January 7, 2013

Feature Obituary: Patrick Henry Flynn, 69, always loved to return to Maine

By Dennis Hoey dhoey@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Patrick Henry Flynn tried his hand at a lot of things in his life, from writing plays to operating a resort, but the one constant in his life was the time he spent in Maine.

PASSAGES

Each day the newsroom selects one obituary and seeks to learn more about the life of a person who has lived and worked in Maine. We look for a person who has made a mark on the community or the person's family and friends in lasting ways.

"He always found Maine to be a place of tranquility and grounding," said Mr. Flynn's son, Patrick Warner Flynn of Washington, D.C.

"No matter what was happening in his life, he could always get away from it by going to Maine," his son said.

Mr. Flynn, a resident of Camden in the 1970s and '80s, died Friday at his home in West Palm Beach, Fla. He moved to Florida in the early 2000s.

He was 69 years old.

Born in Salem, Mass., he attended the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Boston University School of Public Communication, Weston School of Theology and the Harvard Business School.

His son said his father left the family's leather tanning business to pursue a career in real estate development that led him to Moosehead Lake, where he owned and operated the Mt. Kineo resort for a number of years.

He would fly from his year-round home in Camden to Greenville, not far from the Kineo resort where he would spend his summers.

"It was a magical place," his son recalled. "My father held court to every conceivable artist."

Flynn said writers, poets and musicians from around the world would spend time at the resort, which is located on an island in the middle of Moosehead Lake.

He said internationally known singer Gordon Lightfoot composed his hit song "Sundown" during a stay at the resort.

Oftentimes, during inclement weather, a pilot would land a plane on the lake and ask if the passengers could stay at the resort.

Mr. Flynn would welcome them with open arms.

"There were poets, musicians, writers and they'd sit by the campfire and do magical stuff" such as writing songs and poetry, Flynn said.

Allen Pease of Hollis met Mr. Flynn, who was doing work for a county Democratic committee at the time, during the late 1960s while Pease was working as chief of staff for former Gov. Kenneth Curtis.

Over time, they became close friends.

Pease said Mr. Flynn "was very creative."

He was well known in Maine's artistic community, a source he tried to use to establish a museum of Maine humor in Freeport.

Pease said the effort failed due to a lack of funding. "That's an example of the inventive sort of mind he had," Pease said.

Eventually, Mr. Flynn returned to live in Boston, where he became a playwright. He also worked as a critic for the City Paper in Boston, the Washington Post and the Miami New Times.

For the past seven years, Mr. Flynn served as president of the Palm Beach Theater Guild, a group that led a crusade to save the historic Royal Poinciana Playhouse in Palm Beach.

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

dhoey@pressherald.com

 

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