Lyn’s Legacy: Charisma, dedication and kindness extending beyond her lifetime
Little is known to the public of the life of Lyn Storey, other than she was born in 1927 and passed away in 2012. But what Lyn’s closest surviving family members, friends and associates do know is the incredible journey between 1927 and 2012 that made Lyn’s life a legacy that they are proud to continue.
From listening to their stories, it’s easy to imagine what Lyn was like. Intelligent, charismatic, kind, canny, career driven and extremely private. Years after she passed in 2012, her remaining family members and associates have retraced her life, which eventually resulted in a major bequest of over $5 million to The Salvation Army to support vulnerable older Australians.
Lyn’s cousin, Mr Rex Malin, shares the story of her upbringing, family background, and why he didn’t have a chance to get to know her while they were growing up.
“Lyn’s parents, my aunt and uncle, separated – Lyn’s dad was my dad’s brother. They had two daughters, who went with their mother to live, and because of that, I didn’t get to know either of the girls. I grew up with Lyn’s dad, who lived at Palm Beach in the northern beaches region of Sydney. Our grandfather was one of the first people to build a place at Coasters Retreat – later joined by Lyn’s father, who lived there for 10 years.”
Later in life, Rex learnt that his father had limited contact with Lyn, particularly while she was working for United Airlines in the 1950s.
“I have some old photographs of Lyn in the early airline days… she was stepping off a United Airlines aircraft with the Managing Director at the time. To the world she was the South Pacific representative of United Airlines.”
“As a little boy, I pinched a little pilot’s wings that she’d given my Dad, it was probably just a marketing thing. After her passing and clearing out the belongings, there were lots of airline memorabilia and books which I have kept.”
It wasn’t until Rex’s father passed away in 1986, that he and his sister met Lyn and began developing a friendship with her.
“My dad passed away in 1986 and Lyn came to the funeral. My sister and I said hello, and all of sudden we had a cousin! Eventually we made formal contact and from then on we became very close. She was living in Springwood in the Blue Mountains at that time, and my sister and I shared some good times together with Lyn.”
“Lyn married in her 40s, and unfortunately 10 years later her husband Charles passed away while they were living on a farm in Junee near Wagga Wagga. Eventually she met another man and they became very close, he had served as a soldier in Papua New Guinea in the Second World War. They decided it was cold in Springwood, and so they moved to a retirement village in Wyoming on the Central Coast, which is where she was living until she passed away in 2012.”
Rex says that his relationship with Lyn developed into one of closeness and trust – his opinion mattered to her.
“Lyn was a wealthy lady who owned a number of properties and I acted as her insurance broker. Her main home was at Wyoming, and she had an apartment in the city, used occasionally when she came to town. We would go to the movies or the theatre together, she often asked me to help with her shopping and choosing things.”
Lyn’s accountant of over 25 years, Mr David Friedlieb reflects fondly on the memories of working with Lyn throughout the years.
“When Lyn first met me she said, ‘you look a bit young’. I think I was 35 at the time and she said, ‘okay, I’ll give you a six months trial’. Almost 25 years later when Lyn died, I think I was still on trial, but we developed a very close professional but also friendly relationship.”
David quickly learnt that Lyn was completely dedicated and on the ball when it came to managing her financial matters.
“She was very particular. Lyn was the rare client who would go through every single line of a contract, and that would drive solicitors mad. They had to explain everything and go through all the 28 pages of provisions with her – she wanted to know it all.”
David also discovered that Lyn was passionate about giving back to her community through donations that would benefit vulnerable people.
“Looking into the future we formed the Lyn Storey Foundation, and she was able to make substantial contributions to the foundation, $100,000 – 200,000 at a time, which was very important to her.”
True to her discreet nature, David says that Lyn made no indication while she was alive that she had named him as a joint executor of her estate, a detail he only learnt of after her passing.
“She wanted her money to go to three separate charities, the Salvation Army being the predominant one. She wanted each of those charities to utilize the money for one of three categories, which were disadvantaged aged people, disadvantaged young people and emergency services.”
Today, Lyn’s legacy continues through the foundation’s donation towards the construction of The Salvation Army Pacific Lodge Aged Care Plus Centre, a modern home for 50 older Australians, offering specialised services such as mental health care.
At the opening ceremony on 12 April 2018, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Aged Care Plus acknowledged Lyn’s contribution.
“You may notice that we have named the Ground Floor Lyn Storey House. This is in honour of a major donor, the Lyn Storey Foundation. At this time, I’d like to acknowledge our immense appreciation for this incredible donation, and the ongoing support of the representatives from the Lyn Storey Foundation, which have helped bring this redevelopment to reality.”
Additional donations from the Lyn Storey Foundation made it possible to construct a dedicated sensory garden for elderly residents to enjoy. Aged Care Plus plan to name this garden “The Reefs Garden”. The Reefs is the name of the farm in Junee which Lyn Storey owned for many years, and where her ashes are spread, alongside her husband’s grave.