Saturday, November 29, 2014
10:30 AM EST
St. Thomas a'Becket Catholic Church
555 S. Lilley Road
Canton, MI 48188
10:00 am In-State until Mass begins at 10:30 am
Life Story / Obituary
Robert Guy Flynn was a wonderful role model. He was outgoing, inspirational, generous and attentive to family and friends alike. He was gregarious and talkative, so no one whom he met was a stranger for long. Looking to the interests of others, Robert made it his mission in life to help and support as many people as he could. He touched the lives of young and old, who count it a privilege to call him husband, father, grandfather and friend.
One of eleven children, Robert was born July 17, 1936 in Detroit, Michigan during the harsh years of the Great Depression, when Americans were trying to make life pleasant in the midst of difficult conditions. Families, including children, pulled together to make life as good as possible. Detroit’s economy had been growing due to the automobile industry, but more important to a young boy was the sports scene. Robert loved baseball and looked forward to going to Tiger Stadium whether watching the game or cleaning off the seats for a bit of change.
In high school, Robert completed two years in Detroit before graduating from Mountain View High School in Mountain View, California, class of 1956. His lifelong passion for golf began when he joined the school’s golf team and could play the game year round. If not playing, Robert enjoyed watching sports and had the pleasure of attending the Buick Open in Grand Blanc, Michigan a few times in his life.
From 1957-1959, Robert served in the US Army and was stationed in Nuremburg, Germany. Perhaps it was that peacetime experience in another country that inspired him to make a return visit. Adding to his travel log over the years, Robert also visited Thailand, Vienna, Munich, and Prague to visit his daughter living overseas.
Family life began when Robert met and married Ruth Thiede, who had been introduced to him by her friend. The ceremony took place in St. Clair Shores, Michigan and the newlyweds moved to Taylor in 1961. Six children were born to them: Denise, Glenn, Andy, Julie, Joyce and Lawrence. Being a devoted father meant taking time with his kids at home and on grand adventures such as camping in a pop-up camper and making annual trips to Cedar Pointe. In 2011, the family reprised their fun when they took an amazing trip to Lake Tahoe for Joyce's wedding. When the grandchildren came along, Robert and Ruth showed them beautiful sights in Michigan, like Ludington Beach, Mullet Lake, Mackinaw City near the bridge, and Tahquamenon Falls. Farther afield, the family traveled to Fort Meyers Beach in Florida, to Seattle and San Francisco in the West and way west into Alaska.
In truth, Robert could make fun anywhere. Whether for holiday gatherings or special events, Robert was the life of the party. He filled a room with his presence and made everyone feel welcome with his broad smile and ready handshake. Any excuse to have a party and eat cake, Robert was there to entertain family and friends with joking and laughter. Is it any wonder that The Flynn Brothers often met for what they called their "board meetings" at the Looney Baker.
Robert’s humor ran along the lines of MASH and Seinfeld, but on a more serious note, he liked the Phantom of the Opera. His spiritual side was nurtured through involvement with his church and community. He was an active member in the Knights of Columbus in Caro, Michigan, and he served as Eucharistic minister in each church he attended in the communities of Royal Oak (moving in 1974), Caro (in 1994) and Canton (beginning in 2007).
Robert lived a satisfying and magnanimous life through his work. He worked as a Baggage Clerk for American Airlines while going to Walsh College, where he went on to earn his CPA license. He moved into the field of Health Administration working to create the first HMO in Western Michigan at Group Health Plan. After that, he moved into a Controller/CFO role for The Jewish Home for the Aged and Caro Community Hospital. Many people know Bob as the taxman, as he tirelessly did tax accounting for numerous clients for over 35 years. He never really retired from that position because he loved helping people and staying connected. He was a rich man when it came to the most important matters in life: family, friends and faith. He was consumed with devotion for the love of his life, Ruth for the amazing 53 years they spent together.
Robert G. Flynn, 78 of Canton, Michigan, passed away peacefully in his sleep November 24, 2014. Loving husband of 53 years to Ruth (nee Thiede). Beloved father of Denise (Patrick) McWilliams, Glenn, Andrew, Julie (Dan Overstreet), Joyce (Mark) Benitez, Lawrence. Cherished Grandfather of 13 and Great-Grandfather of 4. Brother to Bernard, Larry, Vincent, Jerry, Jimmy and the now deceased Edith, Agnes, Blanche, Tom and John.
Family will receive friends Friday from 3:00PM - 9:00PM at the Neely - Turowski Funeral Home, 45100 Warren (West of Sheldon). Mass of Christian burial will be held at St. Thomas a'Becket Catholic Church, 555 S. Lilley Rd. (South of Cherry Hill) on Saturday at 10:30AM, with viewing from 10, and a luncheon after the service.
Please sign Robert’s life story guest book by clicking "guestbook" on the right.