Lyn Brook Loughlin died at home on August 10, 2019 in Washington, DC, due to complications of bile duct cancer. She was 67.
Lyn was born September 1, 1951 in San Francisco, CA to her parents, William and Doris Loughlin (nee Pennington). Lyn graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a master's degree in social work, magna cum laude, in 2003. She divorced and survived two husbands, Gary Pennington (with whom she had a loving son, Doug) and Allen Curry (to whose son, Sean, she was a beloved step-mother).
Lyn practiced medical social work, specializing in death and dying issues, counseling the bereaved within a hospital setting. A highly respected expert among her colleagues, she practiced her profession at University Hospital in Cincinnati, as well as George Washington University Hospital and Medstar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC. She touched and enhanced countless lives, advocating for patients and their families both within hospitals as well as with the array of affiliated institutions charged with serving families suffering the loss of a loved one. She reached families at their lowest moments, helped guide them through their grief, and fought for them when their voices and needs were not being heard or met.
She was a social worker's social worker.
Lyn overcame enormous obstacles to achieve such professional success and to surround herself with loving family and friends. Lyn survived sexual abuse as a child. She had been sober for nearly 25 years until her death, conquering alcoholism. A smoker for nearly her entire adult life, she quit at age 62. She had a son at the age of 19, and raised him herself until he turned seven and moved in with his father. After 12 years, she again provided a home for her son for an additional seven years. Lyn worked as a bartender, as well as an excellent retail salesperson, until the age of 47, when she began her first college classes at the University of Cincinnati. Five years later she graduated with her master's degree in social work, magna cum laude, the first in her family to earn a graduate degree.
Lyn was fond of a quote from Maya Angelou, slightly modified: "To survive is essential. To thrive is elegant." Lyn personified that principle, quite elegantly, throughout her extraordinary life, and those who knew and loved her count themselves deeply fortunate.
Lyn is survived by her son, Doug Pennington and daughter-in-law Jessica Osborn, of Washington, DC; stepson Sean Curry of Houston, TX; and CC Brown of Cincinnati, OH, who Lyn considered a stepdaughter.
A ceremony to celebrate Lyn's life is still being planned. In lieu of flowers, please donate in her honor to the Capital Area Food Bank of Washington, DC.