Sunday, June 23, 2024

Michael James Flynn (1940-2022)

Submitted by the family

Faculty Photo, Sheridan County Community College (WY)

Michael James Flynn, 81, passed away on August 15, 2022 at home in Sheridan, WY with his wife at his side. Michael was born December 29, 1940 in San Diego, California, the fifth of six children of Stephen E. Flynn and Estelle Kinney Flynn. His father was the Chief Medical Officer on San Clemente Island.

1960 with friend’s car, Hotel Del Coronado in the background

He grew up in Coronado, California and graduated from Coronado High School in 1959. He went to Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona and earned a BA in Physical Geography then completed a Masters at San Diego State University. Michael graduated from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Lifeguard, Coronado Beach 1965

Michael was a devout Catholic along with his wife. His interests and activities were diverse. He worked as a lifeguard for eleven summers in Coronado and loved the ocean, meteorology and aviation. His passion for aviation drove him to obtain a Commercial Airplane License with Instrument and Instructor ratings. His father passed on his interest in archaeology and paleontology.

Perth, Australia 1974 with wife, Sheila

He married Sheila Shamrell on 30 June 1972, celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this year. Two wonderful children were born of this marriage, Kate Maureen and Brian Xavier. He loved taking his kids out where they could learn and play among public lands of Wyoming.

Excavating dinosaur bones at Sheridan College State Permit – Johnson County, WY
Teaching field class, Sheridan College (WY)

Mike and Sheila settled in Sheridan, WY where he was one of the first instructors in the Nursing Program at Sheridan College. Michael then started teaching geology, stressing that geology must be studied in the field as a lab science not just in books. One student stated that he “waxed poetic” when talking about the geology of Wyoming and fossils. For his sabbatical he researched, with the help of the Wyoming State Geologist and the Wyoming Highway Department, the different geological formations that can be seen on Wyoming highways 14 and 16. The WHD made and placed the informational signs on those highways. He expanded into paleontology obtaining a paleontology permit in Johnson County, Wyoming. Michael used these permits to teach historical geology in the field. Michael found the first bones of a rare dinosaur, an Allosaurus they named Caesar, amongst many other discoveries. Caesar is mounted at Sheridan College where Michael taught for 27 years.

Airshow in Sheridan (WY) with daughter Kate, 1983

Michael was preceded in death by his parents, his two brothers Stephen and Patrick and nephew Michael Flynn. He is survived by his wife, his children, Kate Flynn Birgenheier (Jason) of Las Vegas, Brian (Hallie) & granddaughter Lucia Flynn of Monte Vista, CO. His Brother Vincent (Patty) of Coronado, CA, sisters Felicia Scheib of San Diego and Kathleen Potter of Florida, and numerous nieces and nephews.


Submitted by the family



Managing Editor
Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is happy to call Coronado home and to have raised her children here. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercising, trying new restaurants, and just walking her dog around the "island." Have news to share? Send tips or story ideas to: [email protected]

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