February 28, 1962 – December 26, 2018
“Old is a state of mind” was a mantra repeated and lived by Edward William “Big Idaho” or “Eddie” Lynn a 56-year-old Montana and Idaho man who died Dec. 26, 2018. His fiery spirit is carried on by his five children; two grandchildren; two brothers; sister; two sets of parents Marilyn and Steve Sperber of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and Edward and Linda Lynn of Royal City, Wash.and an extended family of comrades, students and co-conspirators from every walk of life. Those who knew Ed are proud to carry on the lessons and traditions he lived and taught.
For a man who died too soon, he lived fully. He was born to Marilyn and Edward Lynn February 28 (yes, really the 28th, he would say), 1962. As a teen, during the summer he worked in Washington on the Lynn family farm fondly speaking about dawn to dusk work hours. He graduated high school early, so he could join his stepdad Steve Sperber’s logging company in Idaho. Ed became a masterful sawyer and woodsman and was able to pass on lessons his dad taught him to hundreds of firefighters he trained.
People were drawn to the contrast of Ed’s character. He pursued his interests with passion and excellence. Education, teaching and mentoring were a lifelong pursuit and legacy. Ed would pass along superstitious wisdom from his adored Grandma Healey, “throw spilled salt over your left shoulder,” as readily as solving an organic chemistry problem. He was a roughneck on a Texas oil rig and a middle-school coach and science teacher, a man that earned a master’s degree in school counseling and a career smoke jumper. He was a Golden Gloves Idaho state boxing champion and a daddy who ensured there was always enough ketchup in the fridge and conditioner in the shower to make his girls happy. He was the father that took his daughter dress shopping for her first dance but also ensured his daughters would have the same passion for the outdoors as he did by taking them hunting, fishing, woodcutting, lake diving and horseback riding at every opportunity.
Ed devoted his life to others. He loved to share a meal regardless of the fare or venue, whether it was a gourmet roasted can of Spam in the wilderness or his smoked duck and goose at his Montana farm. He was most happy as host and loved to incite friends and family to share his passions. As Ed fought for his life, he said of the army of smoke jumper and firefighter brothers and sisters, the community of friends and family that rallied support for him and his family, “I don’t know how one of the worst experiences in my life is also the best. I have to fight this, and they have to know that I never quit fighting.” Ed Lynn, may those who know you carry on your ardent torch and let it burn bright.
He is survived by his wife Elizabeth and children Amanda, Dakota, Sybil, Olivia and Zoe; his parents: Marilyn “Mary” and Steve Sperber and Edward and Linda Lynn; his siblings Lisa Love, Tim Sperber and Rocky Lynn; his two granddaughters Kenadee and Scout and many in-laws, nieces, nephews, friends and family too numerous to list but not forgotten.
Ed is reunited in eternity with his siblings Ginger Lynn and Brandon Sperber as big brother and prank partner. He is also reunited with his many grandparents: taste-testing Grandma Healey’s potato salad and sharing hunting stories with Grandpa Lynn.
A celebration of life for Ed Lynn took place Saturday Jan. 5 at 3 p.m. at the Minuteman Hangar, 5225 W. Broadway St., Missoula, Mont. Food, drinks and stories followed the service.