On May 9, surrounded by many of them, Lynn passed peacefully on to the rest of her journey after an incredibly brave battle with cancer. The daughter of Wilfred and Polly Hendrickson, Lynn was born in rural Minnesota on March 24, 1928. She went to the nearest town, Paynesville, to attend Paynesville High. There she met and fell in love with a guy from town named Bill Dunton. At their 1946 graduation, they managed to rearrange the marching order at graduation so they could hold hands during the ceremony.
Lynn completed the two-year course required for teaching, received her A.A. degree from St. Cloud State Teachers College, and began a teaching career in a one-room school close to her home. The students were in grades one through six and included her younger sister. As the teacher, she had to teach all of them at each student’s appropriate level.
On Jan. 30, 1948, the high school sweethearts eloped. The bride was not yet 20. The groom, attending the University of Minnesota to complete his bachelor’s degree, completed his course work and secured a job for the next school year. He and Lynn moved to Richland, Wash., where Bill began his teaching career.
Lynn taught in the grade schools there until the couple’s first son was born, and then continued to work with teens as the director of a teen club in Richland sponsored by the city and General Electric. In September of 1958, the Dunton family – now with a daughter finally joining three sons – moved to Fullerton and found a house on Ash Avenue from which they have never moved. In 1959, they added their native Californian to the family when a fourth son, Bobby, was born.
Bill had taken a job with the F.J.U.H.S.D. as a teacher of vocal music. Starting in 1958, he began to build his empire at La Habra High in that department. There was the concert choir, but that was not enough. At heart, Bill wished to be an impresario and put on a really, big show involving hordes of students Scotscapades was born. It needed costumes, scenery, lighting, choreographers along with the dancers, singers and musicians.
Lynn quietly took control of the less obvious but very necessary portions of the production, made sure the lighting coordinators didn’t injure themselves or their performers with their elaborate schemes, curtailed the costs and complexity of costumes that mothers and daughters dreamed up, helped the set designers create scenery that enhanced the show and didn’t overwhelm the performers, drew some of the designs for them, and most importantly, dried the tears and consoled the wounded when the producer had not been at his most diplomatic.
Lynn became the one the students went to not only for help with their costumes but for advice on their lives and their futures. She listened and heard what they said and what they did not. She enjoyed them immensely and they knew it.
At the same time, she taught at the Adult School run by Fullerton Junior College. An artist first and foremost, she taught millinery, crafts, stained glass, design and sketching. She made hats and more hats. She made pots on her wheel in the backyard and let the kids play with a slab of clay from her garbage can when they wanted. She drew constantly, created batiks and made candles.
Lynn looked at the world with an artist’s eye, seeing all the colors and angles in the scene, and listened with a musician’s ear, hearing all the voices and instruments it took to make the desired sound. She always knew each small contribution complimented and enhanced the whole and deserved appreciation and respect.
Lynn also found time to complete her bachelor’s degree in art education. After Bill retired, Lynn joined the La Habra Woman’s Club and later the Fullerton Woman’s Club. She soon was a county chairman and eventually became a member of the State Woman’s Club governing group. She also was on the board of the Very Special Arts California Gallery in Santa Ana.
Lynn was a writer, actor, singer and artist, but most of all she was a friend and mentor to anyone who sought her support and help. She is survived by her husband Bill, sons Bill and Mike, daughter Kristin, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, her sisters Betty Crusoe and Annette Warwick (Laurie Bolt, Vicky Miranda and Pamela Munkelt), and her brother Douglas Hendrickson. The Duntons planned to hold a memorial for Lynn in July. Meanwhile the staff and alumni of La Habra High School have started a scholarship in her name and are accepting contributions.