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Charlotte Koehler FLYNN


1919 - 2015 Obituary Condolences Gallery
FLYNN, Charlotte Koehler
Let Justice Roll Down Like Waters: Charlotte Koehler Flynn died peacefully at sunset on April 19, 2015 at home with family and friends at her side. Charlotte was born in St. Louis, Mo. on March 28, 1919, to Charlotte and Arnold Koehler, and married William "Bill" Flynn on July 11, 1941. Married for over 65 years, she is survived by their three children: Liz Flynn of Waco, Mary Lou Flynn-DuPart and her husband Mike of Alvin, Greg Flynn and his wife Alicia of Albuquerque, their daughters Kathryn and Charlotte, and sister Barbara Maschmeier of St. Louis.
Charlotte earned a B.S. degree in nursing from Washington University, graduating in 1941. She and Bill moved to Panama in 1941, where she worked as an OR supervisor in Panama City. She returned to St. Louis in late 1943 with her infant daughter Liz when Bill joined the Navy. Charlotte became the leader of Girl Scout Troop 21 that same year, and remained active in Girl Scouting for the next 35 years. After Bill returned from the Pacific in late 1945, the young family moved between St. Louis, Milwaukee, and California about every two years until the late 1950s. In 1956 the family moved to Thiensville, WI, where Charlotte gave birth to Mary Lou and Greg. During these years, in addition to raising three children and remaining active in Girl Scouts, Charlotte became involved in the applied arts through classes at the Milwaukee Vocational School, becoming proficient in silkscreen printing, silversmithing, and jewelry making. She remained active with printing arts for many years.
At the beginning of 1970 Charlotte's family moved to Austin, TX, where Charlotte and Bill lived for the remainder of their lives. In the late 1970's, Charlotte became increasingly active in social advocacy. Working with the Girls Scouts, the Gray Panthers, the Austin Peace and Justice Coalition, and a number of other local organizations as well as serving on a number of commissions and committees, she was a staunch advocate for justice until the end of her life. She was a founding member of the Austin chapter of the Gray Panthers, and went on to be elected its national chairperson in Washington DC. She was a tireless advocate for public health care for all and as chair of the National Gray Panthers served as spokesperson for the National Campaign for Universal Health Care that the Gray Panthers initiated. A voice for the voiceless, she championed rights for youth, the elderly, women, the poor, and the disenfranchised. Charlotte personified perseverance and indomitable will; she just didn't give up. She was not afraid to speak truth to power, and she could not abide injustice in any form.

Charlotte loved all of God's creatures deeply and equally. Charlotte never gave up feeding her special herd of urban deer. To her, they were dear friends (pun intended) who had been edged out of their natural habitat. Indeed, creatures of all sorts, feathers and fur, two-legged and four (sometimes even three) found refuge in Charlotte's back yard. Many a family of chimney swifts raised their babies in her chimney. Even the stately oak trees were given freedom to grow as they desired...if it meant rearranging the roof line of the house, so be it.

Charlotte's family would like to thank all of the members of Charlotte's care team and tight knit network of friends (a veritable army), and especially Elaine Dove, Jonathon Riley, Brian Beard, the Lunch Bunch, the worshiping community at St. Edwards University, Dr. Mark Levy, St. David's Hospital, Visiting Nurses, and Interim Hospice.

Charlotte touched many lives as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, friend, mentor, advocate, and all around rabble rouser. In celebration of Charlotte's life, please join us for a memorial Mass at Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel, St. Edward's University on Saturday, May 23rd at 10:30 am. Donations in memory of Charlotte may be made to the Bill and Charlotte Flynn Memorial Scholarship, St. Edwards University, 3001 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704 or the Gray Panthers Project Fund, 10 G St. NE Suite 600, Washington, DC 20002.
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Apr. 24 to Apr. 27, 2015
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