Lynn Mike Sims

Lynn Mike Sims

June 25, 1948 - March 29, 2009

Lynn Mike Sims

June 25, 1948 - March 29, 2009


Lynn was always bothered by extensive obituaries for people who died. He said there was no point in talking about where a person lived and what he had accomplished. The only words he wanted written were: Lynn Sims, Child of God. That said it all for him.

But the rest of us selfishly need to know a bit more. So I hope Lynn will forgive us for adding a postscript to his personal statement, describing some details about the life God gave him.

Lynn Mike Sims was born in Maywood, California, to Clyde and Katherine Sims on June 25, 1948. His father was a man of few words who wasted nothing-including letters of the alphabet. Lynn’s middle name was Mike-not Michael-and the name was purposefully concise so it couldn’t be shortened to a nickname. He ingrained in his only son that same frugality and dislike of extra clutter.

Lynn had three sisters-Mary, Patricia, and Linda. He gladly assumed his role as the oldest and the only boy-providing his sisters with involuntary haircuts, an accomplice to mischief, and an example of what happens when you break the rules-sparing them the same fate. His boyhood adventures are legend-from being apprehended by the police at age two for turning on all the lawn sprinklers as he explored his neighborhood, to crawling around on the roof of his two-story house at age three, to his series of go-carts and odd jobs. He mowed lawns, delivered papers, and peddled avocados from his neighbor’s tree with permission. He wired his sisters’ playhouse with electricity and built his own model railroad layout with scraps of wood. Lynn said his father’s greatest gift to him was never telling him something was too hard for him to do. He learned to figure things out and accomplish them.

But the best thing that happened to Lynn occurred when he was about nine and was invited to attend Vacation Bible School at Zion Lutheran Church, a few blocks from his house. His family became involved in worshipping there, and the children enrolled in Zion Lutheran School. There they were taught by Christian pastors, teachers, and friends to love the Lord, follow His ways, and serve others. Lynn was baptized and confirmed into this faith. He later belonged to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Downey, where he was a youth counselor, and came to Abiding Savior in 1973, where he was involved in starting the school and building the facilities.

Lynn attended Bell High School and Cal State Los Angeles, and earned his Master’s Degree from Pepperdine University. In 1968, he married Carolyn Stroebel, a first year teacher at Zion Lutheran School. She first set eyes on him the first day she visited the campus during the summer before school started and can tell you exactly what they both were wearing when she saw him pouring punch during Vacation Bible School. He won her hand and her heart by persistence, charm, and deceit. ‘Of course I love to dance!’ They were married in 1968 and were blessed with 40 years of matrimonial adventure. They were each other’s best friend. God brought Michael and Kathy to them through adoption, and Lynn was a responsible, wise, and loving father. He was so thankful for and proud of Michael, who serves as a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army, and he was devoted to Kathy, an early childhood educator, who won his heart when she smiled and batted her eyelashes at him the first time he saw her when she was ten weeks old. His love and joy expanded to include their spouses, Amanda and Daniel. And he adored his grandchildren, Michaela and Lane. He experienced the fulfillment of the joy that comes when ones children walk in the ways of the Lord.

Lynn taught high school for seven years in Bell, Mission Viejo, and El Toro. He was the first woodshop teacher at El Toro High School, where he also taught behind the wheel driver’s training. His philosophy was to always treat your students with respect because they may grow up and move in next door to you. That philosophy came true as he regularly saw his former students professionally and even here as members of Abiding Savior. He left teaching ‘temporarily’ 35 years ago to pursue a career in construction-self employed for many years as Sims Construction Company, a forensic consultant for construction defect cases, and most recently a project engineer for Slater Builders in Costa Mesa.

Lynn loved his Lord, his family, his friends, and his church. He loved using his gifts to build and fix and offer support. How we will miss his ‘out of the box’ comments and ‘Lynnisms!’ He was wise and funny, strong and gentle. He was a child of God, secure in His grace.

We might think God’s watch was running fast last Sunday morning when He called Lynn home. It was far too early for him to leave. But Lynn would say, ‘Don’t panic. I love you. I’ll see you later.’ And he will.

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, April 4 at 10:30 am at Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, 23262 El Toro Road, Lake Forest, CA 92630.

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5 responses to Lynn Mike Sims

  1. Judy Black says:

    Norm and I send our deepest and heartfelt sympathy for your sudden loss of Lynn. We were shocked and saddened to learn of his passing. I have known Lynn all my life and have many fond memories of our childhood years. From an early age, he enjoyed woodworking and made a cedar lined hope chest for me when we were 19 years old ~ I still have it.
    Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Sending our love from across the miles, Judy & Norm Black

  2. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Lynn Sims.

  3. What a beautiful Praise service you had for Lynn today. I know Lynn heard us singing as we Praised the Lord for giving us eternal life with Him in heaven.

  4. I am so sad for you even though we both know the joy that Lynn is now with his Lord and Savior, the head builder. The service was beautiful and Pat Mueller, Judi Anderson and Sharon Bartels were sorry to not be there. You and your children will heal, knowing that you will see Lynn again in heaven, and God will get you through.
    Jeremiah 29:11
    May He bless your life with His perfect plans.

  5. Carolyn,
    May God be praised. His promise to Lynn–made so many years ago– has now been fulfilled. As Lynn was ” faithful unto death”– by God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, of course–the second part of the passage : ” the crown of life ” names what Lynn now has. Certainly you know all this and it comforts you. You will fill the emptiness caused by Lynn’s “quick transit” to glory with all the great memories you have. as so beautifully listed and described in your ” augmented obit”
    We read your email last night and the obit this morning. We were in Mountain View, California on the day of Lynn’s entrance into the Kingdom of Glory as we stood at the baptismal font At St Paul’s Lutheran where our ninth grandchild was brought into the Kingdom of Grace through baptism.
    For both the Kingdom of Grace and the Kingdom of Glory : Praise the Lord!!!
    Carolyn, our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Lani and Fritz

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