Flynn G. Schulz, 33, of Davenport, IA passed away early on August 31, 2013.
He came into the world weighing less than six pounds, but rose to every challenge then sought more. He served his country, inspired others, and lived life on his terms and to its fullest.
Born in Fargo, North Dakota to Rick and Pam Schulz, Flynn grew quickly and he grew strong. He moved with his family to the Quad Cities when he was two, and attended Garfield School and Moline High School where he played soccer with significant success. He enlisted in the National Guard in 2000 and was deployed to active duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2004 to 2006.
Flynn served as a Sergeant and Team Leader in the A2-123D Field Artillery. He was stationed at Camp Liberty near Baghdad. He led his team as they patrolled Iraqi roads and neutralized IEDs, provided security, and escorted others. He was relied on as a leader and trusted as a friend and comrade. He was honorably discharged after seven years of service, then earned a Bachelor of Arts from DeVry University. He worked at the Rock Island Arsenal JMTC as a project manager.
Flynn could be found outdoors in any weather. He was a natural athlete and a fierce competitor. He played soccer, volleyball, and relished testing his limits in extreme sports.
Flynn won the Sylvan Island Stampede mountain bike race in 2009. He completed the 50-mile North Face Endurance Challenge in Kettle Moraine State Park in Wisconsin, and then ran the same distance a week later in Hell, Michigan. He participated in the World's Toughest Mudder in 2012, ran the 150-mile Potawatomi Trail Run near Pekin, Illinois, and completed numerous road races including two relay races across the state of Iowa. Two weeks before his untimely death, Flynn completed the Leadville Trail 100 ultra-marathon in the mountains of Colorado in fewer than 30 hours, a feat which few ultra-runners accomplish. He ran all of his races for Team Never Forgotten, a charity which supports the Wounded Warriors Project.
For all his athletic accomplishments, Flynn took the most joy from cheering on and supporting others, and from seeing them strive for goals and surpass them. He was a reliable presence wherever his friends were running or riding or racing. If he wasn't running alongside in support, his victory growl could be heard calling runners to the finish line with the promise of a bear hug to follow. Immediately after completing the Leadville 100, Flynn requested the race calendars of all his friends "5Ks, marathons and everything in between," so that he could support their endeavors. He always encouraged others, was known for extravagant generosity, grand gestures and fierce loyalty. Sometimes, just because he felt like it, he wore a tight red dress and blond wig during races.
Flynn was a member of the Quad Cities Hash House Harriers, where he was known by his hash name, Scatastrophe. He was the heart of the group. He could be seen running in local races. On hash runs he was known for running at the back of the pack to make sure everyone was safe. He has lifted most members off their feet several times, frequently in groups. He would read poetry written as tribute to other members, and was known for gifting personalized hand-made awards to other hashers.
He is survived by his parents, Pam and Rick, his brother Ry, and by his girlfriend Betsy Hoscheid. He will also be dearly missed by his grandparents Floyd & Leatrice Stockdill and Mary Schulz, as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews on both sides. He has a large group of dear friends who continue to be inspired by his example, and will continue to run with Flynn's call of encouragement echoing in their hearts.
A celebration of life will be held at the home of Rick and Pam Schulz in Coal Valley from 4PM to 8PM on Friday, September 6. Hodgson Funeral Home, Rock Island, is assisting the family. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Flynn's memory may be left to the Wounded Warriors Project at www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
Our child came in small, but lived a huge life. Thank you, God.
Condolences may be left for the family at www.hodgsonfuneralhome.com.