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Lynn A. DeMoss

December 25, 1934 – February 25, 2924

Rev. Dr. Lynn Allyn DeMoss, age 89, died on February 25, 2024, at Clark Retirement Community in Grand Rapids after a short illness.

Lynn, a Christmas baby, was born in Wabash, IN. When he was eight months old, he left the Lower 48 with his parents, educators with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, to live in Alaska until evacuation after Pearl Harbor in 1942. Those first eight multicultural years provided Lynn with a profound and abiding love for all God’s people.

After four years back home in Indiana, Lynn then moved, with his parents and sister, to Big Rapids, MI in 1946. His junior high and high school years were a time of making many lifelong friends. He especially loved playing drums, in both the high school band and dance ensemble. Year after year, Lynn faithfully attended all-school reunions in Big Rapids as a member of the Class of 1952. He was honored as Alumnus of the Year in 2013.

After his freshman year at Ferris State University, Lynn transferred to the University of Michigan, where he graduated in 1956. He became an active member of Wesley Foundation at Ann Arbor First Methodist Church. Just weeks before his death, he took great delight that his beloved Wolverines won the National Championship.

As a young adult, Lynn experienced God’s call to ministry at Lake Louise Senior High Institute, a Methodist youth camp near Boyne Falls, MI. He enrolled at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL in 1956. There he met Lois Likes, who was to become his wife. Lois had served as a short-term missionary in Algeria. Inspired by Lois and others who had returned from abroad, Lynn took a break from seminary. He served three years in the Belgian Congo with the Methodist Board of Global Ministries, teaching in the secondary school at Mulungwishi. Thus began a lifelong love of Africa and involvement in mission.

Lynn married Lois on July 23, 1960. He graduated from G-ETS with a Masters of Divinity in 1963. He served three churches – Bethel Methodist Church in Elkhorn, WI, Coleman Faith and North Bradley Methodist churches—before the family grew to welcome Jeffrey and Jennifer. Over the next 31 years, Lynn served as the senior pastor of Fremont Methodist, Albion First UMC, Muskegon Central UMC, Grand Rapids First UMC, and Lansing Central UMC. From every pulpit, Lynn preached out of the depth of wisdom and faith that he received “sitting on a park bench with God.”

Lynn was active in leadership in the West Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church during those years. He received an honorary doctorate from Adrian College in 1982. His children, Jeff and Jen found life partners, marrying Heidi Diehl and Dan VanderPloeg. Grandchildren joined the family circle in 1996 (twins David and Drew) and 2010 (Delaney).

Lynn married Kay Starbuck Lukins on August 29, 1993. He retired from parish ministry in 1997, and moved back to Muskegon. Retirement offered new opportunities to share God’s love. They were blessed to be in ministry together at Muskegon Central UMC and also served as representatives of the General Board of Global Ministries in West Michigan for 12 years. The couple made five trips to Africa to teach and lead job creation programs with women. Lynn also organized work projects in Lithuania and Chile. He visited 55 countries before making his final trip home.

Lynn’s other pastimes included reading, especially World War II non-fiction and poetry, and relaxing at the DeMoss cottage at Lake Louise Christian Community. After moving to Clark Retirement Community in 2015, Lynn preached monthly as a member of the chaplaincy team of First UMC in Grand Rapids. Playing cards (his slogan was, “No mercy!”), trips to the Soo Locks to see Great Lakes freighters, and volunteer teaching and community involvement at Georgetown United Methodist Church all provided special joy.

Lynn was preceded in death by his parents, Lowell and Helen (nee McCarty), wife Lois (nee Likes), and aunts, Emily McCarty and Mabel Conrad (nee DeMoss).

He is survived and lovingly remembered by his wife Kay, son Jeffrey and wife Heidi (nee Diehl), daughter Jen and husband Dan VanderPloeg, grandsons Drew and David DeMoss, granddaughter Delaney VanderPloeg, sister Rachel Edwards, cousin Shirley Lanum (nee Veneman) and many beloved nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of the Life and Ministry of the Rev. Lynn DeMoss will be held at First United Methodist Church, 227 Fulton Street E, Grand Rapids, MI, on Saturday, May 11, 2024. Visitation at 10 am, worship at 11 am, and luncheon to follow. Memorial gifts may be made to the Clark Retirement Community Benevolent Care Fund, 1551 M.L.K. Jr St SE, Grand Rapids 49506, or Lake Louise Christian Community, 11037 Thumb Lake Rd, Boyne Falls, MI 49713.

Condolences may be sent to Kay DeMoss, 1520 Sherman Court SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506.

*DeMoss, Lynn A. (M. Kay) – DECEASED [(RE) D 1961; FE 1963; RE 1997] Coleman, North Bradley 1963; Fremont 1966; Albion: First 1969; Muskegon: Central 1979; Grand Rapids: First 4/16/1988; Lansing: Central 1993; Retired 1997.

Last Updated on March 28, 2024

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