Francis Patrick Flynn, 87, Fargo, formerly of Mandan, passed away July 8, 2019, at Bethany Retirement Living.
Memorial services will be at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, July 11, at the Bismarck Funeral Home. Inurnment will be at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Mandan.
Francis was born on April 28, 1932, in Dickinson, to Frank and Elizabeth (Schimke) Flynn. Francis attended St. Patrick Grade School and graduated from Dickinson High School. In 1954, he graduated from Dickinson State College with a Bachelor of Education degree and two Athletic Hall of Fame inductions in tennis and football.
Francis enlisted in the Army in 1954. He proudly served our country as a communications specialist in support of Panama Canal operations. For his dedication to duty and distinguished service, he was awarded the Army Good Conduct Medal and received an honorable discharge in 1956. As a servant leader to his nation and community, he continued his professional career as a business manager/accountant. After 15 years of dedicated service, he retired from the North Dakota Youth Correctional Center.
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Francis married Delanne (Wagner) Johnson on Sept. 17, 1976. That day he also became a father to Cindy Bitz, Lynette Rasmusson and Gregory Johnson. Francis was a true family man. He swelled with pride and smiled from ear to ear when he was with his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, brother, sisters, nieces and nephews. If you struck a conversation with Francis, it would always lead back to family and how proud he was of them all. Francis and Dee had another special family through AA and Al-anon. Through his 35 years of sobriety, Francis and Dee encouraged and supported others who struggled with the disease of alcoholism.
Francis was known for his easy conversation, twinkling Irish eyes, mischievous smile and boisterous laugh. He loved to hear a good joke but found the most joy in sharing it with others. He was playful and fun, and especially enjoyed time spent with his grandchildren. He and Dee loved socializing with family and friends over meals and cards or dice games.
Francis and Dee enjoyed some of the best years of their lives serving as campground hosts at General Sibley Park and several locations across the Lower 48. They were always excited to come back to family and friends in Bismarck-Mandan and were eager to share stories of their adventures. They were well known in Mandan for being the number one senior cheer team for multiple sports, including basketball, swimming and football. Francis’s memory will live on in his loving family.
He is survived by two daughters, Cindy (Pius) Bitz, Bismarck, and Lynette (Keith) Rasmusson, Hawley, Minn.; 12 grandchildren; and 21 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by the love of his life, Delanne Flynn; his son, Gregory Johnson; his parents; and three siblings.
Those wishing to sign the online register book or leave a message of condolence please go to www.bismarckfuneralhome.com.