Team Dad lost an all-time great: A remembrance


The Beatles “Rocky Racoon” always sounds a little off to me. There’s just something missing.

That something is Dave Flynn.

I’m sure he never knew this.

Father to a dear friend, Dave was the first dad-of-a-girlfriend who shook my hand and treated me like a bro. He looked me square in the eye and wanted to know more about me — and not in an accusatory way. He made jokes that were easy. He cooked the hell out of breakfast (as evidenced by his legendary diner/grill in our hometown). He played his guitar and made people around him happier for it.

One of those songs was “Rocky Racoon.” He first played it for me on an awkward and snowy evening in the winter of 1994. It was a bit too snowy for me to attempt to navigate my parents’ Ford Escort wagon over Roller Coaster Hill and back across town. Smile on his face and unfazed by my presence, Dave grabbed his guitar and asked his four daughters which song they most wanted to hear. As I remember it, it was Emily who named “Rocky.”

It sounded like magic. It made sense. It made me want to do the same for my kids someday.

Dave Flynn died this morning. The news spread on social media and took the wind from my sails in a way for which I was unprepared.

Lookit: I’m awfully aware of how lucky I am — I’ve got a father, Larry, who has taught me all I know about being a father, son, husband and brother. My dad is my rock. He’s my ace.

Dave Flynn was something different. And I’m really lucky I had him, too.

I’m sure he never knew this.

Kyle Belanger

Written by: Kyle Belanger

Proud father to three children (in order: one deceased, one adopted and one biological), Kyle is constantly navigating the worlds between actively grieving and openly gloating. Learn more about Kyle here.

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