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Flynn, James (Jim)

FLYNN.jpgxFLYNN, James Joseph Michael "Jim" (Age 92) James Joseph Michael Flynn, Age 92, entered his Sabbath rest on February 1, 2021 lovingly supported by his family. His deceased wife is Elsa Anderson Flynn. Remaining to carry on his legacy are daughters Brigid Clare Flynn Henderson, Erin Elizabeth Flynn Saunders, and his three sons, Francis John Handwerk, Hans Eric Handwerk, and Terry Patrick Handwerk, as well as his 17 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. Jim is preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Rena Flynn, his brother Joseph Flynn, and sister Patricia Flynn McCarthy. His two living sisters are Sister Mary Rachel Flynn (Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Kansas) and Judy Flynn Fechter. Born in Amarillo, Texas June 1, 1928, Jim was raised in Helena, Montana. He is a graduate of Carroll College in Helena, Catholic University of America in Washington DC, and Gonzaga University in Spokane. He holds Bachelor Degrees in philosophy and theology and a Master's Degree in counseling psychology. Jim was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1954. He ministered in parishes in Columbia Falls, Bozeman, Butte, and Conrad, Montana. He was Dean of Religion and Campus Pastor at Carroll College for five years. He then was Chaplain at Montana State Hospital, Warm Springs, Galen State Hospital, and Adjunct Chaplain at the Montana State Penitentiary, Deer Lodge, Montana. He taught part-time at Anaconda Central High School while missioned in Butte. He was a chaplain and teacher at Boys Central High School. For three years he served on the Montana Governor's Domestic Relations Commission, charged with revising the state marriage and divorce laws. Concurrently Jim was on the National Coordinating Board of the Christian Family Movement (CFM). While on the faculty of Carroll College he was a National Board Member of the Papal Volunteers for Latin America. This role took him to Guatemala and Mexico three times. As Campus Pastor at Carroll College he initiated the SEARCH retreat program. He was spiritual director of the first two SEARCH retreats at Gonzaga University and also at Benedictine College in Kansas. In 1969 Jim resigned, with Papal permission, his priestly ministry. He married Elsa in 1970. In that same year he became the Director of the Spokane Neighborhood Centers. In 1971 he was appointed the first Director of the Spokane County Courts Rehabilitation Services, now known as the Spokane County Department of Corrections, where he worked for 26 years, retiring in 1996. While employed with County Corrections he served three years as a member of the State Board of Clemency and Pardons followed by service on the Governor's Council on Substance Abuse. Jim was a registered counselor and a state qualified substance abuse counselor. For two years he and Elsa were volunteer intervention counselors for drug addicted homeless in Spokane. At the same time, they volunteered for the Mental Health Center "crisis telephone line". Jim was involved in parish ministry as Lector, Eucharistic Minister, Homebound Ministry and Healing Prayer Ministry. He was a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus. He was an Associate of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Kansas (SCLA). Two of the "highs and lows" of Jim's life experience were to climb 10,000-foot Triple Divide Peak in Glacier National Park and to descend one mile into the Kelly Mine in Butte. Two of his sublime experiences were witnessing the births of his two daughters, to hold them in his arms, and sing to them "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". Jim's wish is that any memorials in his name be given to the Poor Clare Sisters and to the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church. Due to current COVID restrictions, Rosary, Funeral Mass, and interment are by invitation only. Rosary and Funeral Mass may be viewed on live-stream at Click on "Live-Stream" link at the top of the webpage (Rosary, February 5, 7pm; Funeral Mass, February 6, 10 am). Online tributes may be made at