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A Memorial Tribute to Lynn Elling

posted Mar 24, 2016, 4:49 AM by Dan Thiede   [ updated Mar 24, 2016, 5:03 AM ]
World Citizen Founder Lynn Elling, passed away February 14, 2016, at the age of 94. Lynn founded World Citizen in 1972 in response to witnessing war and destruction while serving in WWII as a naval officer. Since then, World Citizen has worked effortlessly to empower communities to educate for a just and peaceful world. Through our Peace Site and Peace Education programs, Lynn’s vision and commitment to peace will continue to flourish. A memorial for Lynn will be held May 1 (also World Law Day) at 3:00 p.m. at the First Universalist Church of Minneapolis. This newsletter is dedicated to the memory of Lynn; we hope you will enjoy reading tributes submitted by his friends and colleagues who have worked with him at World Citizen.

Please click here to download this tribute as a PDF with more photos >>

Click here if you'd like to make a donation to World Citizen in memory of Lynn >>

Lynn was always thinking about ways to promote his Driving Dream of World Peace. One of his frameworks for promoting peace was International Peace Sites. Lynn and Donna went around the world to promote peace sites. He was promoting his “Driving Dream.” His passion was infectious. His story inspired others to keep going toward their dream of peace. Although the framework for his Driving Dream would change over the years, his ultimate goal to promote peace never changed. Sharing his passion was second nature to Lynn. Nobody can replace Lynn.  
- Martha Roberts, World Citizen President

What does it mean to be passionate about peace? If you knew Lynn Elling it would be easy to answer this question. The pursuit of a Just and Peaceful World was at the core of Lynn's “Driving Dream.” He would share his passion by telling us that now is “our window of opportunity.” Lynn wanted us to live every day taking advantage of this opportunity by sharing the mission and work of World Citizen in the name of peace. To know Lynn Elling was to know what it looks like when someone actually pursues a dream. World Citizen will strive to continue carrying this passion for peace forward.  Many thanks and our respect to the memory of Lynn Elling for creating the organization that makes this possible.
- Kathy Millington, World Citizen Executive Director

After seeing the horrors of war and visiting Hiroshima Lynn Elling was captured by a vision of a world at peace with justice. He lived out that vision every day of his nearly 95 years. He agreed with Gandhi that if we want peace we need to start with the children. He founded World Citizen which now has hundreds of Peace Sites in Minnesota and around the world. He began the Peace Prize Festival at Augsburg College and supported the W.C. Peace Education Program. The amazing thing about Lynn is that he was as committed to working on peace for the brothers and sisters of the human family as anyone. He was never discouraged on that. To his dying day Lynn lived as a “Blessed Peacemaker” for which we are profoundly thankful.
- Lowell O. Erdahl, Chair of the World Citizen Board

Lynn was a lovely man who had a big, generous and kind heart. I’m so grateful to have had him in my life.
- Michael Bergman, former World Citizen Board Member

I am honored to have known Lynn Elling since 1990 when Poplar Bridge of Bloomington Schools became a Peace Site. That was the start of my involvement with the total of seven Bloomington Schools becoming Peace Sites, and being a board member with World Citizen, which Lynn founded. Lynn has always put 100% in his vision of peace. He always “stepped up to the plate” for peace, and was a great influence for peace. The world will
miss his enthusiasm for peace. My Deepest Appreciation to the Elling Family.
- Flora Tsukayama, World Citizen Secretary

I have only known Lynn and witnessed his feisty spirit for a couple of years as a board member for World Citizen. That was long enough to get a taste of his zest and pride for the peace process of World Citizen and his campaign for an International Law Day. I admired his never give up attitude and his endless pursuit of those dreams. I will miss his presence at our meetings.
- Karen Johnson, World Citizen Board Member

He was no wallflower. He was relentless for the cause.
- Dick Bernard, former World Citizen Board Member

He applied his skills across a range of products and ideas. Tenacity was his lifelong effort in educating about peace and ethics.
- Mark Ritchie, former Minnesota Secretary of State and former World Citizen Board Member

I was looking through some albums recently and came upon many reflections of Peace Days at J. J. Hill. When I meet former students, they talk positively about that day each year when we reflected on peace as a big celebration at the annual rededication of J. J. Hill as a peace site. I believe Lynn Elling made such an impact on the celebration of peace in all areas of our lives and I applaud his efforts to inspire us all to live better more thoughtful lives!
- Rita Hanle, retired educator from J. J. Hill Montessori in St. Paul and former World Citizen Board Member

I first met Lynn Elling on a flight from Minneapolis to New York City, along with other local peace activists on their way to participate in the June 12, 1982 Peace March and Rally in Central Park. This was to coincide with the Second Special Session Against Nuclear Arms taking place at the United Nations. Lynn had come prepared with many bags of World Citizen peace buttons and walked up and down the aisle of the plane encouraging (insisting?!) all he met to take a bag to sell for the benefit of whatever non-nuclear cause in which they were involved! In the years since, we have seen Lynn take advantage of any situation to spread the message of peace. His example of persistence and consistency has taught us all to be totally committed to our own personal journeys of PEACE!
- Marj Wunder, former World Citizen Board Member

Please click here to download this tribute as a PDF with more photos >>

Click here if you'd like to make a donation to World Citizen in memory of Lynn >>
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Dan Thiede,
Mar 24, 2016, 4:49 AM
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