Hillel StavisNancy Lea Flynn, longtime town resident

Nancy Flynn of Arlington, who served as director of the Cutter Gallery helping the institution promote and support local art for three decades, died Wednesday, Nov. 1, at the age of 94. Flynn had held the directorship from 1982 to 2012.

"Under her direction, the Cutter Gallery has fostered so many new and aspiring artists over the years. She will be missed. But her legacy lives on in every exhibition we hold at the Cutter Gallery," wrote gallery member Charles Luca.

Longtime Arlingtonians may remember Flynn's devotion to the community beyond the art world. Included in her obituary are descriptions of her efforts to help keep Spy Pond clean and safe.

She lived on its shore with her husband, Wallace, for 60 years, and taught art classes in her own Spy Pond studio. 

A memorial Mass is planned for 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, at St. Eulalia's Church, 50 Ridge St., Winchester, just north of Arlington. The family has asked people to consider making memorial contributions to the Arlington Boys and Girls Club in lieu of flowers, as, according to the obituary, Nancy and Wallace considered the club an important asset to the community.

Nancy Flynn was born in New York in 1929, growing up on Long Island. After she met her future husband, Wallace, they married three months later, spending 48 years together before his passing in 2001. They shared three children and raised them in Arlington. The obituary contains accounts of the family skating on Spy Pond in the winters, and swimming and boating over the summers.

Flynn was a longtime supporter of the arts and an artist herself who had been trained in France. Her obituary commended her Flynn's help in building up the institution's reputation during her tenure. 

"Nancy was a legend. Her energy and love could be felt in everything she did," artist Pauline Finberg wrote in a recent email to YourArlington. Finberg once served as Arlington High School's art teacher and had an exhibit at the gallery when Flynn was its director.

Finberg wrote that Flynn had helped her in her career and her life every step of the way.

"She always had something positive to say and always made you feel special . . . Nancy was one of a kind -- a strong and brilliant woman," Finberg wrote.

Flynn also is remembered as an accomplished golf and tennis player. She was said to have been a driving force in the creation of the Winchester Country Club's junior tennis league and was also responsible for creating a tennis badge that local Girl Scouts could earn. 

Flynn leaves behind many family members including a sister, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to remember her legacy. More information about the services and donations can be viewed here >>

This article based on information from Charles Luca, Pauline Finberg and Douglass Funeral Home was published Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023.