Robert Gene Flannery January 1, 1973 - June 9, 1982
Born in Washington, Indiana on September 14, 1924, Robert Gene
“Mike” Flannery was the son of Allen H. Flannery and Nellie Jane
(White) Flannery. He married Barbara Ann Angell on December 23,
1952, and had three daughters Julia Ann, Jennifer Ann, and Amy Lynn.
Mr. Flannery's education included a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree from Purdue University, 1948, an advance management course at Harvard Business School, 1965; and a systems management course at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1967. He served as a radar technician in the U. S. Navy from 1943 to 1945.
He was first employed in the New York Central Railroad's engineering department in February 1948. He progressed through various engineering positions and in October 1955 was promoted to assistant trainmaster. Mike next became terminal trainmaster at Bellefontaine, Ohio in September 1956; transportation superintendent at Buffalo, New York, November 1957; division superintendent at Buffalo in March 1959; district transportation superintendent, Indianapolis, Indiana, October 1959; general manager, northern district, Detroit, Micigan, January 1961; general manager, western district, Cleveland, Ohio, January 1963; general manager, eastern district, Syracuse, New York, May 1965; assistant vice president - transportation, New York, November 1965; and vice president - systems development, New York, September 1967. All of this service was with the New York Central.
On February 1, 1968, Mr. Flannery became vice president - systems development for the Penn Central Transportation Company. His next office was vice president - operation in February 1969, leading to the executive vice presidency in March 1970. He became vice president-operation in October 1970.
On December 1, 1970 Howard A. Newman, WP's chairman of the board, announced that Mike had been elected executive vice president effective January 1, 1971.
In making the announcement, Chairman Newman had this to say about the then 46-year-old executive: "Mr. Flannery brings to Western Pacific a wealth of experience as a seasoned railroad executive which was achieved under the tutelage of Alfred E. Perlman who reported for duty as Western Pacific's 10th president on December 1. I am entirely confident that Al Perlman and Mike Flannery will strengthen Western Pacific's fine management team."
Mr. Flannery was elected president of Western Pacific and assumed that office on January 1, 1973. Just prior to the approval of Union Pacific’s purchase of the Western Pacific and Missouri Pacific, He was then appointed President of the Missouri Pacific due to the death of that roads president. After the merger of these roads and the retirement of Union Pacific’s President, Mr. Kenific, he became Union Pacific’s President. He retired from the Union Pacific in 1987.
He was also a member of the National Defense Executive Reserve; Free and Accepted Masons; Pi Kappa Alpha; and the Philadelphia Country Club.
Robert Gene “Mike” Flannery, 78, died at his home in Hillsborough, California on May 21, 2003 following a long illness.