Only Children Have a Great Role Model in Bruce G. Lynn

With Bruce Lynn, 1996I’m always on the lookout for fellow only children to emulate. I found one of them in Bruce Greiner Lynn. 

Mr. Lynn was born in Columbus on December 16, 1916. He graduated from North High School and The Ohio State University, where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. During World War II, he was an FBI agent. 

Armed with the LL.B./J.D. degree that he earned from Harvard Law School in 1941, Mr. Lynn enjoyed a distinguished legal career. After practicing for many years at another Columbus law firm, Mr. Lynn joined Bricker & Eckler LLP as a partner and head of the litigation practice in 1972. After his retirement in 1981, he continued as a counselor to the firm. 

An active participant in his profession, Mr. Lynn was a member of the Executive Committee and Council of Delegates of the Ohio State Bar Association. He was a regent of the American College of Trial Lawyers and was president of the Columbus Bar Association. In 1990, he received the Columbus Bar Association’s Service Medal. 

In the summer of 1988, Mr. Lynn added another member to his list of admirers when a travel-loving college student arrived to fill in for his secretary for a few days. Sitting in his office overlooking State Street from the third floor of the Old, Old Post Office, Mr. Lynn engaged me in conversation about my favorite places to visit. 

As we talked, I marveled at the large framed color photographs that filled the room. On just one wall alone, I saw images of Bavaria, Bangkok, New Zealand, Paris, South Africa, Switzerland, Banff, England, Victoria Falls, and Barbados. “Who took all these wonderful pictures?, I asked.” “I did,” he answered. 

Photograph of the Old, Old Post Office by Bruce LynnMr. Lynn was also an accomplished photographer whose work stretches far beyond Bricker & Eckler’s hallways and conference rooms. His photos were published in The New York Times, as well as Yachting, Bon Appetit, Motorboating, and Sailing magazines. They were also used on postage stamps by the governments of St. Vincent and Grenada. His work also illustrated three books that he wrote: The Grenadines: Undiscovered Islands of the Caribbean (Dukane Press, 1968); Barbados: A Smiling Island (Dukane Press, 1970); and The Virgin Islands: Pleasure Spots in the Caribbean (Dukane Press, 1970). 

With Mr. Lynn at the Columbus Business First Forty Under 40 Awards, 1997During the 14 years that I worked for Bricker & Eckler, that third-floor office became my refuge, and the kind man who inhabited it became a loyal friend. He kept me company during firm functions, like a practice development event before a Columbus Symphony Orchestra concert and a reception to honor the president of Botswana. He was on hand at the luncheon during which I received Columbus Business First’s Forty under 40 award in 1997. He even treated me to a tour of his picturesque home. When we weren’t planning what photographs he should take for the promotional materials that I crafted for the firm, we talked about our latest travels, what he should feature on his annual Christmas card, his fondness for German Shepherds, what he had for lunch at the Athletic Club, and his love of singing, which he expressed through membership in Vaud-Villities and in three barbershop quartets: the Buzz Saws; the Cognovit Notes; and the Singing Buckeyes, which he helped to found. 

With Cornelia Lynn, 1996Best of all was when Mr. Lynn would share charming photos of his family and tell me about them. His wife, Cornelia Evans Lynn (November 20, 1916 – December 30, 1999) attended North High School and graduated from Ohio State in 1938. While attending OSU, she was a member of the Chimes and Mortar Board honorary societies and Pi Beta Phi Sorority. She also became the first woman to preside over the OSU Student Senate. He was so proud of his wife and their four children, seven grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. 

Mr. Lynn passed away on March 31, 2013. A week after he was buried with Cornelia and their son, B.G., at Green Lawn Cemetery, I joined the Bricker & Eckler contingent attending his memorial service at First Community Church, where he and his wife had been longtime members. Eleven barbershPhotograph of First Community Church by Bruce Lynnop singers, including former Bricker & Eckler partner Mike Renner, performed It Is Well with My Soul and The Lord’s Prayer. Another partner, Mike Gire, eulogized him. Ronald Jenkins, minister of music and liturgy at the church, performed many lovely musical selections, such as C. Austin Miles’ In the Garden; the traditional Gaelic blessing, May the Road Rise Up to Meet You; and Johan Gottfried Walther’s Ein’ feste Burg. Before I left, I looked at the photographs in Reflection Hall that Mr. Lynn took of the church, Camp Akita, and First Community Village, thinking about this dear, accomplished man who loved to see new things as much as I do.

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