Losing my Mickey June

Mickey June Lynn

Mickey June Killough Lynn died Monday morning half way through dressing without so much as a whispered cry of alarm.
I took her away from her parents in Australia in 1950 when she was just 19. Within six years we had all four of our children and were working our way through the first of three newspaper mortgages.
Verses 16 and 17, Chapter One of the Book of Ruth fit my Mickey like a tailored jacket:
“Entreat me not to leave thee or to return from following after thee, for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people and thy God, my God. Where thou diest I will die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me and more also if aught but death part thee and me.”
And so we made our home in refurbished Army quarters in Wichita, the second floor of the Humboldt Union and a modest ranch in Bowie, Texas, and finally built the home she later died in in 1967. She made all of those dwelling places wonderful homes for raising children and enjoying life. We were poor by federal standards. We never felt poor.
She worked in the newspapers in Humboldt and Bowie and understood when I went to meetings and pounded away on my Underwood typewriter long after the kids had gone to bed.
She adopted the Lynn and Scott families as her own, made family trees and gave them away to all who wanted one and was the author/compiler of the history of the Ewing and Scott families.
When the Register began publishing the Annals of Iola and Allen County in tabloid sections called Quarterly Reports she copied items from hard-to-read pages of old Registers at home while I did the same at the Register office. The Quarterly Reports grew into the Annals which we published as a two-volume set nine years ago. It was she who kept pushing to get the work done and shipped off to the printer.
It was the Ruth in her that made her into a hiker in Rocky Mountain National Park, where our family spent two to three weeks almost every summer for the 59 years we were married at the family cabin called the Scottage. Mickey wasn’t athletic. But she turned out to be tough as teak on the mountain trails. She carried a pack. Cooked trout over a campfire. Slept on the ground under a skimpy tent. Tended blisters, tolerated soaking rain storms. And learned to enjoy what Lynns enjoyed. It was a far cry from the life she led in Melbourne, where her father was president of the Australian division of International Harvester and her mother the president of the Australian-American Association.
Returning to the cabin from two days or more of bushwhacking, she and the other moms would cook up a feast for the 15-to-20 who crowded around the table on the dining porch.
Mickey kept the appointment book for the Scottage. There are 13 families who use it now. The record keeping is no small chore. She also helped keep the place looking decent. Last week she was looking for curtains to replace those in the cabin living room.
Which brings me to the essence of the beautiful, warm, loving and gracious woman to whom I was married for all these years: Her mind was always on someone else. Her focus was very rarely on herself or even on our home (though she was a superlative housekeeper) but was instead on her church, on a friend, on a grandchild, on a political cause, or on the needs of others in far off places.
She made my life rich; her death leaves me impoverished — and immeasurably sad.

— Emerson Lynn, jr.