On Valentine’s Day, the TWR family said goodbye to a long-time friend and TWR missionary to Slovakia, Lynn Plett, who went home to be with the Lord after a battle with cancer. Below, we share with you a tribute to her memory.
Lynn Plett July 21, 1968 - February 14, 2019
Lynn Oliver Plett was born to Eugene (“Gene”) and Delores Oliver in Columbia City, Indiana, on July 21, 1968. Lynn experienced loss when her mother died in a car accident when Lynn was just nine years old. Gene then married Carol, whose husband had died a few years before. The newly blended family included Lynn’s full sister June and Lynn’s new siblings Jenna, Dana, David, and Jon.
Raised in Winona Lake, Indiana, among many friends and influential leaders coming from the Christian and international communities, it’s not surprising that Lynn developed a heart for the nations that would take her around the world. She loved Jesus Christ and had a quiet, firm confidence about her faith that was inspiring. Lynn wanted to make sure that people came to know Jesus as their Savior, particularly the young generation, as she was also a child when she became a Christian.
Lynn’s love for music led her to study at Moody Bible Institute, graduating in 1991 with a Bachelor of Music in Sacred Music, piano performance. In this season of her life, Lynn taught and played piano and served as music director at Chinese Christian Union Church in Chicago, Illinois.
Lynn then served in Lyon, France. It was here that Lynn met Daniel, serving with TWR in Monaco. Connecting through their cross-cultural interests, French linguistic skills, and international perspective, they found in each other a soulmate. Lynn and Daniel were married in Lynn’s home church in Indiana on February 7, 1998.
Daniel and Lynn began their lives together, serving with TWR in Slovakia. Colleagues were impressed with how eagerly the Pletts dove into local Slovak culture, learning the Slovak language, and attending a local Slovak-speaking church. Together, Lynn and Daniel faced milestones along the challenging but fulfilling road of overseas service such as finding local schooling solutions for their three children and dealing with serious health issues in a foreign country, including the removal of a spinal tumor. Throughout all this time, Lynn remained active in music. She taught Kindermusik, children's and mothers' music clubs within churches, and accompanied her children as they learned to perform with various musical instruments.
“I always knew when I visited the Pletts that [their home] was a place where God was honored, relationships mattered, and books, music, and pets were cherished,” remarked Frank Stephenson, a long-time friend and colleague in Slovakia. “She certainly left a profound legacy that touched many lives, including mine. We now mourn the loss of Lynn from this world, but we rejoice in her being pain-free and with her Savior Jesus Christ.”
These sentiments are echoed by Beate Kiebel, one of the TWR international directors in the European region: “I have known Lynn Plett since she entered the TWR world by marrying Daniel. It was good to have her as part of our TWR family. Throughout the years, health problems were part of her life it seemed. Losing the battle but winning the race as Daniel wrote during her last days on earth is such a good description of her last months fighting the cancer and entering glory. We will miss her!”
Though Lynn’s life touched the nations, perhaps her greatest legacy remains with her family. As a caring mother, Lynn went the extra mile for her three children (ages 18, 16, 12) to make sure they were taught maturity, love, faith, the value of respecting other cultures, the love of nature, creativity, and making the most of one’s gifts. As a loving wife, it was always clear that Lynn and Daniel were a unit before God. They exemplified how a couple could withstand hardships and challenges through their love, placing each other’s needs first.
Lynn was diagnosed with stage IV bladder cancer in September 2018, and she fought a valiant battle until her death, living a longer and fuller life than all doctors predicted. As noted by her friends and family, Lynn is cherished by her example of grace, resiliency, determination, wisdom, and godliness.