Berry Highland Memorial

5315 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN


Barbara Ann Flynn

12 October , 192814 November , 2019

Barbara Ann Flynn, originally of Knoxville, Iowa, passed away suddenly on November 14, 2019, at 91, in her last home of Knoxville, Tennessee. Barbara was a lifelong learner, avid reader, lover of the arts and Democratic politics, a collector, genealogist, and world traveller. She loved her grandchildren, Madeline and Timothy Flynn (“Timmy”) Zitzman of Knoxville, Tennessee, and delighted in their accomplishments and interests.

Barbara attended the University of Iowa, where she majored in Art and was a Gamma Phi Beta. Following graduation, she joined the Army Special Services and was stationed in Kitzingen, Germany after World War II. When she returned to the United States, she moved across country from Des Moines, Iowa, to New York City, where she lived and worked as a graphic designer, illustrator, and artist. She married Robert (“Bob”) Joseph Flynn, a fellow commercial artist, in 1967, and together as a freelance team, they designed record albums for Impulse! Records. After Bob died in 1970, she and her young daughter, Kathleen, moved to Pelham, New York, and Barbara became the art director of Spoken Arts, an audiovisual company with recordings by notable poets and artists. Barbara’s sisters-in-law, Margaret and Maureen Flynn, of Red Bank, then Spring Lake, New Jersey, played an important part in Barbara’s life and were an ongoing support and encouragement to her. Barbara later followed Spoken Arts to St. Petersburg, Florida, where she lived and worked until her retirement. In 2000, she moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, to be closer to family. She lived in Hamilton House in Sequoyah Hills, where she enjoyed her light-filled apartment, playing the piano, collecting and making books and art, and the company of her neighbors and friends, including dear friends Georg and Lisa Leske.

Following retirement, Barbara travelled the country with her first cousin, James (“Jim”) Dunlap Underwood, and internationally with her childhood friend, Lucy Durham Holmes. She traveled to many Civil War sites in pursuit of genealogical research and to Vietnam, China, Mexico, Egypt, France, Guatemala, Germany, and Thailand, to name just a few. Along the way, she collected beautiful objects and took fine photographs, which she used in creating travelogues detailing her adventures. Memories of these trips sustained her in her final years.

Barbara is survived by her daughter, Kathleen Flynn Zitzman, and her son-in-law, Timothy (“Tim”) Fowler Zitzman, of Knoxville, Tennessee; her beloved grandchildren, Madeline and Timmy Zitzman, also of Knoxville; and her sister-in-law, Margaret Flynn, of Manasquan, New Jersey. She is predeceased by her parents, Harold Squire and Helen Dunlap Johnston; her husband, Bob Flynn; her first cousin, Jim Underwood; and her sister-in-law, Maureen Flynn. Barbara’s love for family, travel, politics, and art will live on as a legacy, and her enthusiasm, grit, independence, and creativity will continue to inspire her friends and family.

A service celebrating Barbara’s life will be held at Sacred Heart Cathedral on Wednesday, November 27, 2019, at 3PM, and she will be buried in her childhood home of Knoxville, Iowa.


  • Memorial Mass Wednesday, 27 November , 2019


Barbara Ann Flynn

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