Obituary for Donald McCord Lynn, Jr.

Donald McCord Lynn, Jr. passed away on January 13, 2023 at the age of 93 in Southern Pines, NC.

Don was born in Cleveland, OH on August 9, 1929 to Donald Lynn, Sr. and Ruth Keppie Lynn.  After spending several years in Cleveland, then later in Elmira, NY as a child, Don and his younger brother Dick left home to attend Loomis Chaffee Preparatory School in Windsor, CT in order to escape a polio outbreak.  Don graduated from Loomis at age 16, attended Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, and went on to medical school in Cincinnati, OH.  It was here that he met an intelligent and lovely nursing student, Coralie, who became his faithful companion and partner in marriage for over 70 years.

Don was a dedicated, caring and compassionate physician for 7 decades.  He began his career as a pediatrician, completed his residency in Denver, CO and served 2 years as a physician in the Air Force at Tinker Air Force Base, OK.  After several years in private practice as a pediatrician, Don worked to achieve additional training in psychiatry in the mid 1960’s.  He switched his primary focus to mental health, and went on to care and advocate for special needs children for 30 years at the Elmira Psychiatric Center, part of New York State mental health and disability services.  After retiring to North Carolina, Don continued working well into his 80’s as a medical consultant to group homes that served adults with intellectual disabilities throughout Eastern North Carolina.  Never one to back down from asking questions or do what he believed in, Don happily remembered that his colleagues saluted his retirement with Frank Sinatra’s lyrics “I did it my way”.

As a person, Don was both an impressive intellectual and a connoisseur of joyful living.  He and Coralie traveled extensively in all 50 states, Canada, as well as several trips to Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean.  He loved to golf, ski, and be outside.  He was an avid historian and loved reading, especially about his two favorite topics: Mark Twain and the American Civil War.  Don was a lifelong gardener and applied his appreciation of chemistry to soil, even taking the family station wagon to shovel fresh horse manure from a friend’s pasture, much to the chagrin of his children.  Don and Coralie loved to visit art museums throughout the world, were patrons of classical music and the opera, and treated each trip with their family as an opportunity to learn and expand their horizons.  He enjoyed adding his resonant bass voice to school and church choirs, and even took up painting later in life.  Don and Coralie also shared a passion for healthy food, and he was an accomplished home chef.  Nothing gave him more pleasure than sharing a meal and a bottle of wine with friends and family. 

Don is survived by his wife, Coralie, and 5 of their children: Cheryl McKay, Catherine Procaccini, David Lynn, Daniel Lynn, and Carol Blackwelder.  He will be remembered as “Opa” to 12 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.  He is preceded in death by their first born daughter, Rebecca, as well as by his brother, Richard Lynn. 

A memorial service will be held at a later date. 

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Trinity Christian Fellowship Church in Pinehurst, NC or FirstHealth Hospice and Palliative Care.

Online condolences may be made at

Services are entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Pinehurst.  

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