Dr. Robert L. Lynn, 88, died Sept. 8, 2020, in Norman after several years battling Parkinson’s Disease.
He is remembered as administrator and Interim President at Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU), for his leadership as Louisiana College (LC) President for two decades, as a Rotarian and Rotary District Governor, as poet of “Cancer is So Limited,” and as a gracious husband, father and grandfather.
He was born Nov. 19, 1931, to Warren Amos Lynn and Mary Emma Johnston Lynn in Fox, Oklahoma. He graduated from (OBU) in 1953 and earned Master’s degrees at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, New York, and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He earned his Ph.D at the University of Oklahoma.
At OBU on a track scholarship he met his wife Bonnie and reported sports for The Shawnee (OK) News-Star. From 1953 to 1967, he was a writer and managing editor at All Church Press in Fort Worth,Texas. From 1967-1975, he was a Vice President and then interim president at OBU. He and Dr. Bonnie Moore Lynn, received OBU's Alumni Achievement Awards in 1983.
Lynn became president of Louisiana College July 1, 1975 and was beloved by his students. Under his leadership, LC saw 22 years of financial growth, substantial endowment funding, and various building projects.
A Rotarian for over 44, he valued service above self, and served as a Louisiana District Governor. He helped charter 10 Rotary Clubs in Louisiana and Georgia. He joined the Norman Rotary Club in 2015.
Lynn authored four poetry books. He penned “Cancer Is So Limited” in 2007, a poem that has inspired millions worldwide.
From his high school years, Lynn faithfully served in his church communities as deacon, in music ministries and as a Sunday School teacher. He championed education, social justice, and equality and served as a UNICEF educational consultant to Somaliland. Lynn was the first recipient of the Bill Bradley Leadership Award, sponsored by the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership.
He was an avid runner, logging two miles a day into his 80’s and loved to fish, travel, golf, garden and spend time with family, who lovingly addressed him as “Doc.”
Robert L. Lynn is survived by his wife of 68 years, Bonnie Moore Lynn; daughter Susy Lynn Calonkey and husband Steve of Norman; son Christopher and wife Angie of Asheville, NC; Grandchildren Rob Calonkey, Katelynn Calonkey Henry and husband Dillon, Darcey Lynn, Jessica Lynn, Audrey Lynn, and great grand-daughter, Clara Henry. His brother Bill Lynn and wife Jane of Pasadena, CA, and sister in law Helen Moore Montgomery of McKinney, TX and beloved nieces, nephews, relatives and dear friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and infant son Robert Lee Lynn, Jr.; siblings Doris Lynn Taylor, Kane Lynn, Don Lynn, and twin sister Betty Lynn Thomas.
The family will hold a private graveside gathering and plans a virtual Celebration of Life Service memorial service this fall. For more information, contact Tribute Memorial Care in Norman. As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be made to the Rotary International Foundation, Parkinson’s Foundation for Research, or the charity of your choice.
Posted online on September 21, 2020