Leslie W. Lynn, 76, left his home in Clearwater to join his Mum and Daddy and brother Randy in heaven on July 11, 2017. He was the beloved son of Clifford and Gertrude (Walker) Lynn, brother of Rockey Lynn, Dixie Lynn, Virginia Lynn, Randy Lynn, and LaMoyne Hunter, dad to Loren Lynn, Lisa Lynn, Lorrie Lynn, and Landry Lynn, grandpa to Cassandra, Amanda, Matthew, Justin, Jaran, Austyn, Bodhi, Caiden, and Gesa, and great-grandpa to Liv, River, Brian, Caitlynn, Ethan, Braiton, Kyliee, Kailee, and Rayden, as well as love and life-partner for almost 25 years to Tish Bedard, dad to her daughter Angie Bedard, and poppa to William and Zoe. He was an uncle, great-uncle, cousin, and friend to many others.
He was born on Pleasant Valley near Clearwater, on Dec. 13, 1940 and grew up in Harpster and Clearwater, where the mountains were his backyard and playground. He went to grade school at Clearwater and high school at Stites and Kooskia, graduating from Clearwater Valley High School in 1958. He attended Lewis-Clark State College for a short time before going back to work. In his youth and young adult life, he worked a number of jobs from logging to green chain, uranium mining to construction of the Dworshak dam, before finally finding his way to the Idaho Transportation Department, where he worked at the Grangeville location on surveying and construction of the new White Bird grade. He later moved to Lewiston to be the District 3 auditor. His final years with ITD prior to retirement were spent overseeing the construction of the new Kamiah bridge. While his “day job” was with ITD for 31 years, his true passion was raising his Hereford cattle, and if ever asked for his profession, he always proudly stated he was a rancher.
Leslie was a member or past member of the Idaho Cattlemen’s Association, BPOE (Elks), Battle Ridge – Pleasant Valley – Clearwater Volunteer Rural Fire Department, and board member of the Clearwater Water District.
One of his greatest honors was to be chosen as the 2011 Grand Marshal of the Clearwater-Elk City Wagon Road Days Parade.
He was an avid sports fan, following the local high school and college teams through their seasons year after year. He loved to dance (no matter what kind of music, if it had a beat, his toes would be tapping) and he traveled many miles dancing around the local Grange and IOOF dance floors. Some would say he drove a bit fast, but he always kept it in his lane.
He was a lifetime learner about the things that mattered to him, such as cows, ranching, stewardship of the land, and the happenings and people in his community. He enjoyed reading the local papers from front to back; yes, every word on every page of every Lewiston Tribune, Clearwater Progress, and Idaho County Free Press printed.
He was a wonderful father and great-grandfather. He taught his children and grandchildren to have a respect and love for the land and nature, to be proud of where they came from, to always remember and honor their heritage, to take pride in their work no matter the job, to think outside the box (just because you didn’t have the right part did not mean you couldn’t fix it with what you did have), to always do what they said they would do, to be truthful and kind, and to always look people in the eye when speaking. While he didn’t always understand their choices, he never gave up on them and was always their biggest supporter. In his own way, he let each of them know he was proud of them.
He had a warm and genuine smile and his ability to talk to people was one of his most amazing traits. He could carry on a conversation with anyone and just made people feel good. He was a genuine nice guy and true country gentleman and usually had a kind word for most anyone he met.
He believed that life was made to live. That it should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of pipe smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a ride!” and his was definitely an amazing ride.
A memorial service celebrating his life will be held on July 22 at noon at the Clearwater Grange. Potluck will follow the service.