Gregory Flinn, 70, of Montevideo, died at his home, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019.
Memorial services were held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 16, at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Montevideo with the Rev. Donald S. McKee officiating Burial was at the Sacred Heart City Cemetery.
It all began on a cold wintery night, Feb. 4, 1949, when Greg was born to Howard and Katherine (Miller) Flinn at the Montevideo Hospital. He was baptized and attended confirmation at First Congregational Church in Montevideo.
When he was young, he shoveled coal with his brothers at his dad and grandfather's first Flinn business behind Main Street in Montevideo. The way he would tell it is that he went there barefoot and uphill both ways. He also worked at Valley Nursery out by the new Flinn Iron and Metal on Highway 212.
Greg and his brothers were known as the 'Little Rascals' around town. If something happened locally, they were thought to be the culprits. They continued this reputation well into adulthood. There were not many places, near or far, where there wasn't someone who didn't know of the 'Flinn boys.'
Greg attended school in Montevideo and graduated in 1967 from Montevideo High School. He then attended SMSU in Marshall, for about a year, until 'he was sure he had enough education' (OR … the Dean decided he should be honorably discharged …). He was the best historian and always had stories to tell. He was full of 'useless' information and would use this to spark up conversations. He
didn't like 'dead air.'
He was united in marriage with Sandra Mills in 1968. Together they had three children. They started their marriage in Minneapolis, where he worked at Young Quinn Rothschild and 3M Cushere. They then moved to Montevideo, where he worked at Rogers Hydraulic in Granite Falls and Flinn's Salvage. He and his family moved to the Nelson area so he was able to manage the salvage yard that his father purchased. He was also voted in as mayor where he did many things to improve the town without getting paid much — he always made sure to add that tidbit to his story, but made his very first order of business to give himself a raise.
He moved back to Montevideo in 1983, to work at Flinn Iron and Metal. In 1984, he was united in marriage with his sweetheart, Jane Kruckman. They started a family and together they had five children. They bought a house in Montevideo, renovated it for year … and years … and years, making it a home. This then jokingly became the 'Flinn Motel.' He was always looking for something to do so he bought another property with a foundation and his dream was to build this house for him and Janey to retire in. It overlooks Flinn Iron and Metal 'so he could keep an eye on it and make sure they're working.'
Greg enjoyed shootin' the 'breeze' with his family and friends. He took joy in his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He liked to spread his knowledge and expertise, even if nobody wanted to hear it. He would share stories of his childhood and embellish his accomplishments. He especially liked saying how much of a star he was at the things that he did. He also loved his drives on his own, but he always ventured on old abandoned roads that weren't well traveled. He made sure to return home for supper, Wheel of Fortune, and his $1 nightly game of rummy with his gal. Things got heated at times if he lost, but he bragged to all when he won the game.
Greg had many different health issues over the years that weakened his body, but strengthened his faith and his family. He loved being doted on by each and every one of them, smirking when he got to be the center of attention. Often during the difficult times, he would say, 'I'll be better tomorrow' or 'I'm feeling pretty good, kid' to ease our fears. We held onto these statements with every bit of hope, but deep down we knew his time with us would end soon. His battle was one worth bragging about – he fought with every ounce of his being and God blessed us with way more time with him than was ever predicted, but still never enough. He passed away in his home on the morning of November 13, under Hospice Care with his adoring family by his side, along with Pastor Don, who gave him the courage to take Jesus' hand. He did so knowing that everything would be okay, his work here is done, and that 'Janey would miss him.'
Greg is survived by his loving wife, Jane, who was by his side at all times. His brothers, Don (and Cheryl) Flinn and Dallas Flinn. His brother-in-law, Harold (and Diane) Kruckman; his sisters-in-law, Beverly McClain and Betty Jensen. His eight children (who he could never keep straight) – Heather (and Ben) Heikes, Ryan (and Ashley) Flinn, Nichol (and Mark) Nessman, Mackensie (and Chad) Rohloff, Hillary (and Eric) Spray, Brittany (and Randy Barton) Flinn, Howard (and Tasia Ehlenz) Flinn, and Marissa Flinn; his 25 grandchildren, Jordan (and Kelli), Savannah, Ryan, Jonah, Grace, and Benjamin Heikes; Savannah (and Jesse) Mijares; Karissa Tofte; Chance Flinn; Stephan Rutten; Luke and Noah Nessman; Haley, Peyton, Preston, Paxton, Kaitlyn, and Karleigh Rohloff; Parker and Elexis Spray; Landen and Bradley Barton; Brooklyn and Valkyrie Schmitz; and Adriane Nelson; his three great-grandchildren, Piper and Macy Lindberg, and Ronan Mijares, and numerous extended family and friends. He had a lot of children that were unofficially adopted into the family as friends of his own children. They also thought of him as a father figure, not necessarily as a role model, but he would be the first to hand them a beer and teach them to 'do as I say, not as I do.' He certainly left a mark on those who knew him.
Along with numerous extended family members, he is preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Katherine Flinn; his mother and father-in-law, Bernice and Albert Kruckman; his siblings, Gary, Jeff and Katherine Flinn; his brothers-in-law, Albert 'Sonny' and William 'Bill' Kruckman; his sister-in-law, RoseMarie Haase; and several other family and close friends. He was loved by many and will be missed by all who knew him.
Anderson-TeBeest Funeral Home, of Montevideo, was in charge of the arrangements.