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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Lyn Nofziger Laid to Rest

Lyn Nofziger's funeral services were held yesterday and St. Mary's Epicopal Church in Arlington was standing room only for the memorial gathering.

I don't know the seating capacity of St. Mary's main chapel but it was jammed as the service began and the ushers were setting out additional chairs to accommodate the over-flow crowd.

It was a moving, wonderful service planned by Lyn himself during his final days. He selected the hymns, including "In the Garden" and "It is Well With my Soul," he selected the scripture reading, Psalm 91, and he insisted that the message of the service focus on the Good News of the Gospel. The love of Christ shone brightly in the service, just as Lyn wanted.

Lyn was always a man of his word and of the word who loved great literature and stirring political speeches who could quote by memory long passages of the classics.

In the later years of his life, he became a well-grounded man of the Word as well. I suspect there were more than a few in the audience who were perhaps a little surprised to learn that Lyn was such a man of faith. He knew Bombay Gin would only carry a person so far.

There were, of course, formal eulogies, the most moving being delivered by former Attorney General Ed Meese, who spoke as a true friend and admirer. Ed Rollins spoke graciously and with good humor of Lyn's loyalty and pugnaciousness.

My biases here are obvious, but I must say the most moving part of the service for me was my sweet sister's words during the informal eulogies. Cindy spent many years working for and with Lyn during the Citizens for the Republic days, during the 1980 presidential campaign and on into the first term in the White House.

But even after Lyn left the Reagan administration, Cindy remained among Lyn's most devoted friends throughout the rest of his life and grew even closer to him and his wife Bonnie as the years went by.

She spoke so well and calmly of her first job interview with Lyn, how he taught her so many things about being successful in politics while retaining one's integrity and honor and, most importantly, how he remained a loyal, loving and steadfast friend and advisor.

Cindy is a tremendously accomplished woman who has overcome more difficulties and pain than most know during her life. There have been many moments over the years when she has made me immensely proud, but none so much as yesterday when she spoke with such heartfelt affection, dignity and admiration for a man she and so many more of us loved so much.

Sis, you spoke well and truly and best of all for those of us who were neither rich nor famous but who gladly followed President Reagan and his friend "Lynwood" through it all.

Until we meet again Lyn, farewell.