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Ernest Flynn

Ernest Flynn Ernest Flynn

Ernest “Ernie” Lee Flynn, 73, died Oct. 30, 2022, at his home in Billings.

He was born May 8, 1949, to Donna M. Reddoor and Lionel E. Flynn in Poplar. He was raised by his grandparents, Josephine and Edwin Reddoor, and attended grade and high school in Poplar.

At 19 years old, he was inducted into the Army on Oct. 8, 1968, and traveled by train to Fort Lewis, Wash., to start basic training. After months of training, he got orders for Vietnam and served there from March 1969 to May 1970. This was a defining time that set off a lifetime of sacrifice that would include total blindness and partial deafness that struck a few years after he was discharged.

After returning home from Vietnam, he had several different jobs. He was an avid hunter and loved fishing and the outdoors. He was also a skilled carpenter. He worked as a patrolman for the Poplar Police Department in 1971. He also worked at A& S Industries in Poplar as an inspector, spending days test-firing weapons. This is where he met his future wife while she was working as a secretary.

He married Yvonne Rose Brown on Feb. 19, 1971. They had two children, Ernest Jr. and Stacee Ann.

He started working for the Veterans Administration at Fort Harrison in Helena in 1978, helping fellow veterans as a veterans benefits counselor for 18 years until retiring in 1995.

Retirement led to a move to Billings to be closer to his son and daughter-in-law. His dedication to fellow veterans led him to volunteer with the Disabled American Veterans transportation program. He helped take phone calls and arranged rides to medical appointments for veterans. He was recognized at the 2014 DAV national convention as DAV Volunteer of the Year. He logged over 25,000 hours volunteering until COVID shut down the office.

He was full of wit and charm and made everyone he met feel important from the nurse doing a blood draw to lifelong friends. He was a voracious reader, enjoying stories of adventure and keeping up to date with all current events reading various newspapers. He was also a known Scrabble shark winning nearly every game he played. He was a member of Mensa, an organization open to people who score at the 98th percentile on IQ tests.

He was preceded in death by three siblings.

He is survived by his wife, Yvonne of Billings; son, Ernie Jr. of Missoula; daughter, Stacee of Billings; one grandchild; sister, Debbie Farris of Polson; brothers, Randy Farris of Indiana, Hank Flynn, Roger Flynn, Tom Flynn and Perry Flynn, all of Oswego.

There will be a full military graveside burial, United States Army, at Yellowstone National Cemetery in Laurel in summer 2023.

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