Marion McKechnie Flynn, 85, a devoted mother, wife and beloved by many, passed away on Jan. 4, 2020 in Coronado after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Marion was born Dec. 8, 1934 to Harriot and Arnold McKechnie in Pensacola, Florida. Being born into a Navy family started Marion’s life of adventure. Marion’s childhood was spent in various locations. She lived in Florida, Virginia, Panama, Hawaii and then moved to Coronado for her last few years of high school.
It was in Coronado where Marion met her high school sweetheart, Patrick W. Flynn. She would tell her children that she met Pat behind a sand dune on the beach in Coronado where she and with other high school kids were hiding from the police after being chased for drinking beer at a beach party.
The beach continued to be a passion for Marion with long days laying in the sun. If there was a ray of sunshine to be found, there would be Marion, her face tilted to its warmth. She remained a sun worshipper up until the week she died.
Marion began playing the ukulele while living in Hawaii, which ignited a lifelong passion for music and singing. Marion would play and sing at the Coronado High School assemblies, in the courtyard at lunch, with friends who played guitar on Friday nights in their garage, anywhere she could find a place to sit, play her ukulele and sing. Marion’s love for country music introduced her to country artist, Rose Maddox. Because she played so many of Maddox’s songs, she affectionately was nicknamed Rose by her close friends and family.
After graduating from Coronado High School in 1951, Marion followed her parents to their duty station in Washington D.C. where Marion enrolled in George Washington University and notably joined the rifle team where she became an excellent marksman.
When Marion’s high school sweetheart, Pat, moved to Vermillion to attend the University of South Dakota to pursue his career in medicine, she accepted his proposal to join him and they were married in Coronado in 1954. Marion also attended the University of South Dakota and earned her Bachelor of Arts in English with an eye on becoming a teacher.
Pat attended medical school in Texas and subsequently joined the U.S. Navy and became a flight surgeon. They had four children and lived the Navy life until the sudden death of their youngest child Michael, who died at the age of eight from encephalitis. Devastated by their loss, Pat left the Navy so their family could stay in one place to mend.
Marion and Pat moved to Carson City, Nevada where Pat opened a private practice. Marion was able to settle into the community and pursue her passion for gardening, bridge and raising her children. After their last child graduated from high school, Pat reenlisted in the Navy and they again lived the military life with duty stations in Bremerton, Coronado, Key West and Yuma until Pat’s retirement in 1986.
After his retirement, Marion and Pat again settled in Carson City and lived out the reminder of their years together in a home they loved. Pat preceded Marion in death in 2012.
Marion is survived by her children, Patrick William (Linda) Flynn Jr., Cinda Flynn and Monica (Kathy Martell) Flynn; grandchildren Sean Patrick Flynn, Paige Flynn, Amelia Clapper Flynn and Gabriela Clapper Flynn; her sister Marjie Hughes and brother Arnold (Carol) McKechnie Jr.; and many loved and cherished nieces and nephews, in laws and friends too numerous to count.
She will be remembered for her intelligence, wit, kindness, love of animals, positive disposition and her devotion to her husband, children, friends and family. Marion was music, laughter, song, sunshine and love. She is missed beyond measure.
A funeral mass is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 18 at noon at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 655 C Avenue. In lieu of flowers donations would be appreciated to Elderhelp of San Diego through their website at elderhelpofsandiego.org in the name of Marion Flynn.