Robert Harris Lynn was a man of heart—it led him to do great things and to love deeply. It will be the thing he is most remembered for. His heart first beat in Donalsonville, GA, on February 17, 1933, when Andrew Lynn and Maggie (Ivey) welcomed him into this world. He was preceded in death by both his parents as well as his brother Crawford Weed. His heart took its final beat in Crestview, FL, on July 30, 2016, at the age of 83 having relished a wonderfully full life.
Bob welcomed his wife Betty Padgett into his heart 63 years ago. It grew a little larger as his family grew. He leaves behind his loving children Mike (Susan Millnor) and Suzanne (Nick Tsourakis), his beloved and treasured grandchildren, Christopher and Camden Lynn and Elizabeth Tsourakis, and his great-granddaughter Karlie Lynn. And if you knew Bob, he always made room to love just a few and a few and a few more. He leaves behind his closest relatives Pat Pumphrey and her family, Mary Jean Anderson and her family, Debbi Weed-Johnson and her family as well as an untold number of friends from the oh-so-many facets of this joyous man’s life, including his beloved group of old friends The Outback Boys. Last but not least, he leaves behind his beloved cat and light of his day, Sunshine, who held a very special place in his heart.
As Bob grew into the man, father, teacher, the voice on the radio, community and county servant, man of faith, and promoter of Crestview we all knew him for, his heart grew even larger. For over 50 years he was THE Santa for the children of Crestview during the annual parade. There are stories of when he used to be flown in from the north and broadcast his progress from the plane. He was the voice for the Crestview Bulldogs football team and the middle schools for 50 years. He was a community organizer for his beloved military…having been a military man himself. However, you never heard “Go Army” from him—he loved all branches of service as each held an equal place in his heart. The list goes on and on. Looking at the last decade of Bob’s life, the Crestview Chamber of Commerce, the Okaloosa County Veteran’s Memorial, Military Appreciation and Recognition Committee (MARC), and the Fisher House were his passions.
It was in the very last part of the last century, though, a union occurred through one of Bob’s visions. Bob met a kindred spirit…and his heart grew once again. Bob worked tirelessly to organize the Okaloosa County Celebration 2000 to happen in Crestview, the county seat. It produced the burial of a time capsule and the construction and dedication of the Veteran’s Memorial. During this project and through others, a bond started to form between Bob and the Commander of the 919th at Duke Field, Mark Stogsdill. Bob preferred to call him “The General.” Bob and Mark became a common sight at events and fundraisers all over the county. They had a bond that was anchored to the very center of their hearts and once again Bob’s heart grew and grew. As both got ill and started to slow, they sought out quiet times together. When Mark died a mere 11 days before Bob, a small tear developed in that giant-sized heart of Bob’s that was more than he could overcome. They are together again and that is the one bit of solace from the loss of these two very special men.
It is said that to look into someone’s heart, you should look into their eyes. That was not quite true of Bob Lynn. His twinkly and loving eyes showed the love in his heart but they also were always focused on the future. But his hands—his hands brought that love into being because they were always busy in the service and honor of others. He gave and gave and gave until his heart finally needed to rest. It is resting in the presence of the Lord with his best friend by his side.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks anyone wishing to celebrate his life, seemingly boundless love, and positivity, to contribute to Fisher House of the Emerald Coast (FHEC, PO Box 2007, Eglin AFB, FL 32542 or online fisherhouseemeraldcoast.org or by phone at 850-259-4956).
A time of visitation will be held Wednesday, August 3rd from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Whitehurst-Powell Funeral Home in Crestview. The funeral service will be held at First Baptist Church of Crestview Thursday morning at 11:00 a.m. followed by a graveside service at Liveoak Park Memorial Cemetery.
Arrangements are entrusted to Whitehurst Powell Funeral Home in Crestview. Guest book and condolences are available online at www.whitehurstpowellfuneralhome.com