SOUTHWEST HARBOR – Sarah Brannum Flynn, 69, died on Sept. 8, 2016, surrounded by her loving family and friends, after a long illness. She was born on April 1, 1947, in Dayton, Ohio, the daughter of Thomas Edwin and Margaret Riner (Zimmerman) Flynn.
She attended schools in Bar Harbor and Centerville, Ohio, and graduated from Centerville High School. She attended the University of Maine and received her undergraduate degree from Ohio State in 1969. She was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority. Following a successful 25-year career as a chemist in the Sparkletts division of Foremost-McKesson Inc. in California, Sarah followed her heart and moved into the field of counseling, acquiring her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy in 1993 from the California Family Study Center and securing licenses and certification in both California and Maine. She returned to Maine in 1996 and, soon afterward, established her therapy practice in Ellsworth. From then until her retirement in 2012, her concern and understanding played a vital role in the healing of hundreds of lives. Sarah was active in several Episcopal churches on Mount Desert Island; and served as a diocesan consultant for many other congregations throughout the state of Maine. She served on the vestries of the Parish of St. Andrew and St. John in Southwest Harbor and St. Saviour’s Parish in Bar Harbor; and was senior warden of St. John’s. For the diocese, she helped guide a number of congregations through their searches for new clergy and studies of mutual ministry and was a member of the search committee for the current bishop of Maine. Sarah served as a mentor for Education for Ministry, a theological education program offered through The School of Theology of the University of the South for more than two decades, completing work with her last graduating class early this summer. Involved in the activities of the YWCA MDI in Bar Harbor since she was a teenager, Sarah served with distinction on the Board of Directors of that organization from 1997 until 2016. She served as president of the board from 2012 to 2016.
In addition to her many friends, she leaves: her partner, Pamela Smith, of Southwest Harbor and her sons, Jonathan and his son Eli, of Denver, Colo. and Benjamin and wife, Eileen, of Watertown, Mass.; sister Elizabeth “Betsy” Drake and husband, John “Jack,” of Bar Harbor; nieces, Elizabeth “Lissa” Thompson and husband, Lester “Randy,” of Houlton; Susan Davis and husband, Michael, of Auburn; Maureen Largay and husband, Charles, of Old Orchard Beach; nephew, John Drake and wife, Tammy, of Topsham; cousins; Robert D. Lynch and wife, Carol, of Australia; Kenneth P. Lynch of Atlanta, Ga.; Deborah L. Cagle and husband, Charles, of Atlanta; Gretchen Olt of Santa Rosa, Calif.; Susan Olt Shumacher and husband, David, of Duncans Mills, Calif., many grand-nieces and grand-nephews.
A Service of Remembrance celebrating Sarah’s life will be held 10 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, at St. Saviour’s Episcopal Church, with interment in the church’s Memorial Garden immediately following. A reception will then follow in the parish hall.
Gifts in Sarah’s memory may be made to: The YWCA of MDI, 36 Mount Desert St., Bar Harbor, ME 04609; or The Mary Dow Center For Cancer Care, in care of Maine Coast Memorial Hospital, 50 Union St., Ellsworth, ME 04605.
Arrangements in care of Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mount Desert. Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com.