Valdez Star cofounder Jean Lynn died in Big Lake March 6. She was 87 years old.
Jean was born Nov. 5, 1928 in Ottawa, Ontario in Canada. She was one of three children born to Harry and Elizabeth Bates.
She had two children with her first husband, Birtch Bee, before moving to San Francisco in 1961, where she worked as a bookkeeping administrator, a skill she would ply throughout her life. In 1962 she married an adventurous journalist, Patrick K Lynn. They had a son, Richard, in 1964.
The family moved to St. Augustine, Florida in 1970, after an extended vacation across country - a place the family grew to love only second to Valdez according to Richard.
In 1981 the family moved to Anchorage, then to Bismarck, North Dakota in 1985. At the age of 58, she returned to college to learn to work with orthotics and prosthetics. At almost 60-years of age, she was surrounded by younger students - but true to her personality - was the first in her class to land a job in the industry.
In 1988, Jean and Pat found their forever home, Valdez.
The two owned and ran KVAK radio during the oil spill, and later founded the Valdez Star, among other business ventures.
Pat referred to Jean as his "loving bride" from the moment of their marriage in 1962 until his death in 2011.
Their son Richard said the couple never shared a cross word with each other throughout their long marriage.
Jean moved to Big Lake to live with her son after Pat's death in 2011, where he said she became a part of the community, charming her new friends with her infectious laugh and bubbly personality.
Indeed, she could sometimes be found at her favorite pub - Floaters - where she'd tip a few with the boys, and sometimes grace those around her with a dance.
"God bless you mom," her son Richard said, "and your wonderful life."
Jean is survived by her sons, Richard Lynn and Thomas Bee, and daughter, Patricia Fox.
A service was held in Big Lake earlier this month. A service with internment in the Valdez columbarium is planned for this summer. The date will be published when it is available.