John Flannigan Mirsky, born John Joseph Flannigan Jr. passed away on the afternoon of November 25, 2022 at 72 years old. He left this earth peacefully, in his sleep, in bed at home in New Rochelle, New York. John had various medical conditions, and was plagued with chronic pain for most of his life, but those who were close to him speak of him as being the most resilient man they’ve ever known, despite and also due to his struggles.
John was born on July 16, 1950 in New Jersey to his mother Arax and father John Joseph Flannigan Sr. In the late 1960’s John left New Jersey to live in New York City's West Village where he immersed himself in the LGBT community. This community provided him the space to feel seen and time to grow into his authentic self.
He would speak frequently about the era of the Stonewall Riots. Having lived in the neighborhood at the time, it was very important to him. John furthered his knowledge by reading a book about the history of Stonewall during the last June of his life. He enjoyed reading books in general - mostly memoirs and non-fiction. He was extremely intelligent and wasn’t shy to show off his knowledge and quick wit. He had the ability to make light of any situation with his joking, upbeat manner, even when he was struggling himself. He always provided what he could to help those he cared about, even if it meant having less to provide for himself.
In March of 1979, John moved to Greenburgh in Westchester County with his life partner at the time, Mark Mirsky. Together they raised two Bearded Collies, Robin and Beardsley, and a cat Coco. A little over a decade later, they adopted their only child, Lauren Ashley Mirsky - born on September 25, 1990.
In the early 1990’s John and Mark opened a store called Scrambles that sold customized children’s furniture, in honor of their daughter. The shop had two locations, in Rye, New York and Westport, Connecticut. The family shared many fond memories in the store together.
John also held a large space in his heart for Puerto Rico and the friends he made there, particularly Johnny Steidel. He spent many summers on the island, frequently being hosted in Johnny’s home in Caguas. The two kept in contact up until the very end of John’s life and he cherished this friendship deeply.
In John’s later years he spent most, if not all, of his time at home, dealing with his chronic pain. In 2008, John met Anthony Coniglio Jr. who quickly became his most devoted companion. They bonded over shared life experiences and their friendship was deeper than many around could understand. Anthony not only provided unconditional friendship, but also assumed the role of caretaker for the last 11 years of John’s life. He stayed with John in his home, and ensured John was well taken care of - always fed, bathed and as active as possible. Anthony provided many moments of hope, laughs and solidarity. John had a distrust of home health aids, so Anthony’s act of service may have more of an impact on the longevity of John’s life than any of us can understand. Anthony’s loyalty will forever be remembered with honor.
John’s one true love was always his daughter, Lauren Ashley Mirsky. He made it his duty to ensure she had the very best he had the potential to give, and continued to be a valuable part of her support system through her entire life. He made sure to honor each accomplishment, no matter how big or small. Even when he didn’t have much for himself, he would do everything he was capable of to make sure his daughter was on stable ground. He had a tattoo of her name on his arm, inscribed within a heart. John also wanted to get another tattoo of a panther, which his daughter is planning on executing for herself, in his honor.
John is survived by his daughter, Lauren Ashley Mirsky, 32, residing in Queens, New York and his sister Elizabeth (Betty Flannigan) Polimeni, 75, residing in Dayton, Ohio.
John is pre-deceased by his mother, Arax Flannigan who passed in 1966 and his father, John J. Flannigan Sr. who passed in 1978.