Mayra L. O'Flaherty, immigration advocate

Tuesday, February 1, 2011; 9:32 PM

Mayra L. O'Flaherty, an advocate and counselor who worked with immigrants in the Washington area for more than 20 years, died Dec. 23 at her home in Alexandria of respiratory failure. She was 67.

A native of Nicaragua, Mrs. O'Flaherty specialized in working with immigrants from Latin America. She began her counseling in the late 1980s with the City of Alexandria. From 1992 until her retirement in 2006, she had worked as a partner in the Falls Church Immigration Clinic, where she assisted clients with work authorizations, green cards and citizenship.

Mayra Lacayo was born in Managua into a family that has played a prominent role in that country's political and economic life, her family said.

She was educated in Italy and France before graduating from Finch College in New York City with a degree in interior design. She worked for more than 10 years as an executive with Avianca airlines in New York before moving to Alexandria in 1987.

She was a member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Alexandria.

Her marriage to Donald Roberts ended in divorce. Survivors include her husband of 26 years, J. Daniel O'Flaherty of Alexandria; two daughters from her first marriage, Nicole Schlacter of Alexandria and Kristen DeMarco of Luray, Va.; four brothers; three sisters; and four grandchildren.

- Emma Brown

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