Mary Capaccione Flynn
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AGE: 95 • formerly of Perth Amboy
Former Perth Amboy, New Jersey resident Mary Flynn, 95, died Friday evening at 6:30pm on August 26, 2011 at Alamitos-West Health Care Center in Los Alamitos, California.
Mary Flynn was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey on March 10, 1916. Her parents, the late John and Angelina Capaccione, emigrated from the hilly Mediterranean island of Sicily, Italy around the turn of the century. The Capacciones entered the United States of America as most European immigrants of the age had, via New York Harbor's historical gateway Ellis Island. John Capaccione was a baker in town and Angelina ran their Perth Amboy household with a firm but nurturing hand. Mary spoke both Italian and English, often assuming the role of translator for her Sicilian parents. She completed her compulsory education in New Jersey's "city by the bay" culminating in her graduation from Perth Amboy High School in 1935. Although Mary herself never attended college, education was one of the most important institutions in her life and the cornerstone of her value system. She instilled the concept of education's indispensableness into every person she cared about and higher education still figures largely in tier descendants' philosophy of life. In 1937, Mary wed Irish-American William E. Flynn Jr., a handsome, rugged, baseball letterman from Rutgers University who was also raised on the banks of the Raritan River in Perth Amboy. The two were both tireless athletes and loved sports. In fact, Bill, as Mary lovingly referred to her husband, aspired to be a professional pitcher and indeed had scouts taking a close look until the ravishes of time prematurely caught up to him and his throwing arm. He went on to coach baseball for St. Mary's High School but instead of athletics settled upon an admirable career working for the Perth Amboy Department of Water until his retirement. Bill predeceased Mary in December 1979.
In addition to being a devoted wife, Mary also bore Bill three children: William Edward the Third, Harriet Marie, and Daniel A. Flynn. Mary raised her children to believe in God, to value education, and to become devoted family-oriented citizens whose Irish-Italian ancestry is evident by their very visages. All three went on to become well-educated professionals and parents with upstanding Catholic morals. Mary Flynn was ever active in her Middlesex County community. While many upwardly mobile residents of Western-European descent were taking flight from the rigors of an Increasingly diverse urban melting pot, Mary never wavered from her Sicilian roots. She embraced people from all walks of life, holding dear to her heart the concept of liberty and justice for all. Mrs. Flynn was a life-long Educator. She was an Instructional assistant for over 20 years in many of the schools in the Perth Amboy School District. She helped hundreds of children learn to read and was highly commanded for her work by teachers, principals and superintendents alike. She inspired her own three children to excel in their studies and put "Education First." All three graduated from Perth Amboy High School and The College of New Jersey. Her oldest son, William Flynn, went on to graduate from Rutgers Law School and has his own law firm in Old Bridge. He has four daughters: Erin is part of the firm as a lawyer, Colleen, formerly with the firm, is now a Superior Court Judge in Middlesex County, Tara is a teacher in Old Bridge and Bonnie is City Planner for Stafford Township. His wife, Elaine, is the County Clerk of Middlesex County. They reside in Old Bridge where he chairs the Democratic Committee. They have 10 grandchildren.
Her daughter, Dr. Harriet Jennifer Flynn, went on to graduate from Rutgers with a Master's Degree in Educational Administration, a second Master's and Doctorate in Educational Psychology from Temple University. She was a teacher In Woodbridge and Westfield, then moved with her family to California, becoming an instructor at UCLA, a principal and a director, and was the Assistant Superintendent of Los Angeles County Office of Education for 17 years before retiring. She has two children: Suzanne who works for Live Nation and Stewart who has a Master's Degree in Educational Psychology but is finishing his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology while working as a psychologist intern in a psychiatric ward at a San Diego hospital. Jennifer resides in Seal Beach and has two grandchildren.
Her youngest, Dr. Daniel A. Flynn, went on to graduate from the University of San Francisco with a Master's Degree in Education and a Doctorate in Educational Policy from USC. He works for the Los Angeles Unified School District and has been a teacher, principal, coordinator-in-charge of Head Start and Superintendent In California schools. He has seven children: Bryan works for Prudential In NJ, Casey works for BJ'S In Washington, and the others work in CA. Kristy is an RN with Kaiser Hospital, Kathleen is a science teacher with South Pasadena, Courtney is a manager with Enterprise, Karina is a senior at CA State University Fullerton majoring in Health Sciences and Daniel Jr. is attending Community College. His wife, Selina, is a speech and language specialist assistant with LAUSD. They reside in Long Beach. He has one grandchild and another to be born next month.
Apart from being an invaluable friend to the community and its people, Mary was also very active politically. Mary was a committeewoman for the Perth Amboy Democratic Organization and part of the campaign and election committee for her cousin, James J. Flynn, Jr., long term Mayor of Perth Amboy. The joy of her life was assisting in the elections of her son, William E. Flynn, III, Esquire, first as Mayor of Old Bridge and then as a long term NJ Assemblyman. Prior to her moving to CA, she helped in the first campaign and election of her daughter-in-law, Elaine Czech Flynn, as Middlesex County Clerk. Mary is also a life-long member of St. Mary's R.C. Church. However, when her health started to deteriorate in 2003, she moved to Los Alamitos, California to be with her son, Dr. Daniel A. Flynn and daughter, Dr. Harriet Jennifer Flynn.
A private memorial was held on Monday, August 29, 2011 at Forest Lawn Cypress in Southern California. Local arrangements are under the direction of Flynn and Son Funeral Home, 424 East Avenue, Perth Amboy, NJ. To leave a message of condolence please visit our website at www.flynnfuneral.com.
Flynn and Son Funeral Home
424 East Ave Perth Amboy, NJ 08861
Published in Home News Tribune on Sept. 1, 2011