By Robert Lucke
Evelyn Lynnes has lived with her family in Havre since 1955. Since 1998, she has lived in the Northern Montana Care Center and has touched so many lives there that just recently staff members nominated her for resident of the year in a statewide competition. Talk with this lady for any length of time and you will see why.
It has been work, humor and optimism that has made life easier for Evelyn Lynnes no matter what her circumstances have been.
Born in Rollette, N.D., she was raised on a farm that her grandparents had homesteaded. She got all of her formal schooling through the eighth grade in the Maryville school. All of her education beyond that point, she gathered herself. And even that story shows at an early time in her life, her life was dedicated to others.
"I worked right alongside of my dad like a man," said Lynnes. "My brother had died of a brain tumor and I had been planning to go on to high school but instead stayed on the farm and helped them."
In 1945, Evelyn married Norman Lynnes. They farmed in the Rollette area and had three children, Erling, Carol and Kenneth. Both Erling and Carol are still living.
During the spring of 1955, they left Rollette, heading for Oregon. When they reached Havre, it looked like a good place to live and they have been here ever since.
Norman Lynnes worked in construction in the Havre area and was a caretaker for both the Highland and Sunset cemeteries. In later years, they were both custodians at Citizens Bank until their retirement in 1982.
They resided at the family home, 800 Fifth Ave. until the death of Mr. Lynnes and an illness for Evelyn which caused her move to the care center.
Work and attitude. That is what it is all about and it is just that simple, states Lynnes.
"I have been happy for all my Mother's Days," said Lynnes, with a chuckle. "I was busy and always enjoyed my work. You know work was always really best for me and that started way before I left the farm and even here, every day has been a busy day for me."
Seeing her grandchildren grow up has been special for Lynnes. She has two in Havre and three in Illinois. One, Jeff, got married last summer and Lynnes attended the wedding. Now days, she waits for an announcement from one of them that says she will be a great-grandmother. She doesn't wait too much for that though. She is too busy.
Lynnes does not worry about plans for this Mother's Day. After all, that is part of her joy.
"What ever happens will happen and whatever develops will develop. That is just the way that I look at it," said Lynnes with a grin.
And naturally, Lynnes has some advise for anyone wanting to make this the best Mother's Day ever.
"Me, myself, I look at the positive side. You know with the world and families, I try and give them all the love I can," said Lynnes. "That works for me. Don't look at the dark side. That is what life is all about and try never to be said."
It is easy to see why Lynnes is in the running for resident of the year at Northern Montana Care Center. If Havre had a race for mother of the year, Lynnes would win hands down!