John Patrick Flaherty passed away in peace on March 11, 2018 after a seventeen-year battle with cancer. Growing up on a farm in Illinois, John learned the value of hard work and determination. He brought those skills to everything he did, including his education. He held a BS in Engineering from St. Ambrose College in Illinois, an MS in Physics from St. Louis University in Missouri, and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Wyoming, where he met his wife, Pam. He was the serious yin to her fun-loving yang, and in 1971 they were married. In search of sunshine, the couple moved to northern California, where John began a career as a Physics and Astronomy professor at Yuba Community College. John loved learning, and he shared his passion for knowledge with his family, friends, and students. His kids remember 2AM telescope viewings of meteorite showers, his friends remember dinner conversations about the mysteries of the universe, and his students remember his delight in difficult mechanical problems. He was a great mentor, who encouraged his students to pursue their passions and dream big.An enthusiastic parent, John incorporated family life into all of his activities. In addition to teaching physics, he owned a motorcycle dealership in the eighties, and designed and built houses in the nineties. His kids remember cheering him on while he raced anything that had wheels, and he taught them how to build just about anything. Perhaps most importantly, he modeled a deep compassion for others; John was always helping someone in need of saving and working on behalf of those who were less fortunate.John is survived by his wife, Pamela, his three children, Heather, Jon Leo, and Britt, his granddaughters, Nora and Emily, his sister Barbara, and his brother James. He was preceded in death by his brothers Bill and Leo, and his parents Mary Josephine and William Flaherty. Services will be held on March 31st at 1:00 PM at Speer Funeral Home, Aledo, Illinois. Private burial will be in St. John's Cemetery, Viola, Illinois. In lieu of flowers, donations in John’s honor can be sent to The John Flaherty Physics Scholarship. For details, and to view the John Flaherty memorial remembrance page go to: https://www.forevermissed.com/john-patrick-flaherty.