Thomas Michael "Tom" Flynn, Hermitage, Pennsylvania, died June 18, 2018, at age 79. Flynn graduated from Carmelite Junior Seminary and then enrolled at Loyola University in Chicago. He was drafted into the U.S. Army while he was in school and assigned to the 101st Airborne Division. Following his military service, he returned to Loyola, graduated with a degree in accounting and became a certified public accountant.
Flynn was a very goal-oriented and passionate person when it came to the many projects with which he was involved. He purchased Homewood Memorial Gardens in 1974 and Hillcrest Memorial Park in 1977. After the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran, was taken hostage in 1979, Flynn raised an American flag each day of the crisis, creating the Avenue of 444 Flags; he also led a march from Hermitage to the White House in support of a resolution to the hostage crisis and was featured on the cover of TIME magazine for his efforts in the hostage crisis in 1981. He also built John Flynn Funeral Home in 1995, the War on Terror Memorial in 2005 and opened Hillcrest-Flynn Pet Funeral Home in 2006.
As a veteran, one of Flynn’s biggest passions was honoring the men and women fighting for our country and who have fought for our country and made the ultimate sacrifice. He brought the Vietnam Moving Wall to the Shenango Valley on three occasions for the community to pay their respects and learn about the price veterans paid for our freedom.
Flynn was a brilliant businessman and contributed much to his community and the funeral industry. He was the proud recipient of the Lasting Impact Award from the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association in April 2018.
In 2000, he introduced Derek, a golden retriever dog from Canine Companions for Independence, to Flynn Funeral Home; Derek became the first grief therapy dog from C.C.I. to be placed in a funeral home. Flynn and Derek reported to New York days after 9/11 to work with almost 300 children at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside. After Derek’s retirement, Flynn received Soloman, and together they worked around the country educating veterans about the services C.C.I. could provide to veterans in need.
He is survived by sons Tom Jr. and John, three grandchildren and sisters Margaret Mary and Kathleen.