Bobby Flynn, a former state senator and Lexington councilman who was also a fixture in Lexington sports circles, died Thursday.
Flynn was 95, according to his obituary.
Flynn was born in Lexington and attended Lafayette High School. He attended Dayton University on a basketball scholarship. He was drafted by the Brooklyn Dodgers and was the first white player to play on a semi-professional African-American league team.
Flynn also served in the U.S. Army and the Merchant Marine.
He served in the Kentucky State Senate from 1968 to 1972. He also served for 12 years on the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council from 1988 to 1996.
He was also the longtime manager of press row at Rupp Arena.
The annual Bluegrass Sports Awards named its volunteer of the year award after Flynn.
Flynn was also a longtime volunteer in the community. He served as a deacon at Grace Baptist Church. He lived at Sayre Christian Village in his later years and in 2020 received a lifetime achievement award for his commitment to service and community.
“He would often pick up hitchhikers and give them money and sometimes the coat off his back. He sacrificed his own pleasures to make sure others could have a meal or helped if they needed ANYTHING,” according to the Sayre website.
“He volunteered at sporting events all over town because of his love of sports and love of helping and being around people,” the website said. “As a politician his home phone (no cell phones) would continuously ring and he would try his very best to fix the problem. Bobby always made people feel special, as though he had known them his whole life.”
In addition to playing professional baseball, Flynn was also an excellent golfer. He was the senior golf champion in Lexington for 15 years in a row.
He was married for 76 years to his wife, Ella Flynn.
His son Doug Flynn played professional baseball from 1975 to 1985. He was an infielder for the Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets, Texas Rangers, Montreal Expos and Detroit Tigers. The younger Flynn was also a broadcaster for the Cincinnati Reds and has served as host for KET’s “Kentucky Life.”
Flynn is also survived by his son Bradley.
Tragically, Flynn’s daughter, Melanie Flynn, went missing in 1977. She was last seen leaving her job at the Kentucky High School Athletic Association on Cooper Drive. Her disappearance has never been solved.
Funeral services will be at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at Kerr Brothers on Harrodsburg Road with Pastor Steven R. Price officiating. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Park, according to Kerr Brothers.
Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. Monday and 12:30 p.m. till the service on Tuesday at the funeral home.