Lynn Curtis Hanks departed this life on March 5, 2024 at age 85 after many years of illness. He spent his final days in peace, surrounded by family.

Lynn was born the youngest of four children on Jan. 24, 1939 to Theodore and Vida Hanks in Blackfoot, ID. Lynn loved sports and lettered in basketball, football, and track in high school. He was fascinated by aviation from a young age and joined the Civil Air Patrol at age 15 and remained in it until college. This culminated with a 30 day trip to Cuba the summer after he graduated from High School in 1957 to participate in the International Cadet Exchange Program.

After high school, he attended Idaho State University in Pocatello for a year before transferring to Utah State University in Logan for one quarter. He was called to be a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Central States Mission, where he served from 1959 to 1961. Following his missionary service, he returned to Utah State for the spring quarter.

Lynn joined the Army in August, 1961 with hopes of becoming a pilot. However, he was disqualified due to a mild form of color blindness and instead joined as an aircraft mechanic. During his years in the Army, he was deployed to Vietnam for one year where he served as a crew chief on a DHC-3 “Otter” transport/cargo plane. While in the Army, Lynn continued his education via correspondence courses. He received his honorable discharge from active duty in 1964 and was in the Army Reserves until 1967. He would later join the Air National Guard where he worked as an airplane mechanic from 1974-1980.

After leaving the Army in 1964, Lynn returned to Utah State University, where he continued studying Aeronautical Technology. Lynn was a member of the Delta Phi Kappa fraternity and served as president of his chapter for his last year at USU.

During his school years, Lynn worked all kinds of summer jobs. He maintained trails for the Forest Service and worked as a ramp lineman, a construction laborer, a furniture deliveryman, a farm laborer, a construction supply deliveryman, and a flagman for an aerial application spray crew.

In 1966, he reconnected with a former acquaintance, Darla Fae Larsen and they were married in June of that year. Lynn quit college to enroll in flight school where he earned his FAA Commercial license. The couple moved to to Los Angeles, California where Lynn could pursue his career in aviation. He secured a maintenance planning job with Western Airlines, with the goal of becoming a commercial airline pilot, but this proved impossible due to the competition coming from all the experienced military pilots coming home from Vietnam.

Finally, Lynn found work as a pilot flying survey planes for a mining company in Utah and the couple moved to North Salt Lake, Utah in 1968. They had their first son, Mark, in 1969. In the spring of 1970, while Darla was pregnant with their second child, Lynn lost his job. By late October, he had started a new job which required him to travel extensively right from the start. As a result, he was out of the state when their second son, Brian, was born three weeks after starting. Lynn agreed to be assigned to an extended project in Algeria and, around Christmas time, he was told to go home and prepare. The family would need to sell the house and cars and make all the other arrangements to live overseas for 18 months with a newborn baby and a toddler. By March of 1971, Lynn was working in Algeria. Darla made it to Madrid, Spain in June, where Lynn met her and helped get the family settled in an apartment.

Over the next 13 months, Lynn spent long stretches working in Algeria with occasional weeks of leave where he could visit the family. During one of these leave periods, they took the opportunity to travel around several countries in Europe with Darla’s parents. At the end of the project, the family was able to travel in Europe for about a month on their way back to the states.

After arriving home in November, 1972 they bought a home in Provo and Lynn went into business with an old friend. While living in Provo, David and Benjamin were born in 1974 and 1975. They bought a house in Murray in 1976, where their final child, Scott, was born in 1977. Between 1973 and 1983, Lynn held various jobs, mostly related to aircraft maintenance or flying.

In 1983, shortly after take-off, the small airplane Lynn was piloting suffered an engine malfunction, causing it to lose all power. The plane was over a populated area but Lynn managed to land the plane in an undeveloped field. Unfortunately, he was unable to miss a large embankment in the field which acted as a ramp, causing the plane to launch back into the air and then crash down. Lynn sustained serious injuries to both legs and one arm but miraculously survived the crash. He endured many difficult months in the hospital and recovery centers. This period of surgeries and recovery lasted into early 1985. To enable him to walk again, the doctors had to fuse his ankles. This severely limited his mobility for the rest of his life and effectively ended his career as a pilot as he was no longer able to work the foot controls. In 1985, Lynn decided to go back to school and graduated with his Associate’s of Applied Science in late 1986 from Utah Technical College.

In 1987, Lynn found work with the US Postal Service where he worked until he retired in 2004.

In 1989, Lynn and Darla divorced and Lynn moved to an apartment in Salt Lake City. Even after the divorce, he took his role as a provider for his family very seriously, and worked hard to make sure his children were provided for. Lynn worked a second job for several years and, even after going back to one job, he frequently worked overtime. His determination to help and support his children and grandchildren lasted to the end of his life.

Starting in 1986, Lynn began volunteering at the Utah Penitentiary where he worked with inmates who were learning to do family history work. He developed a deep sense of compassion for the inmates and made several life-long friends during his many years volunteering there.

Lynn enjoyed traveling and his aviation jobs took him all over the world. Even after his career change, he took many trips including a tour of South America when he picked up Mark from his LDS mission in Chile and a trip to Egypt and the holy land in the 1990s.

Lynn loved Mustangs (both the classic Ford muscle car and the WWII fighter aircraft). At one point, he owned a ‘67 Mustang and a fixer-upper ‘65, which he dreamed of restoring some day.

After retiring in 2004, Lynn spent a lot of time with friends and family. He continued volunteering at the prison for many years after he retired. He loved family history work and spent countless hours doing research for his own ancestors or helping other people with their research as a family history service missionary or volunteer. Lynn loved his family and could often be found babysitting and playing with his grandchildren in the years before his health declined.

Lynn was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints all his life and held many callings throughout his life.

Lynn was preceded in death by his sister Maurine, his brother Doyle, and his son Brian. He is survived by his sister Vida Weatherston, and by his children, Mark and his wife Heidi, David and his wife Billie Jean, Ben and his wife Traci, Scott and his wife Emily, and his 18 grandchildren. He was an affable, service-oriented person with a good sense of humor and a strong moral compass. He had a positive impact on many lives and will be greatly missed.

Life Story Info

Author

Ben Hanks

Post Date

Mar 08, 2024

Contribute

Personal Info

Born

Blackfoot, Idaho, United States

Died

Spring City, Utah, United States

Age

85

Gender

Male

Religion and Beliefs

Latter-day Saint

Veteran

  • Vietnam War
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Guestbook

I loved reading about Lynn's life!! I lived next door to the wonderful Hanks family (1974-1990ish) and was good friends with Ben. Each of my siblings was friends with a child from this special family. I spent a great deal of my childhood in their home and interacting with all. However, from a child's perspective I didn't know all the details of Lynn's life so it is a real priveldge to read this life story.

I remember some of the Spanish home decor that Darla had bought in Madrid. I later served my LDS mission in Madrid Spain.

I also recall the horrific plan accident. The neighborhood was so relieved that Lynn had survived that plane crash.

I am deeply impressed with Lynn's dedication to his children and family. It is obvious that he loved them all very much. How wonderful that he was able to work hard as evidence of that deep devotion.

I send my deepest condolences to all the Hanks family and wish them my very best. How grateful I am that our associations are not for this earth-life only. I look forward to seeing both Lynn, Darla, and Brian again someday. This family has my whole heart!

Alisa Woodford Sly , Farmington , UT, US Mar 09, 2024

I loved reading about Lynn's life!! I lived next door to the wonderful Hanks family (1974-1990ish) and was good friends with Ben. Each of my siblings was friends with a child from this special family. I spent a great deal of my childhood in their home and interacting with all. However, from a child's perspective I didn't know all the details of Lynn's life so it is a real priveldge to read this life story.

I remember some of the Spanish home decor that Darla had bought in Madrid. I later served my LDS mission in Madrid Spain.

I also recall the horrific plan accident. The neighborhood was so relieved that Lynn had survived that plane crash.

I am deeply impressed with Lynn's dedication to his children and family. It is obvious that he loved them all very much. How wonderful that he was able to work hard as evidence of that deep devotion.

I send my deepest condolences to all the Hanks family and wish them my very best. How grateful I am that our associations are not for this earth-life only. I look forward to seeing both Lynn, Darla, and Brian again someday. This family has my whole heart!

Alisa Woodford Sly , Farmington , UT, US Mar 09, 2024

I loved reading about Lynn's life!! I lived next door to the wonderful Hanks family (1974-1990ish) and was good friends with Ben. Each of my siblings was friends with a child from this special family. I spent a great deal of my childhood in their home and interacting with all. However, from a child's perspective I didn't know all the details of Lynn's life so it is a real priveldge to read this life story.

I remember some of the Spanish home decor that Darla had bought in Madrid. I later served my LDS mission in Madrid Spain.

I also recall the horrific plan accident. The neighborhood was so relieved that Lynn had survived that plane crash.

I am deeply impressed with Lynn's dedication to his children and family. It is obvious that he loved them all very much. How wonderful that he was able to work hard as evidence of that deep devotion.

I send my deepest condolences to all the Hanks family and wish them my very best. How grateful I am that our associations are not for this earth-life only. I look forward to seeing both Lynn, Darla, and Brian again someday. This family has my whole heart!

Alisa Woodford Sly , Farmington , UT, US Mar 09, 2024

I knew Lynn very well when we were both at USU and members of Delta Phi Kappa. He was extraordinarily kind to everyone, and I counted myself fortunate to be his friend.

David and Kathy Coppin , Logan, UT, US Mar 09, 2024

I knew Lynn very well when we were both at USU and members of Delta Phi Kappa. He was extraordinarily kind to everyone, and I counted myself fortunate to be his friend.

David and Kathy Coppin , Logan, UT, US Mar 09, 2024

Uncle Lynn gave a tool set for Christmas. It was just what i needed. I opened it, took out the saw and went to work on a leg on the table. Mom was not happy with or Uncle Lynn.

Kerry Hanks Walters , Las Vegas, NV, US Mar 08, 2024

Uncle Lynn gave a tool set for Christmas. It was just what i needed. I opened it, took out the saw and went to work on a leg on the table. Mom was not happy with or Uncle Lynn.

Kerry Hanks Walters , Las Vegas, NV, US Mar 08, 2024

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