Pierce John Flanigan III, owner of P. Flanigan and Sons and Standard Equipment, died suddenly on Oct. 8, 2008. He was 66.
Coworkers describe Flanigan as an innovative, hard working and sincere man with strong moral fiber.
“He was a true and kind human being,” said Roy Neal, president of Standard Equipment. “He was well-known in Maryland. He was deeply involved in the business community and he was deeply involved in charitable organizations. He shared a lot of himself with a lot of people.”
Flanigan was active in the Maryland Asphalt Association, Maryland Highway Contractors Association and the Maryland Association of Engineers. His charity work included positions on the boards of Catholic Charities, Bryn Mawr School, Union Memorial Hospital and Chairman of the Gilman School Building Committee.
In addition to charity work, Flanigan cared deeply about construction. The great-grandson of Patrick Flanigan, founder of P. Flanigan and Sons, Pierce Flanigan III had been in the industry his whole life.
“He started working at the family business part-time while he was in college,” said Dave Nesbitt, executive vice president of P. Flanigan and Sons. “He had great vision about the future and he was determined to take a company that was relatively small in 1979 and move it to be a leader in the industry.”
He did this through his enthusiasm for new technology and new ideas. A Yale graduate, Flanigan is described by coworkers as an intellectual and an innovator, a man who was always willing to think about new ways of doing things.
“His success was in part that he understood that it was important to stay ahead of the curve,” said Nesbitt. “He hired good people and paid them well, and provided them with state-of-the-art equipment, whether it was computer technology, asphalt plants or construction equipment.”
In 1993, a longtime friend, Roy Neal, had an idea for a business. He had a plan to start a John Deere construction equipment dealership.
“I had an idea; he believed in it and made it financially possible,” said Neal. “He was a great friend and mentor.”
The idea became Standard Equipment Company, which flourished into a successful business with six locations in the states of Maryland and Delaware.
“We became the single source for John Deere Construction and Forestry equipment in Maryland, Delaware and Washington DC,” said Neal.
But Standard Equipment Company was just a small part of Pierce Flanigan’s accomplishments, according to Neal. Flanigan will be remembered for his work on many projects from taxiways, tarmacs and approach roads at Thurgood Marshall Airport, to widening and maintenance on the Baltimore Beltway and Jones Falls Expressway; to his transformation of P. Flanigan and Sons from a small contractor to a major player in Maryland’s construction industry. Most importantly, he will be remembered for his intellectual curiosity and his compassion for others.
Flanigan is survived by his wife, Susan Wilson Flanigan; sons, Pierce IV and Thomas; daughters Meghan and Emily (Hiller); his mother, Mary Ann, a brother, John, sisters Kathleen (Asmuth) and Anne (Emmett); and two grandchildren.
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