Lynne Claire Collingwood went peacefully into the arms of Heaven Wednesday night Aug. 28, 2019. Her daughter, Kelley “Renee” Collingwood, and her grandsons, Devon and Malcolm Collingwood-Lee, were by her side with her when she passed. Lynne had lived in Altus Oklahoma since 2005 where she worked from home for her daughter at First Command Financial Planning as her CCS, later she worked at the Altus Literacy Council and she volunteered as a tutor for ESL students. She also worked at SWTC, WOSC, JCMH and as church secretary for the Presbyterian church before realizing her long-time dream of opening a used bookstore and coffee shop, “Dusty Covers and Hidden Treasures” in the old Altus Library building. Lynne has always had a passion for books, reading, writing and literacy.
Lynne was born in 1947 and raised in Northern California. In high school she fell in love with airplanes after working in a glider port and decided to be an aeronautical engineer. Her father, DeVere Collingwood, homesteaded land in Eureka, NV her junior year of high school and she graduated in a class of five from Eureka High. She attended the University of Nevada, Reno for two years in the mechanical engineering program (they did offer aero), but could not afford to finish when her father became ill.
She had a daughter in 1971 not long after her father passed and she worked as a secretary at several engineering firms as well as writing keno at John Ascuaga’s Nugget, selling Avon, making jewelry, freelance writing, bookkeeping and doing janitorial work to provide a middle class upbringing for her daughter. She continued taking classes whenever she could and completed five associate degrees and two certificates from Truckee Meadows Community College. She followed her daughter to Ithaca, NY in 1994 after she graduated from Cornell University and was commissioned into the Army, to help take care of her grandson, Devon. She worked at Olin Library at Cornell and later as the executive secretary to the VP of IT at Cornell.
In 1997, Lynne moved to be closer to her own mother and her sister in Denver, Colorado where she worked for Adams County until she retired in 2005. She moved to Altus, Oklahoma, where in semi-retirement she was able to pursue her passion of attending local festivals, plays, symphonies, gardening, visiting local museums and wineries, going to garage sales, meeting local artists and writers, reading and tutoring. Lynne’s grandsons frequently spent summers with her and Devon came to live with for a year before her daughter, her daughter’s husband Ben and her grandson Malcolm also moved to Altus in 2007.
Lynne never found a hard luck case she wouldn’t help. She was known for taking in stray cats, lost or abandoned dogs and birds with broken wings. She was often thought of as everyone’s mom and later grandma as children were always drawn to her. She treated them like small adults, listened to them, mentored and taught them all. She will be remembered by everyone she touched for her kind heart, giving nature, stubborn independence and indomitable spirit.
Lynne is preceded in death by her father DeVere Collingwood and her mother Marie Collingwood (Garvis) of South Dakota. She is survived by her daughter Kelley “Renee” Collingwood, grandson’s Devon and Malcolm Collingwood-Lee of Altus, OK; her younger Sister Renee Boyle (Collingwood), her husband John Boyle and her nieces Jenny Reigel and Katie Boyle of Denver, CO.
A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Lowell - Tims Funeral Home Chapel in Altus, Oklahoma.
Cremation and funeral arrangements are under the direction of Lowell - Tims Funeral Home and Crematory, Altus, Oklahoma.