Flynn, John J.Died
Jesuit Father John Joseph (“Jack,” “Doc”) Flynn, M.D., died Jan. 27, 2013, in the Regis Infirmary at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, Calif., at the age of 89 after a long struggle with cancer. He had been a member of the Jesuits for 52 years and an ordained priest for 43 years.
Fr. Flynn was born in Yakima, Wash., in 1923 and was raised in Los Angeles. He graduated from Loyola High School and attended Loyola University in Los Angeles before serving in the Army during World War II. He was a pre-med student, and the Army sent him to medical school at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. Discharged from the service in 1946, he completed his studies and received his M.D. in 1947. His internship and residency were made in hospitals in Los Angeles. At the start of the Korean War in 1950, he enrolled in the Navy Reserves and was immediately called to active duty in Korea, where he served as a combat medic with the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines in the Inchon and Chosin Reservoir campaigns. Separated from the service in 1952, he did a residency in radiology at the Veteran Administration Hospital in Los Angeles, and later practiced in Los Angeles hospitals and in private practice.
During this period he discerned a calling to the religious priesthood and entered Sacred Heart Novitiate in Los Gatos in 1960. At 37, he was the oldest member of his class of 46, most of whom were right out of high school. During his years of studies, he taught chemistry at Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose, Calif., 1964-65, and biology at the University of San Francisco the following year. His theology studies were made at Alma College, Los Gatos, and he was ordained to the priesthood in 1969.
Fr. Flynn did a Fellowship in Nuclear Medicine at UCLA, 1970-72, gaining an M.S. in Radiology and Nuclear Medicine. He served as Clinical Lecturer of Radiology at the University of California, Irvine, 1972-81, where he founded and directed the Division of Diagnostic Ultrasound. From 1981-88, he was Assistant Clinical Professor of Radiology at UCLA- Olive View Medical Center.
He retired from medical practice in 1988 and took up hospital chaplaincy, serving at Daniel Freeman Hospital, Marina Del Rey until 1998. He then became senior priest at Holy Family Church in Glendale, Calif., until retiring to the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in 2005.
Fr. Flynn was a kind and devoted priest with a concern and zeal for helping the poor. He was a respected medical practitioner, who lectured and published in his field and who held patents on a device for measuring ultrasound beams. In addition to his medical practice and priestly ministry, Fr. Flynn was a musician. In high school, he founded a dance band, playing at school dances and parish halls. He worked his way through college as a part-time musician, appeared in a few Hollywood musicals as a band member, and played in a variety of night clubs and bars in the 1940s, including gambling casinos and after-hours joints. In his later years, he enjoyed playing the piano for members of the retirement community.