In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

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In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

Post by Dive Club Captain » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:12 pm

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of one of our longtime members, Lynne Flaherty, known here on Northwest Dive Club as LCF, and over on ScubaBoard as TSandM.

Lynne has always been one of the first people to openly offer friendly support and knowledge to anyone asking for it. She is appreciated by and has been a friend and mentor to countless divers here at NWDC, as well as elsewhere around the web and the world. The loss of Lynne to this dive community is immeasurable, and is superseded only by the loss surely being felt by her husband Peter, her family and close friends.

As much as we are still in shock and disbelief over her passing, and are reluctant to acknowledge and accept it, we also think that it's important to provide a place for all of us that knew her or knew of her to come together in collectively processing this tragedy, as well as to begin the grieving process.

Feel free to post to this thread any thoughts, feelings, photos, anecdotes and memories you have of Lynne, and any words of support and compassion for Peter and the rest of her family. Several of us didn't know her as well as we would've liked to (we always think that there will be more time, until there isn't), but we imagine that she would want her passing to be something that brings us together, that reinforces our love for diving and the Pacific Northwest.

Lastly, we will soon be announcing the next Club Dive (most likely in mid-October), and it will also serve as an event honoring the memory of Lynne Flaherty and all that she has done for our local dive community over the many years that she has been an integral part of it.

Rest in Peace

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(photo credit: Dennus Baum)

Sea Fever

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

John Masefield 1878-1967

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Re: In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

Post by Penopolypants » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:49 pm

Lynne's dedication to paying it forward by diving with new divers was a wonderful thing that has helped so many divers over the years, and her joy was infectious. I could also count on her to cheerfully be a Big Buddy at the club dives, and since she didn't like to cook she would always bring the best gear to share with anyone. Not many people will happily hand out expensive can lights! She would smile mischievously and call them crack. :)

I dare anyone to read her blog about learning to dive and not smile as well, if not laugh out loud. She was able to put into words what so many of us were feeling as we were new at this sport. She was a treasure to the dive community in so very many ways.
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Re: In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

Post by renoun » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:50 pm

I'm shocked and dismayed. Lynn was one of my favorite people to dive with. I was just planning to introduce a friend who needs a dive mentor to her since I've been dry lately. Condolences Peter, she deserves words far more eloquent than what I can generate at the moment.
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Re: In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

Post by Tangfish » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:55 pm

Lynne was one of the first people to ever offer me kind advice and help in transitioning from a warm water diver to diving around here. It was way before I met her in person and happened on ScubaBoard. I don't think she ever even knew. She has also always been super supportive and encouraging about my photography aspirations. Her feedback was always really valuable to me, shaped how I shot things later.

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Re: In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

Post by Bric Martin » Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:44 pm

Lynne was one of the nicest people in our dive community. She was always there to help a new diver, a great mentor to many, and always had a positive word or comment for everyone. Like all who were blessed to have known her I am broken hearted.

RIP.

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Re: In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

Post by WylerBear » Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:51 pm

I'm really hoping this is pre-mature. The last I heard they were still searching.
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Re: In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

Post by lavachickie » Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:23 pm

All logic aside, I'm going with my heart on this one. I refuse to accept this as an outcome until there is undeniable proof. She's missing. They are searching. That's all we know. Blessings and prayers for all.
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Re: In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

Post by Tangfish » Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:28 pm

WylerBear wrote:I'm really hoping this is pre-mature.


Nothing would make me happier.

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Re: In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

Post by xBabyJesus » Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:47 pm

Oh man... Lynne's advice was always right on, and she didn't have a big ego about it. I never met her in person but I've read hundreds of her posts between here and scubaboard. What a loss for the community. What a loss for Peter.

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Re: In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

Post by dsteding » Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:51 pm

I haven't stopped by here in years, and I wish it wasn't under these circumstances. But, somehow, it seems appropriate to say goodbye to Lynne here. She was a pillar of the global diving community, a tremendously friendly person, and really filled with light. Kids and life pulled me away from diving a while back, but I am glad that we stayed in touch, and somehow I felt like I continued to dive through her when I read her trip reports on Facebook.

She'll be missed. I posted over on ScubaBoard as well, but I'll say it here: now is the time for our community to wrap our arms around Peter and hold him as he grieves.
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Re: In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

Post by CaseyB449 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 4:39 pm

Is and always will be one of my most favorite people... I am blessed to have been her dive buddy at least once. I'll never forget it. The community will never be the same, but it was improved with her in it! Thoughts and prayers are with you Peter!
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Re: In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

Post by Joshua Smith » Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:01 pm

I'm gutted.
Lynne was special. I first "met" her on Scubaboard, and then on NWDC a bit later. It was 2006-2007, during the years of a lot of friction between the DIR community and everyone else. We were on opposite sides of that (stupid) fence, and we used to argue about nuances and arcane bits of diving philosophy. A lot. Well, it was probably me doing the arguing, Lynne stuck to her guns, but she was too classy to argue, per se. And we exchanged a lot of private messages during these exchanges. As a result, we became pretty good friends. Lynne was very, very intelligent. And wise. (Wisdom and intelligence being two different things, that lots of people confuse.) During what I would judge to be the apex of the DIR/ anti DIR "war," She invited me to go for a dive, just the two of us. She got a lot of flack from some of her friends for this, as diving "mixed teams" was considered heresy at that time, but it really impressed me- and we had a very nice dive together. And sat down and had a couple beers afterwards. It was really fun, and my deep regret is that that was the only time we ever did that.

A few years ago, my only brother died quite suddenly after a very short illness. It was a shock. And I reached out to Lynne to ask her about what had happened, and to reassure myself that my brother's doctors had done everything correctly. I knew Lynne was an impeccable diver, who followed protocols to the letter, and because of that, I knew she was a physician that did the same in her professional life. The comfort and reassurance she gave me at that time is a something I will be eternally grateful for.

I spent this past winter building a house near hers on the East side, and she invited me to stop by her house for a glass of wine after work, twice. I meant to take her up on it, and never did. I really, really wish I had.


RIP Lynne. Fair Winds and Following Seas.
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Re: In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

Post by Gdog » Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:35 pm

I first "met" Lynne on Scubaboard many years ago. Like everyone else, I came to think very highly of her well spoken thoughtful opinions. She seeemed to be the calm voice of reason. I then met her in person a few years later at one of our Club Dives. I remember marveling at how she seemed to look forward to being a Big Buddy to some new nervous diver, and put them at ease. What a Class Act. The advice she gave me on different topics was always accurate, knowledgeable, and well thought out. I respected and looked up to this Lady. We here in the PNW were privileged to know her and call her Our Own. So many people only knew her online, and also feel the same way as we do. A massive void has been left in the scuba world that cannot be filled. I will miss her input and her presence in our community. May God comfort and guide Peter through this tragedy.

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Re: In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

Post by Matt S. » Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:40 pm

Lynne continually impressed me with the way she mentored new divers, and that includes my one outing with her long ago. I am sure we have a lot more smart, safe divers out there thanks to her efforts. That's a good legacy for anyone.

And seriously, have you ever met a nicer person, either in the flesh or on the internet? Like Josh said, Lynne was too classy to argue.

I will miss her calm manner and wise counsel. I wish I had gotten to know her better.

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Re: In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

Post by edm81363 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:51 pm

I'm empty right now, so I'm just rephrasing what I posted on ScubaBoard and some other PM conversations I've had;

In true Lynne spirit; I don't know you, but I care about you. I need to take care of me, but I will give to you first. All I ask is that you do the same when possible.


Like many others, I was an admirer of how knowledgeable, giving and centered LCF / TSandM was in online communities. NWDC and SB are built almost entirely on words. And the vast majority of us simply have none at this time.

"No words."

"Speechless."

"I don't know what to say."




A community silenced.




You accepted no limitation in being able to positively impact someones life. The digital realm did not hold you back, nor the emergency room, the horse stable nor many other settings. You gave and gave, and that is clearly reflected here.

I have to imagine that you would react to news of this magnitude by simply staring at your screen, and resting your hands in your lap until you had the right thing to say. I'm certainly not you, but this feels like a time to try and be you.

We were DM's together, and shared a joy and passion for teaching others to be safe and careful divers in a supportive learning environment. I had the great fortune to know you and Peter, to stop by your house as I abandoned my BC and got outfitted with my first BP&W in your basement. So there are some things I want people to know. No, actually there are some things I insist people know.

You were LCF here, and TSandM on SB, but you were our sweet Lynne in the real world. Every bit of kindness you showed here was matched by a smile that glowed from a special place within you. The well composed counsel that you shared here was no match for the wisdom that many of us received from you in person.

Frequently, technology and impersonal communication leads us to a controversial dialog. All here know that you offered reason to those heated discussions. People need to know that that very same technology also shielded people from really knowing you fully. Your essence and beauty blazed bright in so many moments. Your royal court was the parking lot at Cove 2. There, you were in your element, among your people - that was a special setting to encounter you, and those who only knew LCF / TSandM missed out on that.

Technology can't capture the experience many of us had, of pulling up your funky driveway (with a telephone pole right in the middle of it!), and you looking out from your chair by the sliding glass door, smiling at the recognition that it was a kindred soul, getting up and opening that same door. I like to think that I am welcoming in my own home, and greet visitors at the door with a smile. But, for me at least, I never even made it to your front door most of the time. You would roll open the side of your house, and welcome me directly into your inner sanctum with a bright smile.

I would tell you that I wish you could see the outpouring of emotion and the wealth of comments being shared about you. I am positive that you knew all about this worldwide network of people you touched. That is what made you give. You had a chronic case of giving, of making the world better, of sharing, of being positive. I saw students do things they never thought they could do because of the confidence you gave them. Hell, I'm in that same group.

I guess I want people to know that, as you were in online communities, you were even more an embodiment of those qualities in person. You would probably blush and shrug off many of the kind words being said about you. That wasn't why you were you. I think you gave so freely because you knew how it was received. You knew that people wanted and needed to hear what you had to contribute. And boy oh boy, did you have the ability to give!

I have to think that you would want this incomprehensible loss to inform us, even just a little bit, about something we can do to be safer, smarter divers. Or at least LCF / TSandM would.

But I can't imagine that Lynne would have any solitary concern at this time other than for her amazing partner Peter. She would want us to tell him how our lives were impacted by her, and perhaps how we are trying to be more like the Borg Queen that floated among us for a period. As an ER doctor, she worked at the edge of life and death, and was starkly aware of the line between. She knew that the words we have to offer today can only slightly soften the blow. But the comfort we can offer him now is the least we can do for her. She would also want us to be there for one another in a big way.

Lynne, you and Peter own a treasure trove of dive gear, and you shared it freely with us. But the real shrine to you is your computer. It should be brought to DEMA every year so that we can glide our fingers along its keyboard, hoping to absorb just a small portion of the knowledge, warmth and kindness that you gave of so freely. It should be analyzed by generations of scientists to figure out how to capture and share that light with world.

Perhaps you already taught us how to do that, and it's time to pick up on your example.

I work at sea, and Lynne and I had many discussions about this. Within a weeks time I must depart again. And my journey will take me directly past her last dive site. There is a strict rule on the vessel that nothing ever goes over the side into the water, ever. But not this time. Not this time.

I always tell people that Cape Flattery looks like those scenes from movies that show how the earth was created - wild waves crashing against huge cliffs and giant rock spires. I figure if it's good enough for the birth of the universe, then I guess it's fitting for the loss of a legend.


Godspeed, fair winds, and following seas my friend.
-Ed in Mill Creek
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Re: In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

Post by spatman » Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:53 pm

Rest in peace, Lynne. I will miss your presence and calm on the forums and the invaluable aid you have dispensed over the years.

My heart goes out to Peter and all of those close to Lynne. The sudden loss of a loved one is a pain unimaginable and one I had hoped all would be spared.
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Re: In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

Post by coachrenz » Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:10 pm

I can't imagine the pain that Peter is going through right now. As someone who regularly dives with my wife, I just can't even fathom the pain and hurt. For those of you closer to him than I am, take care of him. Take care of each other.

Next time you are underwater, blow some bubbles for Lynne.
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Re: In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

Post by Alexitt » Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:10 pm

Very very Sad... Lynne was a true mentor for a great many new divers... Though I only dove with her once, I had a couple of great conversations and many enjoyable hours reading her posts both here and on Scubaboard... You will be missed...
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Re: In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

Post by lavachickie » Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:13 pm

Poseidon wanted a new Queen, it seems, and he insisted on nothing but the best. Rest in peace, my dear. Your contributions to this community -- near and far; in person or in posts -- will never be forgotten. I asked myself, or others, many times, "What would Lynne do?" We will continue to do so.
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Re: In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

Post by RoxnDox » Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:52 pm

I was fortunate enough to dive with Lynne twice. She was a great mentor, patient and 'mellow' and exceptionally good at explaining the reasons for all the checks and rechecks. Although I have become a cyber-diver and spend my time above the surface nowadays, I will miss her. My condolences to Peter and all of her other family and friends. RIP

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Re: In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

Post by Grateful Diver » Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:16 pm

Well, I guess it's time to move on to the next phase of grieving ... acceptance. I don't want to ... Lord knows I didn't cry this much when my own mother died ... but life goes on, and everybody who knew Lynne understands that she was exceptionally good at living. So best to get on with it. Part of the healing process is to talk ... so I hope you'll bear with me a bit, because I sorely need to do just that ... talk about my friend.

I first met her, what was it ... 10 years ago? I followed a link on ScubaBoard to her personal blog and read about her adventures in Open Water class. She so completely captured the stereotype of the clueless student that I decided right away that I just HAD to meet this woman. So when a club dive gave the opportunity, I arranged to be her dive buddy. Took about a millisecond to warm up to her ... if she was a perfume I'd have labeled her "Essence of Enthusiasm". I'd have sworn she was part puppy. And it took all of about five seconds underwater to realize that she was in serious need of a mentor. So I volunteered, and that was the beginning of a friendship that's been a fundamental part of my life ever since. It didn't take long to recognize her meticulous nature, and I casually mentioned to her that there was this class called "Fundamentals" that I thought she'd enjoy and get a lot out of. That turned out to be the understatement of the decade. And so was born the Borg Queen.

Over the years we've gone on trips together, had many memorable dives, shared company at each other's homes, laughed ... sometimes grieved the loss of other friends. Lynne was a ray of sunshine ... one of those people who can light up a room simply by walking into it (often with a glass of wine in her hand) and striking up a conversation. I met a lot of you through Lynne ... sometimes at her home. There was the classic "And Lynne Was Furious" toast at Peter's birthday party. The trips to the Channel Islands. Many hours spent exchanging posts and emails. The dive when she saw her first sixgill shark ... and so many others. Lynne was the steadiest friend a person could ever hope for. If I have any regrets, it's those times when we could have spent time together, and I opted not to ... always thinking there would be other opportunities later on. Never in my wildest imaginations did it ever occur to me that I'd be grieving her passing ... it was her that always worried about me, after all ... I always assumed I'd go first.

I learned a lot from Lynne ... about diving ... about life. Her friendship came with conditions, but they were always reasonable and easy to achieve ... and so worth it. I can only hope to spend the rest of my days paying those lessons forward, and passing friendship on to others in the manner that she did. Her body may have passed from this world, but her spirit never will. She'll live within my memories, and within my heart ... as I'm sure she will for many of you ... until the day I pass from this earth and we meet once again.

... Bob
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Re: In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

Post by Dusty2 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:28 pm

Here I sit shocked and dismayed. A 72 year old man with tears streaming down my cheeks that I am unable to stop. I have lost many in my life but the really special people always seem to get underneath the veneer and crack the facade. Lynne was one of those who was always a friend and yet asked nothing in return. A person who was as easy to like as a new puppy and always seemed to be interested in you and the things you had to say. The number of those who will miss her will be legion. I can only take heart that she passed doing something she loved dearly with friends and family and that it was sudden and not drawn out.

I can only take Solis in knowing a soul as bright and shining as her's has many friends and family waiting for on the other side.

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Re: In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

Post by sarinae » Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:54 pm

The legacy we leave is those whom we are able to touch in our short life. Lynn's legacy reaches far and wide, a testament to her generous heart and genuine kindness. So many of us are better divers thanks to her constructive feedback (almost always spoken with sensitivity). I am sure that equestrians agree, her impact reached many. Only last week her greatest joy was that she had actually saved a life at work that day. She saved many of us along the way, whether she realized it or not.

I first met Lynne, without realizing it, when I attended a gas consumption lecture by Peter. She slipped quietly in mid-way through and started to heckle and correct him. I wondered who this audacious and plucky lady was, because I recognized that Peter respected her input. After the class, I was introduced and realized that their relationship was something special, built on a mutual respect for one another I have rarely witnessed. Though you might have met one or the other first, it was not long before anyone would meet the other half. I was awed by two completely uniquely intelligent and wonderful people who found a way to not only be together and share differences of opinion, but somehow truly complement one another.

Though I have only known them a relatively short time compared to many of you, her life has impacted me tremendously and I share the substantial loss with you all. As so many of you have said, she had an uncanny gift for making each of us feel special and treasured. I can only hope that she felt that reciprocated in some small way, she has been a valuable treasure to us all.

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Re: In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

Post by Blaiz » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:23 pm

Like many others have said, I was shocked and saddened deeply when I heard about Lynn. Also like many other have said, she was precious to me even though I didn't get to spend a lot of time with her and Peter.

Nonetheless, I appreciated her wisdom and generosity in the posts that she made, and the knowledge she shared so freely. I admired her strength to be an emergency physician, and still think of her every time I renew my BLS.

I recall how excited I was when I first shared the same waters on a Mukilteo Monday, and I was very grateful when she had a few suggestions for being a better diver. She always had something nice or funny or wise to say when I posted a dive report, and gave me a lot of encouragement when I started taking pictures underwater.

I haven't been in the water for a couple years now; injuries and life have kept me dry, but today I was rereading some old posts and was reminded that her quote has been in my signature line for quite a while. It made me smile through my tears, which I suspect she would appreciate.

Deepest condolences to you and yours, Peter. My thoughts are with you in these rough times.

May the Light embrace you and keep you forever, Lynn.
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Re: In Memoriam: Lynne Flaherty (LCF, TSandM)

Post by babs13 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:31 pm

I was an unexperienced diver when I first met Lynne on Scubaboard. I was motivated by a new obsession and armed with a c-card that said I'm a scuba diver - I wasn't comfortable in the water (because I had only learned to swim weeks before), had just done check out dives in Koh Phi Phi and ready to go dip in cold water around Seattle (even though I didn't really know what I was getting into). I was renting gear to go diving with strangers in gear that just didn't fit me right. Lynne was kind enough to lend me her gear so we could go diving at Les Davis. I was a complete stranger. I had met her in the parking lot by Les Davis; I had to look for a orangy-red Audi station wagon. I learned more in that dive than I had learned about myself in a while at that time. She also told me the things I was doing wrong and needed to fix. I fell in love with the backplate and wing which she lent me. She encouraged me to take more training to be a better diver. That dive influenced my future diving. I chose not be a wreck and to be better.

This is totally sad and unexpected.

My heart and thoughts goes out to Peter and family. Lynne rest in peace.
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