Joseph L. Flynn, 96, of Naples, FL passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at his residence. Formerly of New Canaan and Wilton, CT, he had been a resident of Naples and the Audubon Country Club since 1990. Joseph was born on July 3, 1917 in Bridgeville, PA a son of the late Frank E. and Edna (Lutz) Flynn. Joe was raised in Youngstown, OH.
He graduated from Amherst College in Amherst, MA, Class of 1939 and Harvard Business School in Boston, MA, Class of 1941, where he was a member of both schools' flying clubs. Joe’s passion was flying; he soloed at the age of 17. Mr. Flynn was hired by Pan American World Airways in 1941 and flew the Boeing 314 “Flying Boat” during WWII. This was at a time when the US Government used PAN AM’s B314 to operate the Air Ferries Division which supplemented the air transport activities of both the US Navy and US Army Corps helping ferry war materials and personnel to Africa. These flights would originate in Miami, FL and travel through Natal, Brazil before reaching Fish Lake, Liberia. Many of these flights were secret missions. During his career with PAN AM, he was based in Brownsville, TX, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and New York, New York and flew many different aircrafts including, the DC-3, DC-4, L-049 Constellation (Connie), DC-6, B377 Stratocruiser, DC-7C, DC-8, B-747, and his favorite 747SP until he retired at the mandatory age of 60 in 1977. Joe was one of the founding members of the IOC – International Order of Characters, an organization dedicated to improving the fields of aviation and aerospace. He loved golfing, world travel, reading and most of all skiing. He spent a lot of time in his beloved town of Kitzbühel, Austria, where he hiked and skied with his wife Marit.
Joe is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, Marit (Rostad) Flynn; sons, Richard (Cindy) Flynn of São Paolo, Brazil, Michael (Christina) Flynn of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; daughter, Maria (Mark) Schmidt of Riverside, CT; sister, Rosemarie Gorman of New Canaan, CT; and 7 grandchildren. His final landing was as smooth and peaceful as any in his long aviation career.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 10:00 A.M. at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, 28290 Beaumont Rd., Bonita Springs, FL 34134.
Memorial contributions may be made in lieu of flowers to Avow Hospice, 1095 Whippoorwill Lane, Naples, FL 34105.
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