William Edward Flynn
October 10, 1931 – October 4, 2019
Dr. William Edward Flynn, age 87 of Highlands Ranch, Colorado died surrounded by his family on October 4, 2019. Born in Boston, MA, Dr. Flynn was a graduate of Holy Cross College (’53) and Georgetown University School of Medicine (’57). Upon completion of psychiatry residency at Georgetown, Dr. Flynn began service as a Navy physician at the height of the Cuban missile crisis. After completing duty, he returned to Washington DC to join the faculty of Georgetown University School of Medicine to teach medical students and psychiatry residents and complete his fellowship at the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute. He and his wife, Nona Mitchell Flynn, settled in McLean, Virginia where they lived and raised a family for 30 years. While on faculty at Georgetown, he served from 1980-1989 as a Trustee on the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous. As the Class-A, (non-alcoholic) physician board member, he represented the medical profession in providing counsel to Alcoholics Anonymous national leadership. In 1983, Dr. Flynn accepted the Volunteer Action Award from President Ronald Reagan at the White House on behalf of Alcoholics Anonymous. Dr. Flynn served as the team psychiatrist and substance abuse expert for the Washington Redskins and Washington Capitals. Dr. Flynn founded Georgetown’s prestigious Alcohol and Substance Abuse Clinic, which continues today, providing inpatient and outpatient services to Washington DC and international patients. During his tenure at Georgetown, he was awarded the Kaiser-Permanente Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching, received an award from the Georgetown Clinical Society, and was appointed a Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association in recognition of his contributions to Psychiatry. He retired from Georgetown in 2000. He and Nona built a home at The Woods, a golf community in West Virginia.
Dr. Flynn liked retiring so much, he did it three times. He came out of retirement in West Virginia to organize retired Washington DC and Baltimore psychiatrists to cover an inpatient unit when the state’s medical malpractice costs drove practicing physicians out of the state. When Dr. Flynn learned that West Virginians who had, as Lincoln said, “borne the battle” in Afghanistan and Iraq were returning to find few resources to help them with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse, Dr. Flynn came out of retirement again. He joined the Veterans Administration in Morgantown WV and taught medical students at the University of West Virginia, School of Medicine. When he moved to Colorado in 2012, Dr. Flynn became aware of the shortage of mental health services available to veterans outside of Denver. He came out of retirement, again, at age 81 to work at the VA clinic in Greeley, Colorado. Dr. Flynn ended his medical career as a volunteer psychiatrist with Doctors Care in Littleton, providing consult liaison services for at-risk patients in south Denver.
When “Doc” Flynn was not working, he loved spending time with family, golf, fishing, tramping through the woods with Labrador Retrievers and traveling with his beloved wife of 60 years, Nona. He will be dearly missed by his children Therese Karsten (John), William Flynn (Margaret), Daniel Flynn and Timothy Flynn (Beth). “Pop” leaves grandchildren Hayley Kelliher, Will Flynn, Carly Speakman, Ryan Karsten, Jillian Flynn, Kylan Flynn, Liam Flynn and Maggie Flynn.
Services for Dr. Flynn will be held at 10:30 am on Friday, November 8th at St. Francis Cabrini Catholic Church, 6673 W. Chatfield Ave, Littleton CO 80128. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Francis Cabrini’s Outreach program.