Our friend’s name is Gary Lynn Smith. He grew up in southern Gibson County, Indiana. Last week, he and his wife, Lisa Sizemore Smith, celebrated 30 years of marriage. Just a few days later, he walked on at 52-years-old.
Here, folks here call him Gary Lynn and today’s post is for all the folks who loved him and regarded him as a friend, which is nearly everyone who ever met him. If you’re a reader who’s never met him, I hope you’ll stick around anyway, and get acquainted.
A few short descriptions of our tall friend
L to R: Justin (son), Gary Lynn and Lisa participating in a Sunday School event. Image via Ronda McGee Penrod, photographer.
Gary Lynn loved gatherings, be they church services, ball games, weddings, graduations, ball games and county fairs, holidays, etcetera.
He was tall, blonde, lanky-limbed and deep-voiced. He announced nearly every ball game I ever played in. My mind can still hear his voice coming through the big speakers, as he watched and kept the fans up to date from the announcer’s box behind home plate at the Owensville ball field.
“Score is whatever-and-whatever. So-and-so up at bat. So-and-so on deck.” He’d announce who was playing what position, and throughout the game, often blend in encouraging comments like, “Nice run by so-and-so!” “Good hit by so-and-so!”
I’m not overstating it when I say, Gary Lynn was an incredible percussionist. Gary Lynn had no formal training on drums (that I remember) but his skill and talent in percussion ranks with the best of the best.
Gary Lynn and wife, Lisa. Image via Justin Smith.
Some of his biggest fans were the smallest folks in his circles. Kids absolutely adored Gary Lynn. Kids were on auto-attract to him. Even the shy and mistrustful ones felt safe with him and loved his attention. Scores of those kids are grownups today, many with children of their own, who grew up enjoying Gary Lynn’s company, just as their parents did.
Over the weekend, folks drove and flew, traveling many miles, to be in attendance to honor Gary Lynn’s homegoing.
They shared how he’d been behind the scenes, cooking and serving wonderful meals to families who’d lost loved ones.
They shared how he’d visited their homes and families, and been the one to pick them up and bring them to church when their family didn’t attend, or was unable to do it.
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