The following blog is a tribute to the memory of Lynn Gaylor, beloved former Chaplain, Program Director & Director of AK Child & Family, who passed away April 13, 2018.
“Most of the buildings on the campuses of AK Child & Family are named after people who were a part of our history. Below is a story of one of those individuals: Jesse Lee Cottage #1 is named after Lynn Gaylor and houses adolescent boys.
R. Lynn Gaylor was a United Church of Christ minister who served on the staff of the Jesse Lee Home from 1967 through 1975. During that period, Mr. Gaylor served as Chaplain and Program Director and later as Director of the Jesse Lee Home.
Mr. Gaylor was a graduate of Lakeland College (Plymouth, Wisconsin) and United Theological Seminary, (Minneapolis, Minnesota). During his years at the Jesse Lee Home, he was well remembered for his keen love of recreation, his skill as a wood carver and his marvelous ability to relate to young people.
One of the lasting tributes to Lynn’s contribution to the Jesse Lee Home is the ‘Lonesome Louie’ totem pole. Lonesome Louie grew out of the life experience of the Jesse Lee family.
Each week Lynn would have a ‘celebration’ event where staff and young people would explore a common theme. One week the theme was “I am a part of history.” This led to an exploration of history by Lynn and some of the children in care. The Lonesome Louie totem project grew out of those discussions over a four year period. Lonesome Louie tells the story of a lonesome horse who wandered on to the Jesse Lee campus and found some friends – just like lonesome kids find friends. The moral of the legend is, “we have to accept horses and kids for what they are and not for what we want them to be.” The totem pole was formally dedicated by Governor William Egan at the Jesse Lee campus in August of 1973 and stands today as a symbol and sentinel at the entrance of the Jesse Lee campus.”
A poem in his memory:
Lonesome Louie Totem Pole
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again (to) home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.
Alfred Lord Tennyson
The original blog post can be found here: http://www.akchild.org/our-story/blogsection/2016-blog-entries.html/article/2016/02/22/gaylor-cottage>