Lynne Florence (Hinkel) Lipsey, of Lawrence, died on Sunday, January 10, 2021, after living with cancer for more than two years.
Lynne was born on May 7, 1947, the third child of Hollis and Adele Hinkel of Rochester, Michigan. She attended Rochester High School and Michigan State University, where she graduated with honors in German and met her future husband.
In high school, Lynne was an exchange student in Hamburg, Germany, and her family hosted exchange students Elke Schardin from Hamburg and Ana Maria de Menezes from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Lynne was able to maintain contact with Ana throughout much of her life.
Lynne spoke German fluently and was able to use the language extensively when she accompanied her husband, Dick, on his Army assignment to Germany in 1970-71 and in later vacation trips to Europe.
During their Army years, Lynne lived in Friedberg, Germany, where she handled international currency conversions for American Express; Fort Ord, California, where she worked for the Carmel Police Department and met Mayor Clint Eastwood; and Galesburg, Illinois, where she taught introductory German at Knox College.
She also lived in suburban Washington, DC, and worked as a travel agent in the Crystal City shops in Arlington, Virginia; and at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, where she taught English as a second language.
In 1977 Lynne and Dick adopted twin girls from Korea who were the joy of their lives.
Lynne moved with her family in 1985 to Lawrence, where she worked as a substitute teacher in the school system and as an agent for McGrew Real Estate before finding a niche with the University of Kansas Division of Continuing Education.
During her nineteen years at Continuing Education, she helped the transition from correspondence courses to internet instruction and worked with many faculty members to put their courses online. Lynne also enjoyed working with Professor Maryemma Graham on the Project on the History of Black Writing.
In 1993 and 1994, Lynne and her family sponsored high school exchange students from Brazil and Poland and took them to Rocky Mountain National Park, beginning a family tradition of enjoying the Colorado mountains.
She retired from KU in 2008 and moved to Estes Park, Colorado, where she and Dick had a comfortable home on a dead-end road on the side of a mountain at 8,600-feet elevation with an expansive view of Estes Park and the surrounding mountains.
In Estes Park, Lynne was a volunteer at Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park and a member of the Estes Park Ambassadors at the town’s Visitor Center. She was an enthusiastic genealogist and did extensive DNA research into her family’s history.
A particular highlight was a trip to Ireland in 2018, where she was able to introduce her husband to two of his very-distant Irish cousins whom she had connected with through her ancestry research.
She was diagnosed with cancer soon after that trip and the following year returned to Lawrence to be closer to family. She passed away in hospice care at home with her husband and daughters at her bedside.
Lynne loved animals and had a series of dogs ranging from Piccolo, the dachshund she bought at a pet store in Frankfurt, Germany, to Jasper, the golden doodle who was a comfort in her final days.
Lynne was known by family, friends, and acquaintances as a warm, caring, and gracious woman who was a joy to be with. She was a special person.
Lynne is survived by her husband, Dick; her daughters Kelly Yates (John) of Leawood and Kerry Smalley (Jeff) of Topeka; her brother, Howard Hinkel (Gail) of Columbia, Missouri; and her sister, Sharon Hartlein (Bob), of Midland, Michigan, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be 1pm Saturday, June 26 at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home. The family will receive friends from 2-3pm at the funeral home.
Donations to the Cotton-O’Neil Cancer Center, Stormont-Vail Hospital, Topeka, or to the Douglas County Visiting Nurses Association are suggested. Donations may be sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana, Lawrence, KS 66044.