Lyndell Udell Dickerson was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on July 7, 1922, to Blondell Jane and William Oscar Dickerson. Lynne passed away quietly on September 24, 2020, at the home she shared with her daughter Sue and her granddaughter Harvest.
Anyone who met Lynne was blessed with her extraordinary care and attention. Perhaps because as a young person she was shy and had a stutter, she grew up an astute listener. She was more likely to ask you about your life than to tell you about hers, and her phenomenal memory meant that she could recount details of stories told decades ago. Her spirit lives on through the shared memories and gratitude of her family and all those who were fortunate enough to know and love her.
The oldest of Blonnie and William’s four children, Lynne graduated on the honor roll from George Washington High School and attended Indiana University on a full scholarship. After her third semester, she returned home to help her parents, taking a job as a stenographer at Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Eleven days before Pearl Harbor, on November 26, 1941, Lynne met Robert Glenn Henderson, a sailor stationed in Indianapolis. On their second date, while sitting in a movie theater, Bob asked Lynne to marry him. Ten days later, they were married at Lynne’s parents’ home.
The first four years of their marriage coincided with World War II. Lynne lived with her parents and worked as a secretary while Bob was at sea for months at a time. Their first two children, Sulinda Jane and Cynthia Ann, were born during this time. After the war, Lynne and Bob continued living in Indiana and welcomed three more daughters: Dorothy Jo, Barbara Gay, and Antonia Rae. In 1954, the family moved to Arizona, and three years later to California, where their last child, son Patrick Jay, was born. Lynne and Bob eventually made their home in Pasadena.
Lynne took great pride and joy in her family. She referred to her family as her crown, with each of her descendants a jewel in that crown. While in Pasadena, she and Bob hosted many Thanksgiving celebrations, and she especially relished taking family to Disneyland, where she was often the last one ready to leave.
Lynne worked as a secretary for much of her life. She found great satisfaction in her work and developed long-lasting friendships with her co-workers. Upon retirement, Lynne and Bob moved to Atascadero to be close to their daughters Sue and Toni. Lynne became an active member of the local AARP and continued hosting and attending ever-growing family gatherings, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter celebrations.
An active Episcopalian for most of her adult life, Lynne began attending a Quaker worship group when she moved to Atascadero. In 2003, Lynne and Bob moved to Nevada City, California, to live with their daughter Dorothy and her husband Doug at Sierra Friends Center, a Quaker retreat center and home of the Woolman Semester School and Camp Woolman. During her ten years in Nevada City, Lynne attended and then became a member of Grass Valley Friends Meeting. After Bob’s death in 2005, Lynne remained in Nevada City until 2013, when she returned to Atascadero and joined the Central Coast Friends Meeting.
In her final years, Lynne was an example to all who knew her of how to age gracefully. She was an avid reader, a competitive bridge and Scrabble player, and dessert connoisseur. She loved music and was soothed on her last days by the songs of Kris Kristofferson and Frank Sinatra. She asked that the gospel song, Just a Closer Walk With Thee, be played at her memorial.
Throughout her life, Lynne corresponded with her family of 81 children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren. She never missed acknowledging birthdays, all of which she knew by heart. Her own birthdays were an opportunity for family and friends to acknowledge her. Over a hundred people attended her 95th birthday celebration, most of them family members who traveled from around the country to be with her.
Lynne extended her commitment and love of her family to her care for the wider community and world. She was a longstanding supporter of Sierra Friends Center, Camp Woolman, and RISE San Luis Obispo. An informed and dedicated voter, she kept a copy of a full-page newspaper photo of Barack Obama after he won the 2008 election. In her later years, she became a more outspoken activist and feminist. In 2016, she walked out of the room in disgust when she realized that Hillary Clinton had lost the election. Two months later, in her signature red hat and coat, she marched with her walker in the January 2017 Women’s March. This past June, she donned a face mask and walked in a Black Lives Matter march in Atascadero.
Ten days before her death, Lynne announced she was ready to go and that she wanted her children to be with her when she died. Her five remaining children (daughter Barbara preceded her in death) and numerous grandchildren arrived over the next ten days to visit with and care for her. In addition to visits, she received more than a hundred emails from family and friends. Until her final two days, she responded, with the assistance of a granddaughter, to each one.
Lynne was preceded in death by her parents, siblings, husband Bob, daughter Barbara, sons-in-law Chuck and Clifford, and daughter-in-law Sherri. She is survived by her daughters Sue, Cindy, Dorothy, and Toni, her son Patrick, and sons-in-law Doug and Gordon, as well as her grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Woolman programs at www.woolman.org/donate.
A viewing will be held at Chapel of the Roses from 2:00 to 6:00 PM on October 14, 2020. Current health guidelines of wearing masks and maintaining social distance will be observed.