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- September 17, 2017
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Lynn Shirley Hainsworth passed away peacefully on September 17th, 2017. She is survived by her daughter Alexa, and her partner Cameron Mellville, who looked after her during her illness; her mother Shirley, sister Valerie (Joe Natale) brother Barry (Joan Lokken), and many wonderful friends. Lynn was a voracious reader from the time she began school to close to her end. Books fuelled her imagination and desire for social change and life with a bit of adventure. As a young woman she travelled, mostly alone when women did not really venture solo to North Africa and India. Between trips, Lynn volunteered with social justice groups such as OXFAM - Canada and environmental groups where she supported the moratorium on the MacKenzie Valley Pipeline. She prepared food for First Nation protestors - she was not a cook and the meals were not a hit. Lynn was an independent person and accomplished a few firsts for women by being among the first women hired to work on Keystone Fire Tower in the Bow Forest in Alberta, where she read the Russians non-stop for four months. She lived in the bush in a trailer working on a game farm and lived in a tipi in northern Alberta working on an archaeology dig. - A hermit at heart she always knew that she had to return to the city to bring about change. Her travels and work with the environmental group - Save Tomorrow Oppose Pollution informed her of the need for systemic change and a battle against capitalism. She switched from reading fiction to reading biographies of revolutionaries and the history of the American trade union movement. She credits her knowledge of Samuel Gompers with her finding the first good job of her life - working with OXFAM - Canada where she learned many skills from Michael Murphy, and from the newly -arrived Chilean refugee community who taught her Marxism. Lynn was not a diplomat, nor did she embrace compromise. As a loner, she knew that she could endure the approbation that comes with non compromise in order that compromises that occur in a democratic venue would be more effective. She held the line and she was a “fighter” After her daughter was born, she became active in her neighbourhood. She gave herself credit for saving Mayfair Pool twice (!) and tackling the City of Saskatoon for turning her neighbourhood into a sacrifice zone where bars and pollution flourished; while recreation and green space were lacking. She initiated many community - building activities such as tree-banding. Since she was a gardener - her recreation and her meditation, she initiated a fall food fair. She helped many people start their own gardens and became one of the first people to garden on the boulevards and alleys, following the lead of Mrs.Koval, a neighbour in her 90’s. Lynn was known as a guerrilla gardener, People asked “isn’t that illegal?” Now its accepted practice. It was a rule worth breaking. Lynn was involved in many social justice campaigns including working against racism and apartheid, anti-GST taxes, ever-increasing police budgets, the damn police plane in particular, and school privatization and corporatization. She was fearless about approaching people personally to challenge them as to why they left their cars and buses idling. She even dove into unlocked cars to shut the ignitions off. She was almost constantly on community boards of directors, from the Friendship Inn to Crocus Co-op. Lynn changed or softened somewhat when she was hired by the Saskatoon Peace Coalition to organize several groundbreaking peace conferences. She didn't always act peacefully, but she became more gentle and listened more. One of her best friends Eleanor Knight encouraged her to listen more and recognize that there can be a variety of solutions or points of view. Her friend Sylvia Pusch encouraged her to be kind, an invaluable lesson for all of us. She was grateful to her friends, many unnamed here, who absolutely cured her of her hermit tendencies. She read and re-read her books in her final years, 1984 was one of her favourites which she read many times. She bloomed in that final year - and perhaps like her garden - had the best year of her life and hopefully spread some seeds of peace in her community and in the hearts of her friends. She truly loved life and was grateful for her time on earth.
The Celebration of Lynn’s life will be held on Saturday, September 23rd at 3:00 p.m. from Saskatoon Funeral Home with Sue Panattoni as Celebrant.