2020 Lifetime Achievement Nominee
Bobby Flynn is a family man, politician, volunteer and an outstanding member of the Lexington community. Bobby’s continuous drive to make the lives of others better and enhance the community over the years makes him the perfect nominee for the 2020 KSLA Resident Lifetime Achievement Award.
A True Family Man
Bobby grew up in Lexington and attended Lafayette High School. Like most men his age, he joined the Army and then served in the Merchant Marines. Following service he attended the University of Dayton on a basketball scholarship. He later became the first white man to play on an all black semi-pro baseball team known as the Lexington Hustlers. From there he played one year of pro baseball with a Los Angeles Dodger farm club in Hazard, KY.
He gave up his professional career to raise a family. Bobby owned a restaurant for seven years before getting into the insurance business at age 30 where he stayed employed for a 30 year career. Bobby and his wife Ella Ritchey have been married for 73 years and both live at Sayre Christian Village. They have 2 sons, Doug and Brad and a daughter, Melanie.
Bobby was Kentucky State Senator from 1968 until 1972. He served on the City Council for 12 years, was a member of the Lions Club and was a deacon at Grace Baptist Church where he sang in the choir….some say he sounds like Perry Como. Bobby is a talented self-taught piano player, enjoys a single digit golf handicap, carried a 200 average in bowling and is an avid fisherman. He worked several jobs until age 88 when a nasty fall from the attic slowed him down. When asked why he continued to work his only answer was “because I can.”
Putting Others First
Bobby worked hard for every penny he ever earned, but was always looking for ways to help others. He would often pick up hitchhikers and give them money and sometimes the coat off his back. He sacrificed his own pleasures to make sure others could have a meal or helped if they needed ANYTHING. He volunteered at sporting events all over town because of his love of sports and love of helping and being around people. As a politician his home phone (no cell phones) would continuously ring and he would try his very best to fix the problem. Bobby always made people feel special, as though he had known them his whole life.
Following His Faith
His integrity and his faith in God sets him apart from many folks. While a senator, he would often say there were offers under the table for some kind of benefit if he would only vote a certain way. He never wavered from what was the right and honest thing to do, even though he and his family could have benefited in some way. He always put his family first and loves his wife more than anything. When asked by one of his kids why they did not have a bigger car or nicer things like some others had his answer was always, “God has always put a roof over our head and food on our table, therefore we should be grateful for what we have instead of griping about what we don’t have.”
At 92 years of age, Bobby Flynn has spent a lifetime serving others. Very few folks in Lexington, Kentucky don’t know him or of him. He is a man who makes you want to look into the mirror and re-evaluate yourself. He is respected by most everyone, whether you agree with him or not, Democrat or Republican, saint or sinner, black or white.
Volunteer at Sayre
Bobby has spent his lifetime serving others and putting a smile on people’s faces at Sayre. If you would like to make a difference in a resident’s life, volunteer at Sayre Christian Village.