Former Rep. Bob Lynn, 1933-2020 - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, July 12, 2020
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Former Rep. Bob Lynn, 1933-2020

Former House Representative Bob Lynn died on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020. He was 87.

Lynn served as an Alaska legislator from 2003 until 2016, when he lost the primary for what is now District 26, Anchorage hillside, to the late Chris Birch.

In 2019, Lynn had packed up his life in Alaska and, with the help of his grandson Danny Aab, drove 4,000 miles to Ranch Cucamonga, California, to be closer to his family as he aged. He had been in the hospital in recent weeks as his health failed.

Lynn was born in East Los Angeles in 1933. In his long and interesting life, he served the U.S. Air Force, where he was an F94C fighter pilot. He served in Vietnam as a radar controller at Monkey Mountain and in Air Defense Operations (including Kotzebue), was an inspector general, and had been awarded 17 awards and decorations, including the Bronze Star and Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. He was a school teacher, a police officer, ambulance driver, and Realtor at different times in his civilian life, but he was always a Vietnam Veteran, and an advocate for veterans.

Lynn earned his bachelor of arts from University of Arizona, and a masters degree  from California State University, Long Beach. He served as mayor pro-tem and city councilman of the City of Moreno Valley, Riverside County, California, where he was instrumental in the founding of that city in 1984.

He was married to his wife Marlene Wagner Lynn, whom he had met on a blind date, until her passing in 2016; the couple had six children and by this point more than 21 grandchildren. The family was close and Bob Lynn was the beloved patriarch. His family spent much time with him in recent months.

Lynn was an a prolific blogger, and kept an online journal during his service in the Legislature and afterwards, often writing about history with his interesting historic vignettes. He was also a gifted photographer, and posted many of his photos on Facebook over the years, where he kept in touch with friends and former colleagues. He was still writing notes and posting photos from his life on Facebook in April, and filling in the gaps of history about his experiences on his journey through life. His Facebook page is a treasure of historic notes that include many memories of Vietnam, as well as his time in the Legislature:

“I was the chair of the Alaska Legislature’s State Affairs Committee for several years,” he wrote last year. “We heard many highly controversial issues. But nothing was more controversial that the subjects of Daylight Savings Time and Traffic Circles. I must confess, when those two subjects came before my Committee, I had the urge to flee the scene. Attempting to change anyone’s opinions on Daylight Savings Time and traffic circles will always be more difficult than trying to change someone’s religion. I predict those two subjects will haunt the State Affairs Committee ad infinitum. I miss chairing the Committee, but I don’t miss that.”

In the House of Representatives, Lynn was a member of the Republican caucus, serving on numerous committees:

Chair, State Afffairs Committee: 2007 – 2008
Chair, Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee: 2005 – 2006
Member, Armed Services Committee: 2003 – 2008
Member, Economic Development, International Trade and Tourism Committee: 2005 – 2008
Member, Education Committee: 2005 – 2006
Member, Judiciary Committe: 2007 – 2008
Member, Labor and Commerce Committee: 2003 – 2006
Member, Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee: 2003 – 2004
Member, Resources Committee: 2003 – 2004
Member, State Affairs Committee: 2003 – 2006
Member, Majority Caucus 2003 – 2006

Do you have a fond memory of Rep. Lynn? You are invited to leave it in the comments.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • RIP Bob! You were an amazing man who lived an amazing life. It was always hard to believe that the quiet old man I knew was once one of America’s very first hot shot jet fighter pilots. Those were the days. Strap yourself into an aluminum fuel tank with wings and scream to unheard of speeds and altitudes. No wonder you were deaf as a doorknob!

    Remembering the poem, High Flight, as I think of your life well lived!

  • During my 18 yrs working in the legislature, Rep Bob Lynn was on a number of committees I staffed. He was a kindly person and respectful of others. But make no mistake he was a warrior on issue he felt strongly about. Bob was a very accomplished photographer and had some amazing pictures. Having retired from the Air Force myself, we had a number of conversation about the difference between our times in service. But you knew he was a patriot. Rest in Peace.

  • It was a privilege to serve with Bob. A great friend and mentor. He will truly be missed but never forgotten.

  • Truly a good man who loved America, Alaska, his wife and family and served them all with distinction!!

  • Bob was a class act who brought his rich and varied life experiences to the House. But most of all he loved his wife Marlene to whom he, without fail, would convey annual Happy Birthday wishes from the House floor via TV cameras each session. He was always the wise sage in the room.

  • Godspeed, Bob. RIP. Regards –

  • Bob was a great guy and a good man…..a loud voice for those without one. A pro life, pro Alaskan and committed person of values. An example of respectful, kind leadership.
    Sorry to see another great soul go ……

  • Bob always made time to listen and would respond with something positive. He was a good guy

  • Bob was a kind and gentle man. He had the gift of being able to convey that he was genuinely pleased to see you. Always had time for a visit, closed with an upbeat comment. He was a good guy who will be missed. My condolences to his family and many friends.

  • Alaska and the Country has Lost a Great Patriot and it will be a different place without him! We will surely miss this Great Man!

  • Bob was with our 48th Fighter Interceptor Squadron piloting F-94C Starfire Interceptor and T-33A Shooting Star aircraft. He went on to give gallant service in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Bob remained a Member of Our 48th Squadron Association and attended many, many of our annual reunions. We Will Always Remember Bob’s Good Heart, Soft Spokeness and warm, gentile smile. Our Salute IS Rendered to Him. May He Rest in Most Blessed Peace among the Angels in Heaven.

  • I was so proud to know Bob Lynn. There was never a moment that I did not know I was speaking to a great and remarkably humble man. He was wise beyond measure. He was a serious man who did not take himself seriously. In whatever he did he became the best example of what to do.

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