Dan Flynn, a former Texas state representative for Van Zandt, Hunt and Hopkins counties (District 2), passed away peacefully on October 28. He was 79. In addition to his legislative service, Flynn was a longtime community banker who also served as deputy commissioner of the Texas Department of Banking. He is known for helping to codify many banking reforms that exist today, including rewriting the banking code of 1995.
“His 18 years of service as a member of the Texas House, chief of staff to then-State Representative Kenny Marchant, tenure as a state bank examiner and ultimately deputy banking commissioner—as well as executive and board positions at a variety of Texas community banks—provided an opportunity for him to truly make a difference for our industry,” noted the Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) in a message to its members.
“Representative Flynn was a man of exceptional character who served his constituents faithfully and fought to uphold the fundamental freedoms that Texans value,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement. “From advocating for the right of public schools to display the Ten Commandments in the classroom to serving as the chairman of the Defense and Veterans’ Affairs Committee and chairman of the Pensions Committee, Representative Flynn leaves behind an impressive legacy of leadership and selfless service to the people of Texas.”
Flynn’s legislative accomplishments included passing legislation that increased transparency in state government operations, strengthened border security and modernized the legislation under which the Texas military forces operate. During the Vietnam war, he served Texas in the 36th Infantry Division, then continued his service in the Texas State Guard, ultimately being appointed brigadier general.
“Dan Flynn hired me as an assistant state bank examiner in 1977, and that was the beginning of a long relationship and wonderful friendship,” recalls Steve Scurlock, IBAT’s director of government relations. “He was not only a mentor and encourager to me, but to so many others as we were starting out in our careers. It was a joy to work with Dan in his various capacities at the Texas Capitol and to share in both challenges and victories along the way. Dan was a man of faith, had boundless energy, a great sense of humor and was a loyal friend. He loved community banking and serving his constituents, his state and his country as an elected official and longtime member of the military. It was a rare occurrence to have a conversation with Dan that did not include fond and proud comments regarding his beloved wife and family. Dan had a positive impact on so many and will be sorely missed.”
Representative Flynn was also a leader in obtaining funding for new buildings, including a music hall, planetarium and student center at Texas A&M University–Commerce, and securing property for the Van Zandt County Veterans Memorial site in Canton. He also was one of the original organizers of the Van Zandt County Council of Communities. The group was responsible for organizing Van Zandt County Days at the Texas State Capitol in Austin. Additionally, he was an active member of the Van Kiwanis and Canton Lion’s Club.
He was a lifelong member of the Church of the Nazarene, building several churches and serving on the church’s Dallas district advisory board for more than 20 years. He shared his musical talent as a music minister and traveled with his family across the country singing gospel music with the Westernaires and Joint Heirs. Flynn participated in recording numerous gospel albums along the way.
Flynn is survived by his wife Susan; son and daughter-in-law, Josh and Joan; daughter and son-in-law, Tammy and Mike; daughter, Missy; seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.