Helen Frances Andrews Flynn The remarkable, feisty and beautiful Helen Frances Andrews Flynn entered peacefully into eternal life on Friday, Dec. 26, 2014, at her home on Tuckerman Avenue in Middletown, RI. She was a native of Newport, RI, and the wife of the late Charles F. Flynn, her best friend and the love of her life, with whom she traveled the world and raised their ever-growing military family pitching her “tent” wherever that may have been for 20 years before returning to their hometown in 1963. She was the daughter of the late Helen and Frank Andrews, a World War II naval officer and the sister of her friend and brother, the late Frank Andrews, a U.S. Navy Captain. Helen was predeceased by her beloved daughter, Helen “Lennie” F. Flynn. Her extraordinary life was an adventurous journey and she lived life to the fullest with grace, style and a powerful presence that will be missed by all those who knew her, especially her eight surviving children and their spouses, Mr. William E. Eckert Jr. and Clare Flynn Eckert of Saunderstown, RI, Mr. Daniel J. Redgate and Barbara Flynn Redgate of Solomans, MD and San Diego, CA, Mr. Douglas O’Neill and Mary Louise Flynn O’Neill, of Middletown, RI, and her sons, Mr. William J. Flynn and Elizabeth A. Klivak Flynn of Middletown RI, Mr. John P. Flynn and Leslie Wilkinson Flynn, of Portsmouth RI, U.S. Army Lt. General (ret) Michael T. Flynn and Lori Andrade Flynn of Alexandria, VA, U.S. Army Major General Charles A. Flynn and Kathleen Quinn Flynn, of Schofield Barracks, HI and Mr. Joseph J. Flynn and Valerie Massey Flynn, of San Clemente, CA; and her 17 grandchildren (and their spouses): Attorneys Alicia and Mark Kutzer, Ms. Kristen Hall, Dr. Jenna Redgate (USN), Ms. Sara Redgate, Ms. Christie Redgate, Ms. Blair Flynn, Ms. Emily Flynn, Ms. Molly Flynn, Ms. Tara Flynn, Ms. Julia Flynn, Ms. Ruth Flynn, Mr. Bryan and Joanna Humphrey Flynn, Mr. Michael and Jennifer Edmonds Flynn, Mr. Matthew and Niki Dove Flynn, Mr. Edward Hall, Mr. Ethan Flynn and Mr. Sean Flynn, and four great grandchildren, Trinity and Kingston Maghuyop of Middletown, RI and Thomas and Brooke Flynn of Tampa, FL, and her extended loving family of many nieces, nephews and friends. Helen was a woman of honor and faith in God, intellectual curiosity and a voracious reader and writer; a true patriot, a formidable leader and a beloved Mother, who stood tall for what she believed in against the odds and celebrated the achievements of her brood. Her faith was her guide. She gave her all at every twist and turn in her life experience, and asked for nothing in return. Helen was an intellect, and was up for “the debate,” whatever the topic. A conversation with Helen could be about the latest headline news and politics, to a recent Supreme Court decision, or a discussion about the value of social media to the world conversation. She was the 1943 Rogers High School valedictorian and received a full four year scholarship to Brown University’s Pembroke College for Women in 1943. She graduated from Catherine Gibbs Secretarial School in 1945, earned her undergraduate degree in Business Administration and Economics from the University of Rhode Island in 1983, and a Juris Doctor from Southern New England School of Law at age 63, all the while raising her nine children and working to make life better for her family. Helen was a licensed real estate broker and the founder of Flynn Real Estate, Inc., which she owned and operated for more than 25 years right up until this year at 89 years old. Prior to starting her business and as part of her professional life, she was the Executive Director of The Executive Secretarial School in Newport, RI, an administrative assistant in the State of Rhode Island’s Treasurer’s Office and in the Newport County Sheriff’s Office, among other jobs she held during her career. She inspired greatness, high achievement, leadership and perseverance. Helen was a founding member and former director of Rhode Island Catholics for Life and a passionate national leader in the fight, who lobbied endlessly for the cause, including testifying in front of the U.S. Congress. She was also an original member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians Women’s Auxiliary. Helen helped administer and raise money for countless international, national and local charitable organizations, including the Holy Cross Mission in Bangladesh on behalf of her friend and missionary priest, the late Father Joseph LeHane of Newport, and the Little Flower Home in Rhode Island. She served as a volunteer for many local organizations including the Middletown Economic Development Committee and the Middletown Beach Commission. She was also a life-long and active parishioner of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Parish in Newport, RI. Through the 1970s and 1980s, Helen was an active member of the Rhode Island Democratic Party and was a politicians’ dream as an avid fundraiser and campaigner for local, statewide and national elections. Never one to sit on the sidelines, Helen ran for State Representative in Middletown and for the U.S. Senate during these years with passion for what she believed in and energy that was unmatched. When Helen had it in her mind to do something, she found the way, embraced the challenge and stepped in with two feet firmly planted on the ground. The Irish adage, “Never sit down with a tear or a frown, but paddle your own canoe,” is the personification of her upbringing that came alive in all that she achieved. Helen loved her Irish heritage. Her glibness in expressing herself in Irish verses to get a point across and share her wisdom was astounding. She was fearless in expressing her informed opinions, and she made you think. Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the light of her life. There were so many facets to Helen’s life that to list them would be nearly impossible, but these are just a few that capture what Helen loved the most: Long swims at First Beach, a ride along the Ocean Drive, visitors to Sea Lodge at Tuckerman, finding the right frame for her gallery of family pictures, attending Mass and hearing her daughter Mary sing, swaddling babies and hugging children, boasting about the achievements of her children and grandchildren, vacuuming the rugs, making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at the kitchen counter, finding a pillow and comforter for her children to sleep, shopping at Talbots, enjoying a Newport Creamery Coffee Ice Cream and Fudge Sundae, receiving endless calls and emails from her children about the latest news and achievements of her grandchildren, cook-outs in the backyard with her family, watching the ocean from her porch window, delivering weekly surf reports to her surfer children, reminiscing with stories of her own Irish mother’s life, and talking about politics, the military, religion and the importance of family unity. Helen was not afraid to set the bar high for herself and others, but was always there to break the fall or offer an encouraging word or extended hand of hope. She lived her full life with character, compassion, stamina and zest for whatever came along. The spirit of Helen lives forever within all those she unselfishly touched, and she is surely in heaven with her God. Helen will be missed, but man; she lived life to the fullest. She experienced all that she could, she witnessed and saw the best and worst life has to offer. She gave life to so many and gave of herself to even more, with no regrets. She was her own woman and that’s the only way she would have it. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Mary’s Church on Spring Street in Newport, RI, at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015. Visiting hours are scheduled from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 2, 2015 at the O'Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring Street. In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the Visiting Nurse Services of Newport & Bristol Counties, 1184 East Main Rd., Portsmouth, RI 02871; and the Support The Enlisted Project (STEP), which provides emergency financial and transition assistance grants to active duty and recently discharged enlisted military and their families, at PO Box 26747, San Diego, CA 92196.