Bebe Ann Mills Flynn passed away quietly, in her sleep, in Dallas, Texas, on December 29, 2022.
Bebe was born on January 26, 1921, in Lenoir City, Tennessee. Her parents, Thomas Edwards Mills and Marie Bernardine Drew Mills, moved from Virginia to Lenoir City, where he was chief metallurgist for the Southern Railway Car Works.
The Mills were some of the few Catholics in Lenoir City, and the priest traveled to say Mass once a month in their home. Maintaining her faith was a strong focus of Bebe’s life.
Bebe was active and outgoing in school, and she made lifelong friends, whom she liked to visit each summer. She had a subscription to the Lenoir City News for over 50 years.
After high school graduation Bebe attended Saint Mary’s Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Knoxville, TN, graduating as a Registered Nurse in October 1943. She worked as a Registered Nurse through the 1980s, for many years at Madonna Hospital in Denison, Texas.
Bebe married her childhood friend and high school boyfriend, John Franklin Flynn, in Lenoir City, on July 26, 1945. He was a radioman in the Navy and was on leave, transferring from the European front to the Pacific front. Briefly, they were stationed in Newport, Rhode Island, where he was being trained to imitate Japanese radio operators. When the War ended, John resumed his career with the Federal Communications Commission in Marietta, Georgia. John worked for the FCC for over 40 years and received numerous commendations for his service. They moved to Denison, Texas, in 1956.
Bebe was actively involved in her children’s schools in Denison, Saint Xavier’s Academy and Denison High School, and in Saint Patrick’s parish in Denison. She was a member of the Altar Society, a volunteer at the local hospital, and a member of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees. In 2013 Bebe was the first recipient from Saint Patrick’s of the Bishop’s Award for her significant contributions to the parish as a volunteer. She was also named Saint Patrick’s Woman of the Year.
Bebe and John loved to travel in retirement, often with a group of other retirees from Denison. After John passed away in 1986, she continued her travel adventures with the group and took several trips with her daughters. She saw most of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, stayed in many national parks, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. She made friends wherever she went and was known for her upbeat attitude toward life. A highlight for her daughters was a trip to London with Bebe for her 80th birthday. Bebe’s was a life well-lived and well-loved.
Bebe Flynn is survived by her daughters Virginia Flynn Hess (Joe) of Los Altos, California, and Margaret Flynn Hunt (Douglas), a nephew Stewart Ball (Kim) of Dallas and nieces Emily Ball of Kula, Hawaii, and Ann Ball Tarpchinoff (Robert) of Holland, Ohio. Grandchildren include Mary Hess Eliason (David) of San Diego, California, Megan Hunt Carter (Joel), of Charlottesville, Virginia, and Taylor Hunt (Elizabeth), Casey Hunt (Morgan), Austin Hunt (Chelsea), and Davin Hunt(Anne Lindsey), all of Dallas. Great nephews are Trevor Ball (Gena) and Anselm Ball (Brooke) of Allen, Texas.
Bebe was especially close to her great-grandchildren, enjoying their birthdays and holiday celebrations, and they adored Nana B. They include Andrew Eliason of San Diego, California, and Mary Margaret Carter, Adelaide Carter, and Christopher Carter of Charlottesville, Virginia. Dallas’ great-grandchildren are George Hunt, Hailey Hunt, Wilson Hunt, William Hunt, John Hunt, Charles Hunt, Hartley Hunt, Scarlett Hunt, Ashley Hunt, Madison Hunt, Blair Hunt, Jane Hunt and Henry Hunt.
Bebe lived a long and joyful life. For the last nine years, she resided at Belmont Village on Turtle Creek in Dallas, where she made many friends among the residents and staff. She is predeceased by her parents, her husband, her sister and brother-in-law, and her grandson Jonathan Drew Hess of Portland, Oregon. A memorial Mass will be held at Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church in Denison, Texas, on Friday, January 27, at 11 a.m., with a reception in the parish hall afterward. Donations in her memory can be made to Saint Patrick’s Altar Society or the charity of one’s choice.