A voice in Kansas has been silenced.
Emerson E. Lynn, Jr., 88, longtime publisher of the Iola Register, died this morning at a hospice facility in Topeka. Lynn was recognized across the state as a distinguished and insightful editorial voice guiding his beloved state of Kansas.
Lynn was a regular panelist on the “Kansas Week” public television program that discussed Kansas politics during its run from 1986 to 2000.
He was the third publisher of the Register, following the footsteps of his uncle, Angelo C. Scott, and his grandfather, Charles F. Scott, who purchased the paper in 1882. He was at the Register’s helm from 1965 to 2000, when he sold it to his daughter, Susan Lynn. He continued to write editorials for the Register until earlier this year, when it was discovered he had cancer.
Mr. Lynn was an enthusiast for life.
He loved hiking in the mountains, a good game of tennis, and traveling the world. He relished 59 years of marriage to Mickey, who died on April 6, 2009.
He was an avid learner and spent his days reading and writing.
He enjoyed excellent health up until these last few months.
LYNN was a supporter of Iola and its efforts to prosper. He served in leadership positions on Iola Industries, Rotary, Allen County Hospital, First Presbyterian Church, Iola State Bank and Friends of the Bowlus Fine Arts Center. It was during his tenure as president of Iola Industries that Berg Manufacturing, the former Haldex Brake plant, located to Iola, followed by Gates Rubber, Intercollegiate Press and Klein Tool.
On a state level, he served on the boards of Mid-America, Inc., Kansas Press Association, the Kansas Historical Society and the William Allen White Foundation at the University of Kansas.
In 1989, Lynn was appointed to serve on the State Highway Commission by Gov. Mike Hayden. He also served on a five-member state economic development advisory panel as well as a Blue Ribbon Commission to study the state judiciary system.
Lynn was the first living Kansas newspaper publisher to be placed in KPA’s Hall of Fame. He also was awarded the first Clyde Reed editor’s award and the first KPA mentor award.
On his 80th birthday, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius presented Lynn a plaque commending him for “a long, distinguished career.”
Last fall, Kansas State University’s Huck Boyd Institute recognized Lynn with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Community Newspapers.
LYNN began his publishing career at the Humboldt Union, followed by The Bowie News in Bowie, Texas.
He was a graduate of the University of Chicago and attended the University of Melbourne, Australia, on a Rotary scholarship. He served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II.
Three sons, Emerson K. Lynn, Michael J. Lynn and Angelo S. Lynn, and his daughter, Susan, and their families, survive, as does a brother, Scott Lynn, Pleasanton, Calif.
Memorial services are planned for May 4.