Both ministers who spoke at Jack Flynn's funeral last week said they thought of him as their best friend. And one, Larry Yarber, said, "Everyone here probably thought of him as your best friend."
Flynn was known for his kind heart, warm smile and firm handshake. "There was no greater friend to all of us than Jackie Flynn," Yarber said. "He met every hardship with a smile."
An estimated 500 friends and family paid their respects at the visitation June 11, and a crowd too numerous to fit in the sanctuary gathered for his funeral the next day.
Yarber said the mourners could take comfort in knowing Flynn was in Heaven because of his deep faith in Christ. "He didn't spend his lifetime preparing to die -- but to live," Yarber said.
The minister choked back tears when he said, "The only thing larger than Jackie's smile and physical stature was his heart."
Flynn, 55, died in a Springfield, Mo., hospital of head injuries suffered in a logging accident near his home at Fryatt, Ark., June 9. Flynn and his son, Joe, were cutting trees downed in a recent storm when the accident occurred.
Joe Flynn performed CPR at the scene before transporting his father to Fulton County Hospital in Salem, stopping along the way to perform CPR again. Jack Flynn was later air-lifted to St. John's Hospital in Springfield.
He was buried at Fryatt Cemetery following his funeral June 12.
As a partner in JC Manufacturing Company, Flynn was a third-generation maker of canes, walking sticks and handles, using the hickory and white oak trees that grow in abundance near his home. His son, Joe, along with other family members, plans to continue the family business.
Flynn was known for his gardening and his generosity with the produce from his garden. He also loved to hunt and fish, and he made numerous trips to Colorado, Kansas, South Dakota and Canada with his wife to hunt elk, quail and pheasant, fish for northern pike and pan for gold.
His wife, Janie, is general manager of Areawide Media in Salem and publisher of The News, the Villager Journal and The South Missourian News.
Jackie Delbert Flynn, son of Vernon and Emma Dawson Flynn, was born Jan. 10, 1948, in Fryatt. He married Janie Coats in Thayer on Jan. 29, 1972.
He is survived by his wife, Janie Flynn of Fryatt; a son, Joe Flynn, and his wife, Tiffany, of Mammoth Spring; three grandchildren -- Taylor Noakes, Coby Noakes and Zackery Flynn, all of Mammoth Spring; his mother, Emma Flynn of Mammoth Spring; a sister, Mary Ragsdale of Mammoth Spring; a son-in-law, Bundy Noakes of Mammoth Spring; two brothers-in-law, Warren Coats and wife, Laura, of Thayer, and Roy Coats and wife, Roberta, of House Springs, Mo.; three sisters-in-law -- Sue Grooms and husband, Jim, of Couch, Mo., Lois Huddleston of West Plains, Mo., and Nora McIntare and husband, John, of Thayer; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by a daughter, Julie Noakes; his father, Vernon Flynn; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Thurman and Louise Coats; and a brother-in-law, Cordell Ragsdale.
Flynn was a veteran of the United States Army, having served in the Vietnam War.
He was a member of Camp Church of Christ.