Thomas Neil Linn, Jr. MD was born in February 1930 in Fort Worth, Texas and died on December 28, 2022 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He was preceded in death by his mother, Florence Jennings Lynn, father, Thomas N. Lynn and his wife of 67 years, Virginia Harsh Lynn. He is survived by his son Neil Lynn and his wife Deb Ferrell-Lynn, daughters Leslie Lynn and Cathy Shipley and Cathy’s husband Glenn Shipley. Additionally, he is survived by his grandchildren, Thomas Lynn; Kathrin Edgeman and her partner Ronnie McKnight and their family Kati Edgeman, and Carson, Andre and Caelen McKnight; and step-granddaughter Kaci Troyan and her family Ryan, Keith and Lucas. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Ibby Dawson and many precious nieces and nephews.
Tom grew up in Oklahoma City, graduating from Old Classen High School in 1947. He went on to attend the University of Oklahoma, where he was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and ROTC and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1951. Tom then attended the OU College of Medicine where elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, honorary medical society. After graduating in 1955, Tom’s post-medical school training included a two-year internship in internal medicine at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, MO, two years at the National Institutes of Health, Heart Institute in Bethesda, MD; and served as chief medical resident at Oklahoma City University Hospitals for two years. He received a certificate in internal medicine and general preventive medicine. After joining the OU College of Medicine faculty, Tom served as Chair of Community Health and Chair of the Department of Medicine and Preventive Medicine. In 1974, he became dean of the OU College of Medicine and held that role until 1980.
Tom Lynn was instrumental in the development of the Family Practice Residency and Physician Assistant Program and initiated an education program for family practice residents in rural Oklahoma. Because of this, he became a member of the Oklahoma Academy of Family Practice. In 1980, he accepted the position of Vice President of Medical and Scientific Affairs at what is now Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City and remained there until his retirement in 1995. Tom was president of the Oklahoma County Medical Society and received “Lifetime Status” from the Oklahoma State Medical Association for distinguished status. While at Integris Baptist, he founded a research institute with Dr. William C. Orom. Upon his retirement, Integris Baptist named the Thomas N. Research Institute in his honor. Lina. He served on their board of directors for several years and was able to work with many fine people at the Lynn Institute who shared his vision of service and improvement in the overall health of the Oklahoma City community and the state of Oklahoma.
Tom’s dedication to his profession included the publication of numerous articles in local, state, local and national medical journals. He served on the board of directors of the Oklahoma State Medical Association and held board positions with the Oklahoma Heart Association, the State Arthritis Foundation and Integris Mental Health. After retiring from Baptist, he was a “medical examiner” for the Social Security Administration for many years. Other retirement pursuits included a love of history with specialized studies in Bronze Age history and the development of national identities in post-Bronze Age Europe. Tom Lynn was a man of integrity, wit, boundless knowledge and innate kindness. He had constant love for his family, including his dog Chrissy. He was honored to work among a wide variety of physicians, health and research professionals, and community leaders who shared his ideals. He will be deeply missed.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choice or to the Thomas N Institute. Linn for Health Research, Inc. at 3555 NV 58th Street, Suite 800, Oklahoma City, OK 73112. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Published online January 1, 2023
Published in the Oklahoman