Dr. Stephen Vreeland Flagg of Sanibel, FL, a plastic and hand surgeon, died at age 85 on January 8, 2022, in North Branford, CT. Born in Hackensack, NJ, to the late Irene F. Richardson and John H. Flagg, he grew up in Oradell and Englewood, NJ. Dr. Flagg was a longtime resident of New Haven, CT, where he was in private practice for 35 years. He was an old-school doctor who devoted considerable time to caring for each patient, and his love of medicine and teachable moments continued throughout his 16 years of retirement. His humor and interest in people never diminished.
Dr. Flagg attended the Englewood School for Boys and Deerfield Academy ('53). He went to Yale University ('57), where he rowed for four years and was captain of the Lightweight Crew. He was a member of the Ring and Candle Society and treasured the friendships made there.
Dr. Flagg went to medical school at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, where he trained at The Roosevelt Hospital and did his residency in plastic surgery at New York University Medical Center under Dr. John Converse. He served as an assistant Senior Registrar at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, and then did a hand fellowship with Dr. J. W. Littler and Richard Eaton at The Roosevelt Hospital. He was an Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery at Yale from late 1971 to 1973, the Associate Section Chief of Plastic Surgery at the Yale University School of Medicine from 1993-2000 and a Clinical Assistant Professor at Yale School of Medicine from 1973 until his retirement in 2006.
Dr. Flagg was awarded the Robert M. Goldwyn, M.D. Lifetime Achievement Award by the New England Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons in 2010. He was one of the founding members of the New England Society of Hand Surgery and later its president. He also served as the president of the Connecticut Society of Plastic Surgeons and president of the New England Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (2005).
Outside of medicine, rowing was Dr. Flagg’s passion. He joined the New Haven Rowing Club in 1982 and assisted in building their boathouse on the Housatonic River in Oxford, CT. He was president of the NHRC 1999-2000. He competed in Masters rowing events around the world, winning numerous medals. However, it was the friendships he made through rowing that he cherished most.
Dr. Flagg spent his summers at Point O' Woods, Fire Island, NY, where he developed lifelong friendships. He was Commodore of the POW Yacht Squadron in the early 1970s and relished his time on the sea, racing his Thistle with family and friends.
Dr. Flagg is survived by his loving family: His wife of 35 years, Edith Postlewaite Flagg, daughter Danielle Flagg, Richmond, VA, sons Alex Flagg (Denise), Lafayette, CA and Michael Flagg (Erica), Wellesley, MA, stepson Jonathan Hanf (Liezel), Pataskala, OH and seven beloved grandchildren: Zachary, Tanner and Elise Flagg of Lafayette, CA, Addison and Samuel Flagg of Wellesley Hills, MA, and Zyrhrille and Jayce Hanf of Pataskala, OH. He is also survived by Cynthia Hixon Flagg, his first wife and the mother of his children.
Contributions may be made to the Yale ‘Music in Schools Initiative’ (Class of ‘57), New Haven Rowing Club, The Church at Point O' Woods, or the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date.