“We have no problems” was an often heard expression throughout the Flynn house. Well, Dad, that may be true, but we’re wrestling with a big problem now. Lawrence Emile Flynn, Jr., died on August 10, 2023 at the age of 75. Known professionally as Larry, “Lurry” to his beautiful wife Anne, “Lare-Bear” to kids and close friends, and “Bear-Bear” to his 7 grandkids, he leaves behind a legacy of family, hard work, and service.
Dad believed that brevity is the soul of wit. Well, his kids aren’t as witty as he was, so we took this opportunity to write the following treatise about the best man we’ve ever known.
The oldest of eight children, Larry was born in Columbia, South Carolina on March 6, 1948 to Lawrence Emile Flynn and Helen Ferrer Flynn. After spending their early years in Columbia and Parris Island, Larry’s family moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia. Larry graduated from Norfolk Catholic High School in 1966. He then went on to attend the University of South Carolina, where he received a BS in Business Administration (1970), and a JD from the School of Law (1974). Larry, who always believed in hard work, helped pay his way through school by working for a moving company. He played the human version of Tetris, and he prided himself in packing cars and houses with the efficiency of an Amazon warehouse.
In a case of mistaken identity, he met the love of his life and best friend, Anne Tatum Perrin, in Charleston, South Carolina in 1977. After months of trying to land a date, she finally succumbed, and they enjoyed their first date on Halloween. After selling his prized Hobie Cat sailboat to buy an engagement ring, Larry proposed and Anne and Larry got married in 1979 and moved to Spartanburg, South Carolina, Anne’s hometown, to start their family in 1980. He loved Anne more than anything in the world and committed himself to staying married every day.
Larry was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in 1974 and later admitted to practice in the US District Court, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and US Supreme Court. Larry began his career with John Bleecker in the firm of Bleecker and Flynn (1975-1980) in Charleston. After making the move to Spartanburg, he became a partner with the firm of Perrin Perrin Mann and Patterson (1980-2000), where he practiced and was mentored by his father-in-law, the late Edward Patterson Perrin. In 2000, he formed the firm of Lister Flynn & Kelly (2000-2013) with friends Toney Lister and Keith Kelly. In 2013, he became “Of Counsel” to Pope Flynn, LLC. This affiliation gave him the opportunity to practice with his brother, Robert “Patrick” Flynn, and son, Lawrence (III). Larry maintained an active legal practice in the area of Municipal Government, Planning and Condemnation until his recent retirement in April of 2023. After practicing for more than 50 years, Larry was known for his intellect, problem-solving ability, easy-going personality, and commitment to his clients. He believed in collegiality among members of the South Carolina Bar, evolution of the practice (except for electronic-filing, which he disliked and never wanted to do), and was committed to mentoring and training a host of younger lawyers. He held an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and was certified as both an Arbitrator and Mediator by the South Carolina Bar. He was recognized professionally as Boss of the Year by the Spartanburg County Association of Legal Staff Professionals, received the Compleat Lawyers Award - Platinum (the University of South Carolina School of Law’s highest recognition for outstanding civic and professional accomplishments), and the Special Service Award (Blacksburg Fire Department). Larry previously served on the Board of Directors for the South Carolina Bar Foundation, the South Carolina Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection, the Spartanburg County Bar Fee Dispute Committee, the House of Delegates to the South Carolina Bar, and the Professionalism Committee of South Carolina Bar. He was a current member of the Memory Hold the Door Committee of the South Carolina Bar (2014-present) and the South Carolina Supreme Court Historical Society (2020-present).
Outside of his professional accomplishments, Larry also believed in promoting his community and volunteering his time to make his community better. He was committed to Spartanburg and consistently gave his time, talent, and treasure to making it a better place to live, work, and play. He has served the Spartanburg community as a member of the Spartanburg Alcohol and Drug Commission, Member and Chair of the Spartanburg County Board on Domestic Violence, Board Member and Chair of the United Way of the Piedmont (receiving the Morgan Award in 1999 - an award given to the leadership donor that exemplifies the award’s inscription of “One Who Cares”), Board Member and Chair of the Spartanburg Arts Council, Board Member of Spartanburg Technical College Foundation Board (now Spartanburg Community College Foundation Board), Member and Fund Drive Chair of the Arts Partnership Board, Board Member of Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Board Member and Chair of The Episcopal Church of the Advent Foundation, Treasurer for Liz Patterson for Congress Committee and for Liz Patterson for Lt Governor Committee, Member of Palmetto Bank Local Advisory Board (now United Community Bank), Member of Spartanburg Rotary Club, serving on its Board of Directors and as President, Member of the University of South Carolina-Upstate Advisors, and Trustee (2001-2013) and Chair (2012-2013) of Spartanburg County School District 7. He was a current member of the Episcopal Church of the Advent - teaching Sunday School and working with Troop 1, the Church’s Boy Scout Program.
Lare-Bear provided wisdom and practical advice on lots of topics and lived by the mantra that “we can do anything you want, just not everything.” He loved being at home with Anne, and especially loved Lake Bowen, where his typically well-dressed attire devolved into a rotation of hand-me-down tee shirts supporting a variety of interests and old causes: Sewanee: The University of the South, Belmont Nursing, Spartanburg High School’s Special Teams Player of the Week, and Spartanburg Regional Strong. He could also be seen sporting the worst red bathing suit ever stitched together and flip-flopped feet that were never ready for public viewing. A closet Democrat, he loved reading The New York Times, and sharing mayonnaise-heavy, butter laden recipes with the family, and laughing at unique marriage announcements. Never one to waste food, the kitchen was always stocked with blocks of cheddar cheese, salmon, hot dogs, hamburgers, pancakes, magnums of Woodbridge chardonnay, bacon, Oreos, ice cream, Lucky-Charms, and all varieties of leftovers with a layer of plastic wrap on every available surface. A mediocre recreationalist, he loved being outside, camping with his boys, spending time on the boat, building fires and burning anything that would burn (or burn if it got hot enough), and loving on his seven “only” grandchildren. He hated spending money, wounded soldiers (half-consumed Cokes and beers), Blockbuster return fees, and gratuitously open doors (“We’re not paying to cool the neighborhood”). He was a fantastic problem-solver, an expert bar tender, an amateur real estate baron, and a human air freshener, and relished his role as the family patriarch. He was a reluctant staple at cocktail parties and on the Spartanburg social circuit and was always up for “just a taste” of bourbon as a nightcap - when we would inevitably attempt to solve all of the world’s problems.
Larry was predeceased by his parents, Lawrence and Helen Flynn. He is survived by his incredible wife of 44 years, Anne Perrin Flynn, his children Lawrence Emile Flynn III (wife Rachel English Flynn), Tatum Zeigler Flynn (wife Margaret Colmore Flynn), and Anne Porcher Burnett (husband Haynes McCrary Burnett). Larry’s seven grandchildren include Lucy English Flynn (“Lulu,” 9), John Zeigler Flynn (“Ziggy,” 8), Tatum Patterson Flynn (“Taterbug,” 7), Rupert Lawrence Flynn (“Rupe,” 6), Anne Charlton Burnett (“Cha Cha,” 6), Elizabeth Chiles Burnett (“Booie,” 3), and Marjorie Perrin Burnett (“Margot,” 12 weeks). Larry is also survived by a small village of nieces, nephews, and seven loving siblings: Michael Anthoney Flynn (wife Colleen), James Aloysius Flynn, Cynthia Caroline Flynn (husband Guy), William Francis Flynn, Anne Marie Flynn (former uncle Snake), Kathleen Grace Brown (husband Tom), and Robert Patrick Flynn (wife Anne).
It is difficult to memorialize into words what a great husband, father, and granddad Lare-Bear was to his family. Lare-Bear will be greatly missed by all those who knew and loved him.
The family will be receiving friends at home from 1-5 p.m. on Thursday, August 17th. A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, August 18th at 1 p.m. at the Episcopal Church of the Advent (141 Advent Street, Spartanburg, SC 29302), followed by a reception at the Piedmont Club (361 E. Main Street, Spartanburg, SC 29302). All those who loved Lare-Bear are welcome to join us to share memories of this fabulous man.
In Lieu of Flowers, please send memorials to:
USC Upstate Foundation (800 University Way, Spartanburg, SC 29303) - https://www.uscupstate.edu/about-the-university/university-advancement/give/; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Advent Foundation (141 Advent Street, Spartanburg, SC 29302) - (https://churchofadvent.org/the-advent-foundation/)
A special thanks to the CMML team at Vanderbilt University Hospital.
Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.JMDunbar.com JM Dunbar Funeral Home