The following obituary originally appeared on O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, it has been republished with permission.
Commander John J. Flynn, age 83, of Newport and Coronado, California died Saturday, January 5, 2019, at St. Clare Home in Newport with his wife and niece by his side.
Born in Newport, October 15, 1935, to the late John J. Flynn and the late Dorothy E. Fleming. He was the husband of Commander Mary Taylor Flynn, Nurse Corps, USN (ret). In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his beloved brother, Lieutenant General William S. Flynn, USA (ret).
Known in Newport as Jay, he graduated from De LaSalle Academy in 1952 and graduated from Manhattan College in 1956. After completing Navy Officer Candidate School, he was commissioned an Ensign in the Navy. After a stint aboard the USS Abbott he attended the Submarine School in New London, Connecticut and served in three submarines while in the Submarine Service.
He later served in the amphibious forces and was executive officer of USS Denver and Commanding Officer of the USS Mobile. During the 1975 evacuation of Saigon, Vietnam a journalist from the New York Times who with 32 other newsmen evacuated to the Mobile, said of the captain of Mobile “Cmdr. J. Flynn of Newport, RI had a lean jaw, steel blue eyes and a quiet confidence and the Mobile was well prepared to do its unlikely job of picking up Vietnamese refugees.”
His final tour of duty was at the Pentagon and he retired in 1976. During his career he was awarded the Bronze Star with combat “V”, the Combat action and Navy Unit Commendation ribbons plus other service and campaign medals. After retirement, he was employed by several companies in positions of Naval analysis. He ended his bachelorhood in 1979 when he and Mary married. He happily accompanied her on assignments to Naples, Italy, San Diego, California and Washington, DC. Upon her retirement they spent the summer in Newport and the winter in Coronado. He called it the best “set up ever”.
Jay loved the water. He was an accomplished sailor be it under a sail or with a good engine powering him along. He was a long time member of the New York Yacht Club and the Coronado Yacht Club. A nephew said of him “Jay was a larger-than-life guy – possessed of a keen intellect, a boisterous sense of humor, 1000-watt smile, a booming laugh, and if he couldn’t remember your name it was ‘Hey, Pal!’
He is survived by his wife, Mary; sister-in-law, Lynn Egan Flynn; five adoring nieces: Erin E. Flynn of Newport, Chyleene Flynn O’Connor and husband Jack of Middletown, Keely Flynn Connery and husband Paul of West Hartford, CT; Deirdre Flynn Shope and husband Tim of Pittsburgh, PA and Tara M. Flynn of Middletown. Also, Mary’s sisters; Nancy Taylor Dudley and her husband Edwin of Jonesboro, Arkansas and Sarah Taylor Nichols and her husband Randy of Isola, Mississippi. He leaves many younger nieces and nephews and a host of friends across the country.
He has left on his final patrol.
Calling hours will be held Friday, January 11, 2019 from 4-7 pm in the O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring Street, Newport. A Memorial Mass will be held in the Spring.
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