his sister Dorothy Mildred Chambers preceded him in death.
A celebration of his life will be held at Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church when it is safe to gather again in person. Contributions to the charity of your choice in his honor are suggested. Cremation services were provided by Jackson Funeral Services, Oliver Springs, TN.
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