Obituary: Lynn Smith

Lynn Smith. (Courtesy)

Lynn Smith. (Courtesy)

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Lynn Smith, who peacefully passed away at the age of 95 on March 2. Lynn was a music lover, world traveler, engineer, a veteran of World War II, and a loving parent and spouse. Born in 1927 in Moline, IL, Lynn grew up during a time of great change and uncertainty in the world. Lynn was one of this nation’s Greatest Generation, and as a young man, Lynn answered the call to serve his country and joined the armed forces during World War II. From an early age, he had always wanted to be a pilot, so he enlisted in the Army Air Forces. Before being deployed overseas, the war ended and Lynn studied mechanical engineering at Bradley University in Peoria, IL. After graduation, Lynn and his new wife Alice moved to southern California to start his long career engineering components of some of the most advanced aircraft in the world. He was most happy to reflect on his experience on the skunkworks team responsible for the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, one of the fastest and most-powerful military aircraft developed in the 1950s. He also started a family and was blessed with two children, Steve and Sharon, and raised them in Pasadena, California. After a job-related move to Massachusetts and back, the family settled in Brea, California. He was also a “car guy”, having enjoyed several high-end models, but his absolute favorite was his simple, 1965 Beetle. Unfortunately, Lynn suffered great loss throughout his life, as he was widowed three times. Despite this, Lynn remained steadfast in his faith and relied on God’s strength and comfort to help him through the difficult times. He was an active member at Prescott Presbyterian Church in Arizona and regularly attended Athey Creek Christian Fellowship in Oregon.

One of Lynn’s greatest passions was music, and he spent many happy hours listening to his favorite records, attending concerts and performances, and listening to opera while working in the garage. He was also an avid traveler, and he loved nothing more than exploring new places and cultures around the world. Over the years, he visited many exotic locations, including Iran, Japan, Greece, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, and others, and he always had his camera and telephoto lens on the ready to capture all he saw. He made many new friends with the caregivers at West Hills Assisted Living in Portland, where he lived his final 6 years. They often said how they were warmed by Lynn’s engaging smile. Lynn will be deeply missed by his family and friends, but we take comfort in knowing that Lynn is now reunited with his loved ones who have passed before.

Lynn is survived by his children, Sharon (Smith) Dunnahoo and Steve Smith, and by grandchildren Brendan Dunnahoo and Maura Dunnahoo, and Joshua Smith and Sarah Smith. Burial will be at National Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix at 2 p.m. March 23.

Information provided by family.

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