Flynn, Nancy Ann (Nichols)
I am John R. Flynn, spouse of Nancy Ann (Nichols) Flynn for 61 years (1952-2013).
This is more of a personal tribute than a conventional obituary; hence I have tried to illuminate Nancy's values and personality rather than a cold statement of the historical aspects
Nancy was born in Indianapolis on April 6, 1926 and was taken by God to heaven at 4:21 p.m. on March 13, 2013 in Denver, Colo. During her 86 years on this earth, her health was excellent in almost every aspect. Only during her last 11 months on earth did her health falter and collapse.
I shall attempt to focus on events, actions, and experiences which clearly illustrate why I believe she was a unique lady/woman even though she was not on the cover of some popular magazine or other periodical in our popular cultural society.
Nancy was born to grow up and to participate in God's plan for a lifetime in marriage with one person. She was blessed with exceptional natural beauty and warmth and an inborn desire and motivation to live as God planned-wife, mother, family, moral values, and eternal reward.
During her childhood and teen years, Nancy was an avid snow skier and hunter, skills she learned from her father, Herbert L. Nichols. She also learned to fly an airplane and she and her father were the first Father/Daughter Flying Team of the Piper Club in Green Bay, WI. Nancy and her father called themselves "The Flying Nichols."
Nancy attended St. Joseph's Academy in Green Bay, Rosary College in Chicago (one year), and finished her college education at Northwestern University (Graduation 1948), where she majored in speech communications. Her early work life included a position as program director and radio show participant on a Green Bay radio show in early 1950's.
Nancy Ann Nichols met her future husband, John R. Flynn, on a blind date at the beautiful home of Mary and Ray Antil, at a fire side social in 1951. John was visiting his sister, Mary Antil, while on temporary leave from the hospital at Camp Atterbury, Indiana--where he was recuperating from wounds obtained in the Korean War. John was overwhelmed by Nancy from that first meeting, and they had a short courtship and were married months later on Jan. 5, 1952, at St. John Catholic Church in Green Bay, Wis.
Nancy began a vigorous life as an army wife, mother, and homemaker. During the army years, Nancy and John were stationed at Fort Benning, Ga.; West Point Military Academy, N.Y.; Leavenworth, Kan.; Vicenza, Italy; Syracuse, N.Y.; and Hampton, Va. During the time in Hampton, John spent a year without his beloved wife and children, while stationed in Korea.
John's tour in Korea (1963-1964) deserves comment since he went alone for one year (no families allowed) and Nancy was left with five children, all under the age of ten, in Hampton, Va. With no significant daily help, she managed the family responsibilities with great courage, endurance, and skill. John's only support was a daily letter sent from Korea. John still does not know where she mustered up the strength and time to handle the task other than her genes from Sarah (Byrne) Nichols (mother of Nancy) and her strong father, Herbert Leslie Nichols (an End on the first Green Bay Packer football team in 1919 and again in 1920). These tasks and performance by Nancy imprinted her authentic character and strength forever in John's mind. Her family was the rock foundation for her existence.
In retired life, Nancy and John continued their search for happiness in corporate life. They lived in Mill Valley, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; and Tarrytown, N.Y. In retirement, Nancy and John lived in Glenwood Springs, Colo., for eight years and then settled in Denver, Colo., in 1992--where she lived until her death.
Nancy had a life of mobility in the army, and also loved to travel a great deal in her leisure time. She remained healthy and strong, while enjoying the world around her, until her 85th year.
Nancy's husband, John, was advised by his own father to marry a woman with a good disposition, and not just great physical attractiveness. Nancy had both of these traits and she displayed them effectively with her family, friends, and in social settings. Nancy's moral compass never erred during her highly active and demanding tasks which kept her oriented towards the really important objectives: Marriage, Family, God/Religion, and authentic friendships. Nancy's father, Herbert Nichols, was her guidepost from youth and she emulated his performance and strength in her own life.
Nancy was the mother of six children, Sean Michael, Sarah Maureen, Kerry Maureen, Brian Robert, Kathleen Marguerite, Annie Frances. Sarah Maureen, her second child, died shortly after child birth in 1954 and is buried at West Point Cemetery in New York State. Nancy was buried at West Point, next to Sarah, on April 1, 2013. Fr. Brian Donahue, Catholic Chaplain, presided over the burial with a Catholic service.
Nancy emulated St. Paul the Apostle in his second Epistle to Timothy, when he said, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
Nancy was a gift from heaven and I shall not fail in my attempts to ask for her assistance as I finish my life. I pray that I will join her where she now rests.
May "My Nancy" Rest in Peace
Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette on Apr. 7, 2013