OBITUARY: Shannon C. Flynn, 55, Research Psychologist and Lover of the Arts

Shannon Flynn, 1967-2022 (Photo courtesy Everly Wheatley Funeral Home)

ALEXANDRUA, VA -Shannon Cecilia Flynn, 55, of Alexandria, Virginia, passed away Monday, October 17, 2022, at INOVA Alexandria Hospital after an extended illness, due to complications from covid.

Shannon was born in Washington, D.C. and was the daughter of Laurie M. Flynn and H. Joseph Flynn.

Shannon served for almost three decades as a research psychologist at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the lead federal agency for research on psychiatric disorders. Shannon was a member of a multidisciplinary team that conducted a groundbreaking research project in the search for genetic markers in schizophrenia.

In addition to serving as an NIMH staff person, Shannon was a certified art therapist and was a psychotherapist in private practice in the Washington, DC area.

Upon arriving in Alexandria, VA with her family in 1980, Shannon attended St. Rita Catholic School and graduated with honors from St. Mary’s Academy in 1986. Shannon was a 1990 graduate of Georgetown University (BA, Psychology) and she graduated magna cum laude from The George Washington University, earning a Master of Arts degree in Art Therapy. Her thesis introduced original research on color theory in the art of people with psychiatric conditions. Following graduate school, Shannon graduated summa cum laude from a post-Master’s program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at The Johns Hopkins University.

Shannon enjoyed experiencing the visual arts and sharing them through guided paintings in her therapy practice. She was an avid reader, an excellent writer, and a talented choral singer with a life-long appreciation of music. Among the oldest of 12 children, Shannon was a peaceful presence in the lives of her family and friends. She was a kind and empathic listener who sought to understand and assist others through her extraordinary compassion and keen intelligence. Shannon’s generous heart and instinctive belief in the goodness of others will endure in the memory of all those who loved her.

Shannon is survived by her mother, Laurie Flynn of Alexandria, VA; her father, H. Joseph Flynn of La Plata, MD; and her numerous sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews.

A memorial service will be held at Everly-Wheatley Funeral Home in Alexandria, Virginia on Saturday, November 5, 2022, at 1 p.m. ET. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Art League of Alexandria.

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