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Obituaries: Lynn M. (Johnson) Rinks


July 24, 2020

Lynn M. (Johnson) Rinks

Lynn Mary Rinks, loving wife of Tom Rinks for 57 years, mother, grandmother, teacher, dear friend, and nurturing communicator, was born at the Cloquet Hospital in 1941 and passed away in the winter of 2020.

She grew up in the big white house on the hill in Sunnyside. She was preceded in death by her father, Kenny Johnson, an architect; her mother, Eleanor Johnson, a teacher; and brother Paul, an entrepreneur.

Lynn was an avid reader and probably had read most of the books in the old library by the time she graduated from high school. After attending Gustavus Adolphus College for three years she got married to Tommy Rinks and moved to San Diego. There, she got her degree and teaching credentials from San Diego State University and taught elementary school for 15 years. She absolutely loved teaching and had a positive impact on hundreds of students during her career. Lynn leveraged her experience as a strong matriarch at home in the classroom. Oftentimes the principals would stock her classes with recalcitrant boys, as she enjoyed the challenges that they provided.

Lynn absolutely loved growing up in Cloquet, spending summers at Big Lake, and was often heard saying “We worked In San Diego so that we could retire in Minnesota.” Besides singing in several choirs, at Grossmont College, in church, as well as in James Sheetz’s chorale, she loved knitting, reading, playing cribbage, solving crossword puzzles, Jeopardy, cooking, baking, and carrying on long conversations with both friends and strangers, who she considered “future friends.” She especially loved cooking — as did the satisfied recipients of her culinary creations.

She is survived by her husband, Tom; sons, James and Paul; and grandchildren, Bianca, Kenny, Rebecca, and Raquel.

We all will strive every day to honor her memory and preserve her legacy. Rest in peace.

Celebration of Life: 12-2 p.m. Wednesday, July 29 at the family home, 3117 Pine Grove Drive in Cloquet.

Pine Knot News, July 24, 2020


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