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Lynn Deffebach
(July 26, 1956 - April 19, 2012)

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Lynn Deffebach

There will be a reception for Lynn Wed April 25th from 4-8 PM, please call Holmans at 503-232-5131 for details.

In memory of Lynn, donations can be made to Families Against Mandatory Minimums at http://www.famm.org/donate.aspx

About Lynn:

Lived Well, Well Loved

Lynn Deffebach passed peacefully April 19th after a long and difficult battle with breast cancer. Her love of life, friends and family will be missed by many people who were touched by her special gifts. Lynn graduated from Lewis and Clark College in 1978. She pursued a passion for art in its many forms, but found that while her artistic interest was great, her talent was also found in many other endeavors. Lynn found many avenues to express her love for art; she was creative in interior design, finding eclectic items from various continents and cultures; melding them together in a harmonious, welcoming home.

Lynn acquired a Masters in Education from San Francisco State which she then used to teach high school English in San Francisco. Her enthusiasm, persistence and patience was recognized by her co-workers, staff and students. Even in the difficult environment of a continuation high school, Lynn connected with her students as people deserving respect and her best efforts. She strove to teach her students more than just a classroom subject matter. Lynn helped inspire greater goals and self-confidence in her students by seeing more in them than society or family had done so far. Lynn always looked for what was noble, unique and affirming in everyone she met. Her interactions brought out more from other people than even they realized. She never allowed a compliment to go to waste.

Lynn’s worldview was large. She was inspired by the goals and aspirations of the Peace Corps which she joined in 1984. Stationed in Western Samoa, Lynn was again a teacher of English helping Samoans enter universities in the South Pacific. Her efforts were part of a larger goal to enable Samoans to bring back knowledge to improve their quality of life on the island nation. After her two years in the South Pacific, she then took her passion for the Peace Corps to Washington DC where she served as the congressional liaison for the Peace Corp. Fighting for appropriations and budget line items were pursued in her own non-confrontational and sunny disposition style. She endeavored to share her own view of the importance and cost effective good accomplished by the Peace Corps.

Lynn returned to the West Coast where she helped family and prepared for law school. Lynn was of great service to both her mother and grandmother during their last days. She provided comfort and peace, support and encouragement and did the tasks that needed to be done without complaint and with limitless compassion. Lynn was always tuned to the needs of others.

Lynn focused much of her love and attention to her seven nieces and nephews. Her home contained toys, games and favorite foods purchased with a niece or nephew in mind. She developed close and intimate relationships with them all. One brother called her the most wonderful aunt in the western hemisphere. She encouraged, taught and shared with all of her family. Her home was not only inviting, welcoming and stylish with her flair for combining the practical and artistic, but also filled with thoughts of others and what they might enjoy.

Her favorite time of the year was Thanksgiving when the entire family was involved in a week long cooking demonstration culminating in the feast and family togetherness. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Lynn brought the family together with the force of her love and hospitality.

Lynn graduated from Lewis and Clark College of Law in 1994 and secured a position with the Federal Public Defenders office in Portland. The staff quickly learned her talents and intelligence were great and that she could contribute much to their office. While Lynn loved the law, she did not wish to be in the spotlight. As a researcher and legal writer, Lynn was happy to analyze precedents, developing legal theories, and elegantly distilling difficult ideas into accessible prose.

Her career accomplishments are many. Notably, she was the lead researcher and briefer on two appellate cases to the United States Supreme Court. After one winning effort, she expressed much joy at reading in the opinion whole paragraphs she wrote in her briefs. Ideas mattered a great deal to Lynn. To have her ideas confirmed in such a forum, with such a large impact on the future of the law and the lives of so many others, punctuated a successful career.

Lynn was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. After surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, she fought off the first recurrence with determination and grace. With incredible support from her coworkers, Lynn continued to work and beat back the cancer with the help of many fine people at OHSU. Unfortunately, in 2009 cancer returned and she eventually succumbed on April 19, 2012.

Lynn lived well and was well loved. She was a special person with many gifts and talents. She touched many people with her grace, style and intelligence. She shall be missed.

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