Tom was a true ‘Friend’ to Kennaway House

Tom Flynn pictured second from the right in 2010 at the opening of Kennaway House. Tom Flynn pictured second from the right in 2010 at the opening of Kennaway House.

Thursday, September 4, 2014
11:00 AM

One of the founding fathers of Kennaway House has died aged 86.

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Tom Flynn fought to save Church House from closing after the building fell into disrepair. He then helped raise £1million to renovate the 19th century property before it reopened as Kennaway House in 2010.

Members of the Friends of Kennaway House have said they owe Tom a great deal for his work.

Dr Michael James, lifetime president of the house, said: “Tom was a man with incredible integrity and incredible determination. He kept Church House going though it was a dead dog for several years until other people came along.

“He was very keen that it should not be knocked down and turned into a block of flats.”

Tom became a lifetime vice-president for Kennaway House for his contribution as a former treasurer of the Church House Trust and chairman of the Friends of Kennaway House.

Dr James said: “He was a very good leader, people warmed to him. He was the nicest person I have ever met.”

Tom’s wife Olive paid tribute to her determined husband. He worked for 12 years at the European Investment Bank, taking him across the world.

He also worked as a volunteer at Tewkesbury Abbey before settling in Sidmouth. The couple would have been celebrating their 62nd wedding anniversary in a few weeks’ time.

Olive said: “He was extremely determined, he worked very hard to set up the Friends of Kennaway House.

“It was part of his job and he got very interested to do something about it.”

A service will be held at the parish church on Sunday, September 14, and will be followed by a reception, fittingly, at Kennaway House.

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