Thomas
Thomas M. Flynn, a Torrance resident of 45 years, passed away on February 23, 2010 after a hard fought battle with lung cancer. He was born in Chicago, IL on July 10, 1931 to Michael and Helen (Schafer) Flynn and was the younger brother to Mary Lou. After his father passed way, his mother married Charles Kieran and he became an older brother to sisters Mary Ann and Patricia "Tishie". He attended grade school at Our Lady of Peace and was an extremely proud graduate of Mt. Carmel High School. He followed their football team for these past 60 years after he graduated. He attended the University of Notre Dame and was a life long Fighting Irish fan. He finished his education at De Paul University and Loyola University of Chicago. Tom joined the United States Marine Corps in 1952 and served with the 1st Marine division during the Korean War. He truly was one of The Few…The Proud. After the 9/11 attacks, he began to wear his globe and anchor pins in honor of his fellow Marines. Tom married Eileen Gatliff on December 26, 1955. They were married almost 50 years, until her death in 2005. They lived in Chicago until they moved to California in 1960, eventually settling to Torrance in 1965. Tom spent his career working in the drywall contracting business beginning as an accountant for USG and went on to own and operate Specialty Contractors. After his retirement, Tom became a dedicated blood and platelet donor and made over 200 aphaeresis donations to the American Red Cross. He said about his many donations "It's better to give than to receive!" Tom loved to travel, visiting many places around the world including Ireland, Africa, Australia, Europe, Central America and China. He was also an active member of St. James Catholic Church and the Catholic Golden Age Group. He especially loved their trips to Laughlin! Tom is survived by his heartbroken family. He was a loving father to Barbara Flynn & Claude Posilovich of Nokomis, FL, and Marypat & Joseph Peña of Burbank, CA. He was a proud "Pop Pop" to his grandchildren Matthew, Amanda, & Brian Basnight and Kyle & Molly Peña. He was the "one and only" brother to his sisters Mary Ann Gorman of Chicago, IL and Tishie Haavig, of Orland Park, IL. He was preceded in death by his sister Mary Lou Brosch of Excelsior, MN. Tom was also brother-in-law to Ernie Brosch, Ed Haavig, Jeanne Gatliff, Grace Doig, Audrey Smallwood, Kathleen Wood and Anne & Bayard Kurth. He was also "Uncle Tom" to over 50 nieces and nephews. If you can join us for the viewing and rosary, please feel free to wear Notre Dame apparel in Tom's honor. Burial will be at Holy Cross Cemetery, Beaver Island, MI, where Tom and Eileen "Leany" will be surrounded by family members who have gone to Heaven ahead of them. In lieu of gifts or flowers, please consider a donation to the American Cancer Society for lung cancer research or to Mt. Carmel High School, Chicago, IL.

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  1. Tom and I were extremely good friends and competitors in business. He had a fantastic sense of humor and was enjoyable to be around. When St. Patricks Day comes around we will be thinking of him, cooking all the corn beef and cabbage. Tom will be missed, he was a great man and friend.

  2. Tom will truly be missed. He was a great man with so much charm. He always made us laugh. A patriot and fighter to the end. Rest in Peace.

  3. I first met Tom in early 1954 at DePaul University. Besides being classmates we were both Korean War veterans which helped us bond and become friends for life. Tom was special, always there for me whether it be help with studies, finances or to pick up my spirits. He was a positive thinker always upbeat and making the best of any situation. He never complained about his problems rather he was concerned about yours. He was a great father and husband. His priorities were God, family and work from day one until his last day. We met our spouses while in college, Tom and Eileen married before we graduated and Joan and I shortly after I graduated. Our friendship became a lifetime couple friendship. So we have lost the other half of that wonderful friendship but we know they are both at peace. He was a heck of a good friend we will miss forever.

  4. Uncle Tom’s laugh, charm and wit will be missed by all who loved him. He never had a bad day (or never showed it!) and always seemed to take care of others before himself. The world was a better place with Uncle Tom in it and Heaven will be just as lucky. He was a wonderful man and I will miss him dearly.

  5. Dearest Barb and MaryPat, Your dear dad is at rest and in the arms of his Lord. Please know that you were the best daughters in the world to him and that you gave him such joy, as did your children. He always broke into a BIG smile at the mention of Matt, Amanda, Brian, Kyle and Molly. Blessings to you all. With Love

  6. Pop Pop was a rare breed; he was always kind, cheerful and loving- and one that will certainly be missed. He was a great grandfather and a heck of a bargain shopper; I sure know where I got my deal hunting skills from! I’ll never forget the days of driving to the 99 cent store and having free reign of any one item I wanted. And now I have no idea what I’m going to do without my annual allowance of socks and underwear he’d give us kids every Christmas! Rest in peace Pop Pop, love and miss you. -Your Favorite Oldest Grandson

  7. As Tom Flynn’s (Pop Pop) favorite oldest granddaughter, I would like to say how much I love him. Even though we are heartbroken, I find comfort in God’s love and I can look back on the memories Pop Pop gave us. For now, I can only hope for the day I can reunite with him under God’s abundant love. Some of my favorite memories of Pop Pop include: –Embarrassing me as he sang a parody of the song from Disney’s “Snow White.” My ride would pull up…and out of the house would come Pop pop, dressed in a white t-shirt, some navy blue pants, and his slippers (which were so old he just used duct tape to keep them in tact!). He would sing, “Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to school we go!” –Trips in the car, where every caution light we passed under would prompt a “yellow light-no light, yellow light-no light…” chant until the flashing light passed from our sight. –Even the visits to Torrance, California, where his small house was within walking distance of the McDonald’s or the 99 cent store trips where each kid got to pick out one toy as a treat. Love always, His favorite oldest granddaughter

  8. Our Uncle Tom was a classic. Always cheerful, optimistic with his ever-present wit and humour. He will be forever missed and loved by us. Love, The Zank family

  9. I will miss Uncle Tom Flynn. He always had a joke and a smile! I still remember from many, many years ago I was pretty young and standing in front of the TV (that he was trying to watch) and instead of telling me to move out of the way he said “Cynthia Anne, you are not made of glass!” I laugh when I think of it and have often used the same saying myself. I also remeber some shopping trips for bargains too. He left us all with some great memories. Cynthia (Cindy) Zank

  10. Dear Joe & Pat, It was nice meeting your Dad even in pictures. My dad don’t know Tom but surely they are in a better place. Let us just salute to their lives that was well lived. Winnie Arias

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