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Rev. Robert P. Flynn, Jesuit missionary <br> March 12, 1920 -- Feb. 7, 2009

The Rev. Robert P. Flynn, a Jesuit missionary in Japan who taught English for much of his career in Japan, died Feb. 7 in Loyola House, Tokyo. He was 88.

Born in Manhattan, he moved to Kenmore with his family during his early primary grades. After graduating from Canisius High School in 1937, he entered Jesuit training and pursued a 15-year spiritual, academic and teaching journey that took him to St. Louis, Jersey City, N.J., Belgium, Germany, France and Switzerland.

Father Flynn's lifelong mission -- spiritually and as an educator -- was in Japan. Beginning in 1953, he taught English at Rokko Jesuit High School in Kobe for 29 years, then taught for five years at Taisei Gakuen School in Fukuoka.

In the late 1960s, he developed a widely used junior high and high school English textbook known as "Progress in English." In 2002, Father Flynn's former students collaborated to write a biography of him as a special tribute to their English teacher. The book was published in Japan, in both English and Japanese.

Former students and friends visited him regularly during his stay in Loyola House.

Survivors include two sisters, Patricia Tyrrell and Rita Walsh, and three brothers, Maurice E. Jr., Leo A. and Thomas.

A memorial Mass will be offered at 5:15 p.m. Saturday in St. Michael Catholic Church, 651 Washington St.

A memorial Mass also will be offered March 28 in Rokko Catholic Church, Kobe.


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