Dr. John Keith Flanagan, “Keith” was a native of the Panhandle area having grew up in Texhoma. He was born April 6, 1948 to Leon Francis Jackson “Jack” and Rosella Lee Thrasher Flanagan. He passed away April 3, 2013.
After graduating from Texhoma High School in 1966, he went on to attend and graduate from Oklahoma Panhandle State University (1970) with a B.S. in Biology. Before graduating he met and married the love of his life, Jan. Keith and Jan Bullard were united in marriage on August 2, 1969 in Texhoma.
Keith was very active in clubs and organizations during his time at Panhandle State. To name a few of the organizations he was part of: President of Student Senate (1969), Delta Sigma Alpha Collegiate 4-H, Student Education Association, ROTC all four years of college, and so much more. He was presented the J.R.P. Sewell Award at graduation. After graduation, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He served with the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) as a Medical Service Officer for two years at Ft. Bragg, N.C. He returned to Panhandle State to take some Chemistry and Math classes to meet requirements to apply to Veterinary school. Keith taught in the Biology department the 1973-74 school year. He was accepted to Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine the fall of 1974 and graduated in 1978 with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. He then spent another two and a half years serving as a Captain in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps as group veterinarian for the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Ft. Bragg, N.C. Following his military service, he worked at the Marlow Veterinary Clinic, Marlow, Okla. for seven years.
Dr. Flanagan connected with Christian Veterinary Mission (CVM) in 1979 and did his first short-term mission trip in 1986 to Haiti. He and his wife, Jan, proceeded to respond to God’s call to serve the people of Haiti in long-term missions and Keith left for Haiti April 2, 1987 with Jan and their sons, Sean and Brian, following in June. While in Haiti, he served on the Haitian Advisory Board for World Vision and volunteered as a Warden for the US Embassy in Haiti.
For the next 26 years, he and Jan poured themselves out in ministry and service to the people of Haiti serving in a variety of roles in ministry and development work. They would host hundreds of short-term volunteers over the years and served faithfully on the CVM team representing the work of the Lord through veterinary medicine at many professional meetings and student events.
Dr. Keith Flanagan had a wonderful set of gifts for a cross-cultural development worker. His practical life skills from growing up on a farm in rural Oklahoma, his networking and strategic thinking skills from his education and experiences in private veterinary practice, and the military and his incredible love for people were all gifts that he poured out in service to the glory of Jesus Christ. In October 2011, he was recognized as a “Distinguished Alumnus” for Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health.
Keith was proud to be from this area and was proud to have attended Panhandle State. He held the university in high regard for his basic training to send him into veterinary school and spoke highly of it.