Dcn. Patrick Flynn entered eternal life April 30. He was 83 and had just celebrated his 40th anniversary of ordination.
He spent his life embracing the gifts of the Catholic Church and passing them on to others. Dcn. Flynn was born March 23, 1932 in Massachusetts, the third of seven children including an older brother who was a priest.
Prior to pursuing his own religious calling, the deacon earned a degree in electrical engineering and worked for Boeing in Seattle as a flight test engineer. He discerned the life of a Trappist monk several years at Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery in Oregon, but could not take final vows for health reasons.
About Dcn. Flynn
Born: March 23, 1932
Married: May 9, 1964 to Elizabeth “Betty”
Ordained: May 24, 1975
Died: April 30, 2015
Dcn. Flynn came to Arizona in 1963 where he met and married Elizabeth, “Betty,” a year later. Together they raised two children.
Secular work took him to Arizona Public Service in 1967 where he remained until retirement in 1991. His lifelong work as a deacon began in 1975 and took him to Our Lady of the Valley Parish, including its dedication a year later. He retired at Corpus Christi Parish in Ahwatukee.
Dcn. Bob England, who serves at Corpus Christi, called him a prayerful man and a good listener. He talked about Dcn. Flynn’s leadership in ensuring his family prayed the rosary daily. He also mentioned his subtle humor and profound faith.
“He was not afraid to share with people that they were going down the wrong path, but he would do it with love and gentleness,” Dcn. England said.
He created treasured family moments, recording some in a “Dad, Share your Life with Me” journal. He highlighted traditions of the family going out for a special “flaming” dessert after the Easter Vigil at Our Lady of the Valley. Dcn. Flynn piloted a cross-country flight with his family in 1979 and a trip with his wife to meet Mother Angelica at EWTN in 1998.
He left his children with this piece of advice in the journal: “Seek first the kingdom of God and what He requires of you. You’ll then be happy and have all you need.”
He is survived by his son Patrick and his wife, Deborah; and his daughter Mary Hodges and her husband Jeffrey and five grandchildren.