Clarence F. Flynn

July 12, 1920 - April 09, 2016

Clarence F. Flynn

July 12, 1920 - April 09, 2016


Clarence Frances Flynn passed away on April 9th, 2016 in Lynden, Washington at the age of 95. 

On July 12th, 1920 in Hibbing, Minnesota, Clarence came into this life, the eldest of 6 children, born to James and Aileen Flynn. He graduated from Hibbing High School in 1937 and attended community college in Hibbing before enlisting in the Navy in 1938.  He spent 7 years in the Navy and rose to the rank of Chief Gunners Mate. He served on the USS Salt Lake City and spent 5 1/2 years on overseas duty.    During his tour of duty in the Pacific, Clarence fought during the attack of Pearl Harbor as well as the raids on Marshall, Gilbert, and Wake Islands.  He was also fought in the Coral Sea Battle, Invasion of Guadalcanal, Battle of Cape Esperance, the Bombardment of Kiska, and the Battle of Komandorski. 

Upon returning to the states, Clarence was chosen to be a part of the U.S. Steel Mill tour furthering the war effort.  It was during this time that Clarence met Rena Lorraine Possanza by chance on a train to California, which led to their marriage in 1943.  His last position serving in the Navy was at the Farragut Naval Station in Bayview, Idaho where Clarence taught munitions. It was here that he and Rena saw the birth of their eldest son, Jerry. 

Clarence was honorably discharged in 1945 and the couple moved to Pittsburg, California with their young son to be near family.  A committed husband and father with a strong work ethic, Clarence secured a position at the Pittsburg Police Department and shortly after that, he and Rena welcomed the arrival of their second son, Gregory. 

Clarence had a long and distinguished career with the Pittsburg police department where he received numerous promotions and commendations.  In 1966 Clarence was appointed Chief of Police and held this position until his retirement in 1975. 

Upon retiring, Clarence and Rena started a new life in Ferndale, Washington, where Clarence was able to fulfill a dream of becoming a rancher, raising horses and cattle.
Clarence met many people who remained life long friends including Sheriff Bernie Reynolds.  During his time as Sheriff, Bernie appointed Clarence to serve as undersheriff in Whatcom County where the two worked closely together facing law-enforcement issues of the time.

Clarence was a true original.  He wove his life stories, experiences, and accomplishments into his conversations and made friends wherever he went. From his Police Chief’s chair to the booth at McDonalds, he carried himself with class and dignity, tempered by a warm sense of humor, clever wit, and a mischievous smile.  He truly enjoyed his time with his family and friends.  His perfect week included a visit to the gun shop, a trip to the Fair to see the draft horses, colorful jokes over coffee, and finally winding the week down with a Sunday pasta dinner with his family.  He was generous, thoughtful, and helpful to many people.  Clarence lived for 95 years and there are many whose lives are greatly improved because of HIS  time with us.
Clarence was preceded in death by his wife Rena, his parents, and his siblings.

He is survived by sons Jerry (Bernida), Greg (Robbie), Grandchildren Audra Flynn, Colleen Flynn, Jamie Callahan, Jeremy Thompson and great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, April 14, 10:00am at Greenacres, 5700 Northwest Dr, Ferndale.

Funeral Service

  • Date & Time: Apr 14, 2016 (No Time)
  • Venue: Moles Farewell Tributes - Greenacres
  • Location: 5700 Northwest Dr Ferndale, WA 98248 - (Get Directions)

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2 responses to Clarence F. Flynn

  1. We wish the family our condolences. It was a real pleasure to have known Clarence F. Flynn. He will be missed.

  2. judy says:

    Your Dad was one of a kind. I was one of his nurses when he came to the hospital. I would say “hey, my boyfriend!” and he would grin! I will miss him! My deepest sympathy at the loss of your Dad, who lived a full and prosperous life.

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