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Posted on November 16, 2014 | 1:26 p.m.

Dr. John Henry Lynn of Montecito, 1944-2014

Source: Lynn Family

Dr. John Henry Lynn, Medical Director of the Emergency Department of Antelope Valley Hospital, and longtime resident of Santa Barbara, died on November 6, 2014, of a degenerative neuromuscular disease. He was 70.

Born in Mount Vernon, New York, John attended A.B. Davis High School, Brown University and the University of Rochester Medical School. He completed his training in internal medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and UCLA.

John was greatly influenced by his grandfather, an Irish immigrant who became Mount Vernon City Comptroller. Like his grandfather, John was a natural leader and believed in hard work and the value of education.

At A.B. Davis High School, he was elected student body president and received the highest character award given to the student who best exemplified “friendliness, loyalty, sportsmanship, graciousness, cooperation, responsibility, good manners and a sense of humor.” Those qualities described John throughout his life.

Dr. Lynn devoted his career of more than four decades to Antelope Valley Hospital. An innovator in the emerging field of emergency medicine, he influenced the specialty’s development from its earliest days. Dr. Lynn was involved in both improving patient care and advocating for specialization of staff. He helped the department obtain the important status of EDAP, an Emergency Department Approved for Pediatrics.

Dr. Lynn’s far-reaching influence included being a founding member of the Children’s Center of Antelope Valley, addressing child abuse in the community.

As a leader, Dr. Lynn understood the importance of each staff member and the teamwork required to provide high-quality patient care. He gave praise at every possible opportunity. Kindness and active listening were the signature characteristics of his practice and teaching in medicine.

He was committed to educating UCLA medical students and residents as well as paramedics and fellow physicians at AVH. A supporter of nurses and nurse practitioners, he paid special attention to promoting their practices within the ED.

Dr. Lynn was known for his contagious positive style and was a natural morale builder. He created a hospital holiday called “Dodger Day” when Dr. Lynn himself cooked and served hot dogs to the entire community every Fourth of July.

Sports were a big part of John’s life. He was an enthusiastic Dodger, Laker and Bruin fan. His knowledge of baseball was so encyclopedic that when he met Tommy Lasorda, Lasorda was all ears for John’s storytelling.

John also loved golfing at the Valley Club, where he felt honored to play and make friends. His passion for swimming began during competitions in high school and college, and the sport later grew into a source of family recreation and daily exercise. John was a regular at the Coral Casino where he loved lap swimming. If he wasn’t in the pool, he was on the sand throwing a Frisbee for the beloved family Vizsla, Tootie.

John was a lover of music, especially opera, and helped support the next generation of classical musicians and opera singers at the Music Academy of the West. John loved going to live performances in New York with his daughters and in Santa Barbara with his wife, Georgia, especially when they featured Fellows of the Academy. He was known to send out exuberant “Bravo!”s and “Brava!”s from the audience.

Over the years, John valued the time he spent with the clergy and congregation of All Saints By-the-Sea Episcopal Church. He felt honored to serve on the Vestry, as Senior Warden, and as Lay Eucharist Minister. He dearly loved greeting each parishioner by name on Sunday mornings.

Later in life, Dr. Lynn was involved in public speaking to support organ donation. He always felt the two liver transplants he had following autoimmune liver disease were gifts beyond words.

In August of this year, the Antelope Valley Hospital dedicated its Emergency Department to “John H. Lynn, M.D., in recognition of his lifelong contributions and dedicated service to the patients of the Antelope Valley Healthcare District.” For the occasion, one of Dr. Lynn’s colleagues said, “John’s capacity to love, even in the face of great obstacles to loving, is his finest quality.”

The greatest object of John’s love was his wife, Georgia, whom he met by chance in a little train station in the countryside of Cambridge, England, during the summer of 1968. For 46 years, John and Georgia shared a deep and loving friendship, and spent their most meaningful times together raising four daughters.

John is survived by his wife, Georgia; their daughters Jessica Lynn, Elizabeth Lynn, Meredith Lynn and Katherine Lynn; grandchildren Miriam and Johnny; and brother Robert Lynn and sister Margaret Lynn Holland.

Dr. Lynn’s family sends deep gratitude to the UCLA liver transplant team and donor families, as well as the staffs of Cottage Hospital, Valle Verde and Serenity House, who cared for Dr. Lynn during the end of his life.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. December 6, 2014, at All Saints By-the-Sea Episcopal Church, 83 Eucalyptus Lane in Montecito.

Donations in Dr. John Lynn’s name may be made to the Music Academy of the West, All Saints By-the-Sea, the Gift Foundation of Antelope Valley, or the Children’s Center of the Antelope Valley.


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