Lyn Luster is a lifelong volunteer. The Panhandle Wind team knows him well thanks to his many years of work as a volunteer EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) during safety and emergency drills at the facility.
She is a very helpful and generous woman, and the team says she is also very family oriented.
Unfortunately, Lyn passed away on October 12, 2022, just before her 75th birthday.
Her husband Darell Luster said he was an EMT until he died, as it was an important role for him.
Make ends meet
“In about 1985, Lyn retired from a manufacturing company and we both decided that we wanted to do some volunteer work because we heard volunteer EMTs were needed,” explains Darell.
Darell says volunteer service is sometimes the only way for small towns to get emergency medical services.
“We both took EMT courses and after that, we started doing volunteer work for EMS volunteers. I am a police officer and when the company I work for is closed, I need to do something. I thought I was retired but it turns out I just got out of a job,” he said.
Becoming an EMT was the natural next step for Lyn and Darell. Lyn lives a life of volunteer work and is always eager to help. As for Darell, he has worked closely with EMTs when he was a police officer and is familiar with the close-knit community of public service workers.
“About five years ago, the mayor of our small town of White Deer approached Lyn because she had been doing all this volunteer work. It turns out that we need a medical director at a volunteer medical service here. So he said he needed someone to step up and take the job. He said he wasn’t really looking for a job, but he would do it for her,” she said.
Lyn held that position until she died, but in that time, she was helping many people.
The Panhandle team knows Lyn and Darell well from having attended several safety drills over the years. The pair recently attended a high angle rescue drill.
“I think that was the last live-action rehearsal we did. We had the barbecue brisket and the food was amazing. Lyn got to know some of the people there. He was very friendly,” said Darell.
His services to the community will always be remembered.
Love for Animals
While Lyn has a passion for helping people, she also has a passion for animals.
“There is a very funny story about the first cat he had as his own,” said Darell. “While he was still working at the factory, there was a gray kitten running around. The factory he worked at was a carbon black factory. Carbon black is used on everything that is black like tires, plastic and even paint. So he brought the gray kitten home and gave it a bath. Well, after that, he’s not gray anymore, he’s golden. Turns out he had gotten into some black carbon. So he kept it and called her Goldie,” said Darell.
Lyn rescued several more cats after that, some of which she found wandering the side of the highway. Those who know Lyn know that if any animals are orphaned, she will take care of them.
Filling a Leadership Role
Prior to becoming EMS director, Lyn held other leadership roles.
“When our son was around Boy Scouts, we quickly realized that there weren’t enough leaders to run the program because there wasn’t anyone to volunteer. That’s how Lyn started the Boy Scouts program. There are many young children who want to join this program, but not enough adults who voluntarily become leaders,” he explained.
During the process, they both ended up becoming a part of the Boy Scouts of America. They attend training programs so they can learn how the Scout program works and how they can make it fun and interesting for children.
“He actually volunteered after our son graduated from the program until they could recruit more leaders,” says Darell.
An Inspiration for Many People
As a member of the local Lions Club, providing food to those in need, driving people to medical appointments, and of course volunteering for EMTs, Lyn has spent her life serving and inspiring others.
“He inspired people to volunteer. Since he passed we have had people say they knew we needed more volunteers and they wanted to join the EMT program. They told us they were inspired to do this because of Lyn’s gift of service to EMS. So hopefully we can get more people to help so it’s not too much of a burden on the service,” explained Darell.
Both Lyn and Darell were quick to step up and help, just because help was needed.
“Volunteering gives you a feeling of fulfillment so that you can help someone in need. Lyn has a really great way of being in the back of an ambulance with someone. They may be scared or really sick and he has a way of comforting them so they are less scared,” he said.
While she volunteers for many causes and organizations, she doesn’t do it for recognition.
“He is uncomfortable being in the spotlight. He avoided it. He likes being one of the people in the background, which is what he loves,” said Darell.
“I was married to him for 56 years. I will always appreciate it, but even more now. I feel so lost because he’s like a rock. He never wanted anything for himself. He is just a very humble person,” he said.
The Panhandle Wind team and Pattern Energy are grateful for the time and energy Lyn put into keeping our team and community safe during this time.