Anne Lynn Van Buren
Anne Lynn Van Buren
  • March 26, 1947 - June 28, 2017
  • Hendersonville, North Carolina

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Anne Lynn Van Buren passed away peacefully on June 28, 2017 at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, GA. Born on March 26, 1947 to parents Martin Leroy Van Buren and Virginia Wynne Van Buren Jones Hall, in Atlanta, GA, she went by Lynn and spent her life bucking convention and helping others. Lynn's childhood was spent in Southwest Atlanta on Beatty Avenue near Perkerson Park where she loved to play in the creek and build things. She was tenacious, outspoken, beautiful, prone to wondering off if she thought best, and, above all, hard working. She loved to read. During the hot Georgia summers as a child, she would sleep during the day so she could stay up all night while it was cool and read until she couldn't stay awake any longer. And she was always on the hunt for a good part-time job. She served on Rich's Teen Board and even worked as the Lenox Square Easter Bunny and Santa's Elf. After graduating from Sylvan High School, she worked full time to put herself through college. While completing her undergraduate degree at Georgia State University, she developed a deep love and appreciation for the beautiful neighborhoods of in town Atlanta. This led her to spend much of the next two decades rehabilitating old homes that had fallen into disrepair. Working at Southern Bell during the day, Lynn spent nearly every penny and every spare minute working on her homes in and around the Inman Park neighborhood. Lynn married in 1980 and had one child, Andrew Van Buren Aydin. Following a painful divorce, Lynn quit her job to give all of her time and energy to raising her only child. She scrimped and saved and muscled her way through the many challenges of raising a child as a single mother in Atlanta, building a home full of warmth and laughter. During summers, she took him on road trips that lasted for weeks touring national parks, historic sites, museums, and gardens. She shared her love of reading, keeping a perpetual stack of library books by her bed for Andrew to choose from. And she always encouraged her son to follow his passions. One of Lynn's great passions was gardening. She loved to help things grow. Nearly every weekend she would gather her son and their tools and set about cutting, digging, mulching, planting, and growing. Her Brookhaven garden became her sanctuary and she could often be found in her front yard, freshly pulled weeds or fresh cut flowers in hand, talking to a neighbor on a walk or a friend who spotted her while driving through the neighborhood. When it became necessary for Lynn to return to work, she took a job at the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. After the Games were over, Lynn decided to teach preschool at St. James Methodist Church in Brookhaven. She loved teaching the children and found great joy in taking care of her "babies". As her son entered high school, she again decided to follow her passion and enroll in the Georgia Master Gardener program. Her service project involved beautification of the Sandy Springs Public library-a favorite place of Lynn's. When it came time for her to choose her service project, she wanted to give back to the library that she loved so much. After completing the Master Gardener program, Lynn continued her studies in Plant Sciences, earning a degree in Horticulture at Gwinnett Technical College. With her son off at college, her passion for the soil led her to leave Atlanta and build Fernbrook Farm, a 20-acre family farm near Hendersonville, NC where she spent the rest of her life. In 2016, when her son accepted the National Book Award, he dedicated the honor to Lynn, saying from the podium, "Mama, we made it". A celebration of life will take place at St. James United Methodist Church 4400 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd, Atlanta, GA, 30342 on August 26, 2017 at 1pm. A reception will follow the service.