Lynn Rainey


Lynn Rainey of Kent, WA died on the morning of May 3rd at Valley Medical Center. She was 72.

Lynn was 2 for 3 lifetime against cancer. She survived cervical cancer in her 30s, breast cancer in her 50s. But lung cancer took her from us. She was incredibly brave. She endured chemotherapy, and all its attendant issues. She never cried. Never went through a why-me phase. She dealt with it, head on. She was diagnosed on September 27, 2021 and endured the indignity of it all with her head held high for eight months. Not a surprise to any of us who knew and loved her. She was always the type to quickly accept her reality, however unpleasant, and do what she had to do.

Lynn was not a big fan of humanity. She did not suffer fools gladly. But she was a very big fan indeed of a few specific humans. If you fell into that group, you had a loyal, devoted friend, or mother, or companion who would do whatever she could for you whenever you needed it. She was never needy or clingy. An inconvenience to someone she cared about was THE last thing she ever wanted to be, or ever was.

My favorite Lynn story that embodies who she was; We were living in a house in the Fairwood section of Renton. To get from our door to our driveway, one had to walk a dirt path over which hung branches from a large tree. One morning, very early, I started the trek to the car when I saw a racoon on a branch, directly over the path about 10 feet up. I froze. I knew nothing about raccoons. I went back inside, woke Lynn and asked her, what do you know about raccoons? She asked, why, and I explained the situation. She got up, grabbed one of my golf clubs and said, follow me. It was a slightly emasculating moment, but of course that was not her intention. The raccoon was gone by the time we got back outside, so she did not have to beat the hell out of it with my 9-iron. But that was Lynn. She was fearless, and always ready to help.

We are having a party to celebrate Lynn at her house on Sunday, July 24th. Please email me for the address if you’d like to attend. You can reach me at ckarbowski <at> (Substitute @ for <at>)  Lynn would not have wanted a big deal to be made of her passing. No funeral, and I think she would cringe at the term, celebration of life. So, a party it is. Lynn loved a lively party, and new how to throw one. She loved her kids. She loved dogs, and she loved videos of funny monkeys. She loved a good book and a great movie. She loved Jeopardy. She loved stylish clothes and a well-decorated room. She loved to laugh, and she loved a warm day, especially one spent near water. She loved good food and good drink, and she loved a good nap. I will miss her every day for the rest of my life. My lovely, little Lynn. My Bean.

5 Responses to “Lynn Rainey”

  • Bunny Anderson says:

    A beautiful summary of a strong and valiant woman and a life well-lived. Lynn will continue to be held in the hearts of many people.

  • Judy Hurt says:

    I miss my little buddy terribly! Lynn and I were co-workers first, then friends, then part of each others families. We had so very many adventures. I have my grands on Fridays and Lynn always participated with a lot of enthusiasm! Aquariums, zoos, science centers, you name it!! Lynn and I attended concerts, play and then dance competitions for the grands etc. One of our specialties was putting together furniture. We were masters at cribs and dressers!!! Let’s not forget refurbishing all the cabinets in Judy’s kitchen and tiling Lynn’s deck!! Lynn was a driving force in putting together both of my daughter’s weddings. Don’t forget and drive over to Kellogg, Idaho hauling a trailer to pick up Aaron’s Jeep. The 3 of us stayed in a hotel which Lynn almost got us thrown out of!!! LOL! Aaron was on his way and we found, in the snow, a Jeep for Mark. We stayed another night and were on our way back home the next, late, afternoon. Lynn drove my huge truck and I drove the new Jeep. Both of us unfamiliar with the vehicles. Wild ride, across the pass, snow, rain, sleet. When we got home we both got out of our vehicles and wanted to throw-up. It was AWFUL. I asked Lynn, “what did you do when the huge rock hit your windshield and broke it?. She said, ” what every driver would do. I ducked and swore”! Let’s not forget our fun trips to San Francisco for the various events!!! Lynn was a strong, loving, independent no nonsense person. She was honest, true and fiercely loyal. I miss her each and every day. Until we meet again my little buddy! Ciao P.S. Oh yes…There was the time we were in my sister’s Smart car… We went for a quick purchase at Rite-Aid. Lynn was INSISTENT that I drive the car through the automatic doors. We would have been able to do it. I was a rule follower, she was a rule breaker. We did not drive into the store.

  • Rose Antonius says:

    I had the pleasure of working with Lynn at RJC. I was the maintenance and supply sergeant and Lynn would occasionally come into my office (usually with Judy by her side) to get supplies or request something. Lynn was spunky, funny and hard working. I enjoyed talking to Lynn very much and only wish I would have gotten to know her better. Rest In Peace Lynn. You will be missed very much by everyone who knew you and loved you.

  • Carol and Cal Karbowski says:

    Lynn was a member of our family. Always pleasant to be around with a personal warmth and sense of humor. She would seek adventure and worry about the consequences later. She was game for anything including water skiing, go-kart racing, traveling cross country in an old RV to NFL stadiums for football games. She had no time for stupid and no hesitation to voice an opinion. We will miss her

  • Calvin Karbowski says:

    Lynn’s and my relationship was unconventional from the start. She was 13 and a half years and five days older than me. And, she asked me out. We were both working at Valley Daily News, or maybe it was the South County Journal by then. She worked in Advertising, and I was a sports writer. The copy machine was right by the sports desk. She would come to make copies, and we would banter. I thought she was a hottie, and hilarious. Kinda bawdy. But it never crossed my mind to ask her out. I knew she could do so much better. But one day she says, would you like to get a beer after work. I told her the truth. I can’t, I have a date tonight. Dear friends who I’d known my entire life knew I was single and had set me up for that very night. I went through the blind date, but my heart wasn’t in it because in my pocket I had Lynn’s number. She’d said, if it doesn’t go well, give me a call. I called her by 9 pm and asked her if it was too late to grab that beer.

    Two months later we were living together in a basement apartment on Tapps Island. I’d lived there for six months already, and the place was a mess. One of my many flaws. I wasn’t good at, or very concerned with keeping a tidy house. I thought of myself as Oscar Madison. The day after Lynn moved in, I came home from work and was astonished. The place was spotless. Everything in its place. And halibut on the grill. So began our 16 years of living together as a couple. I could not believe how happy I was. But, thinking too much can ruin anything. Especially bad thinking.

    My bad thinking started after we’d been together about 12 years. I was in my early 40s, and I began to rue the fact that I had no kids. Lynn by then was in her mid 50s. She’d had and raised two kids. Her first came when she was 18. She had no interest in adopting, and going through all that again. Bottles, the ABCs, Sesame street. Eventually she said, do what you have to do. I will always love you. So we rented out the house we owned in Algona, and we bought this house in kent with the Mother In Law basement. That’s not what you do when you’re done with each other. That’s what you do when you want to say deeply connected.

    I moved into the MIL, Lynn took the main house, and I went on the hunt for the luckiest lady in the world. Met a lady who had a 5-year-old daughter, but wanted at least one, maybe two more kids. But only if she were married. We went to her hometown in the Philippines and got married. Got pregnant soon after. But that pregnancy ended in miscarriage, and my wife decided it was too painful physically and emotionally to try again. Understandable, but we found ourselves married to someone we didn’t really like. A progressive atheist and a conservative Catholic. What could go wrong? I found myself spending more and more time with Lynn. We always got along great. I wanted her to be ok, she wanted the same for me. Whatever the other needed, done.

    I could sense that others thought our situation strange. Maybe they judged us, or at least judged me. I asked her about it once. Do you think people understand what the deal is with us. And she responded, maybe most people don’t. I told her that bothered me, that I wanted to explain to them how we got where we were. And she said, “what difference does it make?” Which is something she said often. And she was right. People will think what they think. Let them.

    Today I have a wonderful relationship with my stepdaughter. So I guess I became a dad after all. And I was with Lynn every day for the last few years of her life. I didn’t deserve her, but then no one did. Lynn was a gift. Her warmth, her charm, her devotion. No one earns that kind of company. If you ask yourself, who really cares about me, I mean really really cares regardless of what I might be able to do for them, clarity follows. I can come up with 3 people, and two of them are my parents. Lynn Espinosa, Lynn Rainey, I love you so much, and I am so thankful for the gift that you were to my life.

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