Lynn Stafford Yilmaz
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Lynn Stafford YILMAZ January 4, 1964~January 13, 2009 Our beloved daughter, wife, mother and friend Lynn was born in Bellevue, Washington to Shannon and Donna Stafford, and was the third of five siblings (Ann, John, Mary, Jane). She attended Clyde Hill, Sacred Heart and Chinook Middle School, then Forest Ridge High School, and while there was the piano accompanist for the school's production of the musical, Godspell. She swam competitively for Bellevue High School, and was a lifeguard for the Bellevue Parks Department. Piano and swimming remained lifelong pursuits. She attended Colgate University, Leningrad State University and the University of Washington, where she earned her B.A. in Russian Language in 1986. Later, she received her Masters degree in linguistics from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Lynn's professional career revolved around language, teaching and editing/publishing. Lynn was proficient or fluent in English, Russian, Japanese, Turkish and French. She taught English in Japan on two occasions (Sakata, 1986; Sendai, 1989); English to business people in Turkey, and English as a Second Language (ESL) for Bellevue Community College, and occasionally taught at both Seattle University and North Central Community College. She served on the City of Bellevue Human Services Commission for several years. In 1992, she traveled the world on the MS Statendam, where she wrote the ship's daily newsletter. Lynn's travels were the foundation for an extensive international doll collection. Lynn published 11 books in the ESL field, where she served as an editor and contributing author. She produced a weekly ESL column for The Daily Yomiuri - a daily Japanese newspaper published in English (2006-2009). She co-owned and published a Bellevue Community College newspaper for non-native English speakers. Lynn edited a book dealing with deaf culture entitled "Journey into the Deaf World" and later developed the inaugural section on "American Sign Language for the Chicago Manual of Style". She worked for the Educational Testing Service, and was a scheduled speaker for TESOL's March convention in Denver. A life dream was the writing of a novel, a project she began but did not finish. Lynn married Mustafa Yilmaz, a Turkish Naval Officer whom she met during his studies at the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey. They married in Turkey on March 22, 1995. After returning to the U.S. and purchasing a home in Bellevue, they had two children, Tanner (age 10) and Erin (9). Both are tri-lingual, musicians (guitar and piano, respectively) and enthusiastic athletes. Lynn's children were a tremendous source of pride and the focal point and love of her life. Perhaps most notable amongst Lynn's many character attributes were her intelligence, depth, warmth, profound insight into life, a passion towards her work, adventurous spirit and sense of humor -- all of which are now evident in her children. Lynn is survived by her husband, Mustafa, her two children, Tanner and Erin, parents Shannon and Donna Stafford, sister Ann, brother John, sister Mary Stanley (David), sister Jane (David Herrman), nephews Nicholas, Ty, Drew and Chase, as well as aunts, uncles and cousins. We will miss her as well as will her friends, colleagues and students and her extended family in Turkey. In lieu of flowers, remembrances can be made to Bellevue Comm- unity College Institutional Advancement 3000 Landerholm Circle SE Bellevue, WA 98007 identifying "Scholarship in honor of Lynn Stafford Yilmaz" or the Sierra Club. A service celebrating Lynn's life will be held at Sacred Heart Church, Bellevue, 9460 NE 14th, Clyde Hill, Washington at 11 a.m. Saturday, February 28th, 2009. A separate service will be held in Turkey by Lynn's extended family and friends.

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Published in The Seattle Times from Feb. 15 to Feb. 23, 2009.
Memories & Condolences
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16 entries
July 21, 2019
New York, Jan 1, 2006
Back in 2005, when I was 18, I travelled from Kazakhstan to New York for undergraduate studies, and 400 must-have words for the TOEFL was the first book I bought to start improving my English skills.

Many thanks for your work, Mrs Stafford-Yilmaz, and I still use it today in my practice as an ESL Instructor.

Rest in peace!
Marat Pussurmanov
April 17, 2016
I was researching something tonight and came across an ESL book by Lynn that was sitting on my shelf. It made me think about her, and with a little searching, I found this Memories page.

I was active in the Materials Writers group for international TESOL, and that's how I met Lynn. I didn't work with her on any specific projects, but we communicated via email and at the conference several times. I don't know if Lynn's family members will come back to read this page, but if any of you do, I want you to know that Lynn was very, very well-respected by the members of our professional organization. She was always very nice to me, and we had good conversations about materials writing and teaching.

We just had our international TESOL meeting in Baltimore, and Lynn's name came up again, and ever since then, I kept thinking about her, so when I found this page, I wanted to write a note to her family. Lynn was a very good TESOL colleague, and she is definitely missed and remembered by those of us who knew her.
Keith Folse
March 4, 2009
I remember Lynn from Chinook Junior High. We were never close friends but I recall that she was always thoughtful and kind and had such a great smile. I wish we had had an opportunity to reconnect in our adult lives because she sounds like a truly amazing friend and mother. My thoughts and prayers are with her family through this devastating time and I also pray for some closure for them in the future.
Julie Watkinson Moore
March 4, 2009
i only knew Lynn briefly as we attended Chinook Junior High together in Bellevue, and remember her as a wonderful person, with an outgoing personality and a great smile!
carrie kenyon
February 28, 2009
Lynn was a friend of mine that I met through our writer's group. She was the lifebreath of the group. Lynn was always so encouraging to the other writers and had insightful critiques to help us see our writings from new and different angles. She was a great friend and a joy to spend time with, I will continue to think of her and miss her everyday.
Wendy Britton
February 19, 2009
Having worked with Lynn in the past, I concur with others who knew her in that she always greeted everyone she encountered with a "sincere" smile, and was very caring and dedicated in her work with ESL students. I find it hard to sign this guest book as I'm feeling that her "book" is not yet finished. My sympathy goes out to her children, but they need to remember that their mother truly loves them and will always be there in spirit when they need her. Lynn, you've made a lasting impression here, but now you've moved on to a better place. Be at peace.
Jeanne Eager
February 18, 2009
Lynn was amazing! Warm, kind, funny... I think I remember her laughing most of all. Smart, too, and so dedicated to her work. We had some fantastic arguments over grammar, punctuation, and writing. It was such a pleasure to write and work with someone who cared so deeply about each project. My professional and personal life have been immeasurably enriched for having known Lynn. She read and commented on my articles, she laughed at my jokes, she offered support and advice when I was overwhelmed, she encouraged me professionally and pointed me in the right direction numerous times. I would not be the writer and editor I am today were it not for Lynn. I will miss her forever, but will keep her wise advice and kind, laughing spirit with me too.
Dorothy Zemach
February 18, 2009
Lynn was the person one always wanted to sit next to in a staff meeting. She was bright, funny, and contributed with intelligence and keen insight. My deepest sympathies to her family...
Nan Butler
February 17, 2009
Sending warmest wishes and fond thoughts of Lynn to her family. She was an amazing person. I was always wondering what she would do next - she was so prolific! Lynn, I send you many hugs. Thanks for making me laugh.
February 17, 2009
My deepest sympathies to Lynn's family. Lynn's departure saddens us all. We will miss her smile, her laughter, her calm. BCC will never be the same.
Janis Juarez
February 17, 2009
Our sincere condolences to Lynn's husband and family.
Lynn was a delightful and engaging person, a wonderful & helpful peer and a brilliant writer and teacher. We enjoyed every encounter with her and will miss her very much. Our love.

Denny & Rebecca Sargent
Denny Sargent
February 17, 2009
My sincere condolence to Lynns' husband and children. My son Lorne Demrose and myself had done some interior renovation for the Yilmaz family a year ago or so. I was devastated learning of the families loss. She was an intelligent and caring individual, one of a kind that will leave a great void in our culture.
Alfred Demrose
February 16, 2009
Dear Donna and Shannon and family. Our love and prayers go to you all for the loss of your wonderful and talented daughter. She will be sorely missed by all of you.. Her children will have fond memories of a wonderful mother. Love Bobi and Doug.
Bobi and Doug bohlke
February 16, 2009
My life is richer for knowing Lynn. For the past 7 years, I have looked forward to seeing her at TESOL and catching up over dinner or coffee. Her willingness to step forward and contribute so much of her time, energy, and intellect always inspired me to try to do more. Deepest condolences to her family, especially her children. She spoke so lovingly of them. I will think of Lynn often.
Susan Iannuzzi
February 16, 2009
My Dearest Lynn, you're my beloved best-friend and sister...we've shared the best 45 years of my life together. John, Jane and I went out tonight as we do and now you're there with us in our hearts. And, well, nothing at all is anywhere near what it was before, and it will never be again...but for one thing - how much we all love you Lynn. Infinity. Love Forever, Your Mary
Mary Stanley
February 16, 2009
I offer my condolences and prayers for Lynn's family. I count myself a member of Lynn's family of friends from Forest Ridge High School. Lynn was was an inspiration in so many ways. I loved her ironic sense of humor, her compassion towards others, her originality, her questioning of information and her infectious laugh. I shared Lynn's love of foreign languages -- we both made attempts to learn a little Persian in high school, yet faired much better with Russian in college. To this day I can still hear the inflections in her voice when she was surprised or interested in something as we sorted through books at the school lockers. She was loved by so many and will be remembered and missed by them as well. God bless all of Lynn's family and friends. Kris Easter
Kristen Easter
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