Lyn Luster was a lifelong volunteer. The Panhandle Wind team knew her well thanks to her work as a volunteer EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) during safety and emergency drills at the facility over the years.
She was a very helpful and generous woman, and the team says she was also very family oriented.
Sadly, Lyn passed away on October 12, 2022, just before her 75th birthday.
Her husband Darell Luster says she was an EMT right up until she passed, as it was an important role to her.
Filling a Need
“In about 1985 or so, Lyn retired from a manufacturing company and we both decided we kind of wanted to do some volunteer work because we heard volunteer EMTs were needed,” Darell explains.
Darell says volunteer services are sometimes the only way small towns can afford to have emergency medical services.
“We both took the EMT course and right after that, we started doing volunteer work for the volunteer EMS. I’m a police officer and when the company I worked for closed down, I needed something to do. I thought I was retired but turns out that I was just out of a job,” he says.
Becoming an EMT was a natural next step for both Lyn and Darell. Lyn lived a life of volunteer work and always wanted to help. As for Darell, he had worked closely with EMTs when he was a police officer and was familiar with the close-knit community of public service workers.
“About five years ago, the mayor of our little town of White Deer approached Lyn because she had been doing all this volunteer work. It turned out that we needed a medical director at the volunteer medical services place here. So he said he needed someone to step up and take that job. She said she wasn’t really looking for a job, but she’ll do that for him,” he says.
Lyn held that position until she passed away, but in that time, she helped many people.
The Panhandle Team knew Lyn and Darell well as they attended several safety drills over the years. The pair recently attended a high-angle rescue drill.
“I think that was the last live-action drill that we had been on. We had barbecue brisket and a wonderful meal. Lyn got to know some of the folks there. She was very outgoing,” Darell says.
Her service to the community will always be remembered.
A Love for Animals
While Lyn had a passion for helping people, she also had a soft spot for animals.
“There’s kind of a really funny story about the first cat that she ever had as her own,” Darell says. “When she was still working at the manufacturing plant, there was a little gray kitten wandering around. The plant where she worked was a carbon black plant. Carbon black is used in anything that’s black like tires, plastics, and even paint. So she took the gray kitten home and gave him a bath. Well, after that, he wasn’t gray anymore, he was gold. Turns out he had been getting into some of the carbon black. So she kept him and called him Goldie,” Darell says.
Lyn rescued a few more cats after that, some which she found wandering on the side of the highway. Those who knew Lyn knew that if there was an orphaned animal, she would take care of it.
Filling a Leadership Role
Before becoming the EMS director, Lyn held another leadership role.
“When our son was about Cub Scout age, we pretty quickly realized there weren’t enough leaders to run the program because no one was volunteering. That was kind of how Lyn got started in the Boy Scout program. There were all these little kids who wanted to be in the program but there weren’t enough adults volunteering to be leaders,” he explains.
During that process, they both ended up being part of the Boy Scouts of America. They attended the training programs so they could learn how the Boy Scouts program works and how they can make it fun and interesting for kids.
“She actually volunteered after our son graduated out of the program until they were able to recruit more leaders,” Darell says.
An Inspiration to Many
As a member of the local Lions Club, providing meals for those in need, driving people to medical appointments, and of course being a volunteer EMT, Lyn spent her life serving and inspiring others.
“She inspired people to volunteer. Since she passed, we’ve had people come forward saying they know we need more volunteers and they wanted to take the EMT program. They told us they were inspired to do that because of Lyn’s gift of service to EMS. So hopefully we can get more people to help so it’s not as much of a burden on the service,” Darell explains.
Both Lyn and Darell were quick to step up and help, simply because help was needed.
“Volunteering gives you such a feeling of contentment that you can help someone who is in need. Lyn had a really good way of being in the back of the ambulance with someone. They might be scared or really sick and she just had a way of comforting them so that they weren’t so scared,” he says.
While she volunteered for many causes and organizations, she didn’t do it for recognition.
“She was not comfortable being in the spotlight. She avoided it. She liked being one of the people in the background, that’s what she liked,” Darell says.
“I was married to her for 56 years. I’ll always appreciate her, but even more now. I just feel so lost because she was such a rock. She never ever wanted anything for herself. She was just a very humble person,” he says.
The Panhandle Wind team and Pattern Energy are thankful for the time and energy Lyn put into keeping our team and the community safe all these years.