John Spann Lynn
97, Christian, WWII Bronze Star recipient, Silver Life Bridge Master and retired Secretary and General Manager of Lilly Endowment, Inc., peacefully fell asleep in Christ at home on August 23, 2014.
Educated at Tudor Hall, Park School, DePauw University and Harvard Business School, John spent 25 years serving in several capacities at Eli Lilly & Co. before being promoted in 1961 to supervise the activities at Lilly Endowment, Inc. There, in the next 11 years before his retirement in 1972, he oversaw the donation of more than $75 million to charitable, religious and educational institutions. In his career at the Endowment, and throughout his 97½ years, John promoted the cause of limited government, private property, free enterprise, individual responsibility and the Christian heritage of our nation.
A 4th generation elder at Second Presbyterian Church, John was also national chairman of CFO (Camps Farthest Out) a Christian retreat group, and a former board member of the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement of Central Indiana and the Indiana chapter of the Christian Anti-Communism Crusade.
John served in Naval Intelligence with SACO in the China theatre during WWII. As Officer-in-charge, Fleet Liaison, Naval Group, China, he personally oversaw all coast-watcher reports and was liaison between them and each branch of the Armed Services, leading directly to the bombing of many enemy ships/subs and to the rescue and return to safety of more than 65 downed pilots. For this meritorious role he was awarded the Bronze Star.
A life-long bridge player and Silver Life Master for more than 20 years, John helped found the North Side Bridge Center where he spent many wonderful hours and he was frequently cited as an example in his friend Easley Blackwood's newspaper column, "Blackwood on Bridge."
John joyfully loved his wife, Jane Shideler Lynn for 72 years. She and their son, Charles Jackson Lynn II, preceded him in death, as did his sister, Marjorie Lynn Griffith. Also blessed to have loved him are these survivors, son, John A. (Elizabeth) Lynn; daughter, Judi Lynn (Ken) Klug; grandchildren, Christine (Billy) Norton, Abigail Lynn, Charles Jackson Lynn III, Corban (Marcy) Klug and Andrew (Brianna) Klug; plus 5 great grandchildren; 3 nieces, Pat B. Lynn, Cheri Lynn (Rollie) Dick; and many bridge partners, friends and neighbors.
Throughout his life, John trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for his health, and he lived a long, satisfying, joy-filled life of service to God and his fellow man. He played tennis into his late 70's (was State Tennis Doubles Champ at DePauw), was still traveling in his 90's and only became weak in his last few months. But he was never in pain, on no medicines, and remained his same kind, thoughtful, encouraging, cheerful self until his last breath. In fact, his last words were, "Thank you." John loved the Lord Jesus and tried to live a life pleasing to Him. Since multiple friends have described him in the same way: "The very definition of a gentleman," we know he succeeded. And we will love to see him and his bride again when we are Together Forever Perfectly in the Life to come. Come, Lord Jesus!
A Celebration of John's life will be held at the Indianapolis Bridge Center, 8301 Castleway Dr, Indianapolis, IN 46250, (317) 845-5887 at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, November 28. Please make a note to join us and share with us how some of John's 35,633 days on Earth blessed you! Online obit and guest book at http://www.indianafuneralcare.com .
Mom and Dad were givers all of their lives. In lieu of flowers, if you would like to give in Dad's memory, please choose one of these organizations he and Mom loved to support: The Living Truth Fellowship: http://www.tltf.org ; The Messianic Jewish Israel Fund: http://www.mjif.org ; The American Family Association of Indiana: http://www.afain.net. And thank you very much from all of us blessed to be part of his family. Arrangements: Indiana Funeral Care and Crematory.
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