Eugene A. "Mickey" Flinn, who managed and owned Baltimore-area automobile dealerships, died Thursday of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson. He was 88.
The son of Edmund Lamont Flinn, an electrician, and Agnes Catherine McFadden Flinn, a homemaker, Eugene Aloysius Flinn was born in Bethlehem, Pa., and moved in 1936 with his family to Baltimore.
He was a graduate of City College and during World War II served as a private in Germany with the 5th Infantry Division.
Mr. Flinn worked as an electrician with his father before owning and managing automobile dealerships, including Volks Village in Bel Air. He was working as an automobile wholesaler at the time of his 1991 retirement.
Mr. Flinn joined Alcoholics Anonymous about 40 years ago and had recently celebrated 33 years of sobriety, family members said.
"He was a sponsor to so many and a life force that helped an amazing amount of people become sober as well," said a daughter, Ann Flinn of Baltimore.
"He was known for his unique sense of humor and always went out of his way to make the odd man out feel comfortable and would make them laugh," said Ms. Flinn.
"He said he did that because he felt he never fit in either. He had a true love of people and would find someone's complete story in the first 10 minutes because of his gentle and unobtrusive approach," she said.
The longtime Parkville resident who also had lived in Baldwin enjoyed raising Irish wolfhounds and owning and racing thoroughbred horses.
Mr. Flinn donated his body to the Maryland Anatomy Board.
A Mass will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Isaac Jogues Roman Catholic Church, 9215 Old Harford Road, Parkville.
In addition to his daughter, Mr. Flinn is survived by his wife of 56 years, the former Rose Maranto; two sons, Joseph Flinn of Baltimore and Michael Flinn of Atlanta; two other daughters, Jeanne Scott of Newport, R.I., and Mary Flinn of Philadelphia; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.