Sunday, October 10, 2010

The kids got it right....

As a part of our homecoming festivities each year, it is the responsibility of the student council to select a Grand Marshall.  Often this person is someone who has given of themselves to make our school and community a better place.  Often times this is a difficult decision as so many wonderful people contribute of their time and resources to our school.   This year's student council selected Lynn Johnson as our 2010 Homecoming Grand Marshall. 

To give you a little background on Lynn, he has lived in the Milford area for 44 years.  Much of that time he has spent providing our town with the much needed service of groceries through Buy-Rite and Fareway. Lynn has given his time in many ways to Okoboji. In the community he has been involved in things such as Kiwanis, City Council, Mayor Pro-Tem, Church Boards, and he is the longest ever member of the Milford Volunteer Fire Department.

Besides all of Lynn’s community involvement, he has also helped out in many various ways in the school. Especially helping out in sport activities. For football Lynn ran the press box and the chain gang for many years and more recently has been a spotter in the press box.  For basketball he ran the scorer’s table and also worked track meets.  As you can see, Lynn has always been a huge supporter and actively involved in so many activities and events associated with the Okoboji School District. 

Recently, however, this has become much more difficult for Lynn.  Not long ago he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.  Lynn has endured many painful treatments in his brave fight with the disease.  And although his condition, and his treatments, have limited his ability to be as active and involved as he has for so many years, it has not limited his enthusiasm, support, and spirit.  

For all of these reasons and more, our school was proud to have Lynn as our 2010 Homecoming Grand Marshall.  He played the part perfectly.  He attended our pep rally where he was introduced and given a standing ovation.  He presided over the parade in fine fashion on a beautiful fall day.  Lynn ended the night, as he has for so many years, cheering on the Pioneers and helping in the press box at the football game.  After the game was over we chatted about what a great first half it was and how, except for a couple mistakes we would have had them.  We also agreed we would get them next time.  It truly was a great day for Lynn and for all of us.  

Life is a lot of things.  Unpredictable, sometimes difficult, and often times ironic.  All of those things came true this Friday when we got the news that Lynn had passed away.  It seemed inconceivable that a man that was so full of life one week prior - a man that had literally spent the afternoon soaking in the sun and receiving the thanks of an entire community, could so quickly be gone.  Hearing of his passing on Friday and thinking back to the decision to ask him to be our Grand Marshall is one of the experiences I will never forget.  Throughout the week several people close to Lynn commented to me what a highlight it was for him.  

So often in life, those who are most important to us slip away before we have a chance to tell them exactly how thankful we are for them.  We are often left with regrets wishing for the opportunity to have that one last conversation to tell them how we feel.  That did not happen with Lynn.  He spent one of his last days on top of the world, as the entire Okoboji Community got the chance to show him what he has meant to us.  Even today as I write, it gives me the chills and warms my heart at the same time. 

Thank you.  Thank you to Lynn and his family for all you have done for our school and community.  Thank you for the energy and time you have poured into generations of Okoboji students.  Thank you to our student council for your foresight.  One of the reasons Lynn was nominated was that students were concerned about his health.  They wanted to make sure they got the chance to thank him before it was too late.  They had no idea how right they were.  Without a doubt, the kids got it right this time. 

Happy trails Mr. Johnson.  I know you're smiling down right now with your Pioneer cap, cheering on the students of OHS as you have for so many years.  

No comments:

Post a Comment