Vincent Shaw Flack was born on April 15th, 1940 in Manhattan to two doctors, Mamie and Julius Vincent Flack. Mamie was a pediatrician and his father an eye surgeon. Mamie insisted upon not being called a "pediatrician," but rather a "baby doctor." Vincent grew up being taught about the Bible and attending church, a 16th generation Presbyterian. He was a track star in high school and went on to be 9th in the state in cross country. Vincent then attended Columbia, followed by Harvard Divinity but transferred to Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in order to study under the great theologian Markus Barth. Vincent was ordained in the Presbyterian Church and served two yoked congregations in the mountains of Cumberland, Maryland during the 1970's. After leaving rural ministry, he worked as a laborer and construction worker and became skilled in heating and air conditioning. At the same time, he was devoting himself to the study of the Bible and to the unpacking of Romans 1-4 with the help of Markus, his teacher and friend.
In 1969 he married Susan Ruth Smith, a native of Chicago. Together they went from Maryland to Milwaukee and then back to Chicagoland. Two children were born to the couple, Amy and Mary. After his retirement he further developed his exegetical technique, not knowing that he was in some measure working in parallel with the ground-breaking scholars, Richard Hays and Robert Alter. Vincent made enormous exegetical advances, particularly with regards to justification by faith or better, justification by the "enfaithment/establishment" of Jesus the Anointed One.
In the 1980's he grew concerned with the driver's license and how it was being used as a form of national identification. He was supported by groups across the political spectrum, from La Resistencia, to the Socialists of Chicago, to right-leaning libertarian groups as well. He was arrested a number of times and spent a few weeks in the notorious Cook County Jail of Chicago. He time was greatly eased there when his fellow inmates learned about his protest. From his early twenties he was a lover of Mozart. He had a great interest in the environment and has written an unpublished book about the possibility of using Buckminster Fuller "balloons" to transport huge amounts of water in a relatively inexpensive manner to regions in desperate need, greening the desert and perhaps helping in God's work to make the deserts "rejoice and blossom like the rose." In the 1990's he married again to Marie Antoinette Walker of Louisiana. In 2010, daughter Amy Kosari and her husband Farhad were glad to have Vincent come and live with them, sharing 13 joyous and adventurous years together.
Vincent is survived by his sister Ellen Ford, his brother Douglas Flack, his daughters Amy and Mary, his stepdaughter Tisha Walker, his foster daughter Tanishia Covington and his friend Lawanda Covington, his beautiful grandchildren Audrey and Vivienne Smith, as well as many beloved nieces and nephews.
Vincent died on Sunday, July 9th peacefully at home in bed during his afternoon nap.
His burial at Oakwood Cemetery will be Wednesday, July 12, 2023 at 11:00 am, officiated by the Reverend Jay Rowland. Luncheon will follow. A memorial service at First Presbyterian Church in Rochester will be held at a later date.
Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Flack family. To share a special memory or condolence, please visit www.ranfranzandvinefh.com.