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Loved ones remember Lynnie Loucks’ laugh

Talking with friends and family everyone had the same thing to say, Lynnie Loucks went through life with one goal, making everyone's day better.

Woman standing
Lynnie Ann Loucks
Contributed / Loucks' family
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BRAINERD — Goofy, full of color, she had a laugh as memorable as it was contagious.

That’s how family members remember Lynnie Loucks — a wife, mother and best friend who was infectious with life. Loucks, 43, was murdered April 28 at a residence north of Brainerd.

“Not only did I get a mom, because she was only five years older than me, I also got a best friend,” said Trisha Szczodroski, Lynnie’s stepdaughter. “Somebody who taught me what it was to be a woman, how to do makeup and how to care about dressing up. She loved to dress up.”

Lynnie Loucks went through life with one goal — making everyone's day better, her family said.

“I just remember the very first time I met her,” said Dennis Loucks, Lynnie’s husband. “It was right after her mother had passed and … the thing I remember distinctly was, there's something different about this girl.”

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Married in 1997, Dennis Loucks said from the moment they met he knew she was a unique person with a joy and vibrancy about her that just isn’t seen in a lot of people nowadays.

The couple owned and operated L.A. Portrait Studio in Willmar for seven years and in the Brainerd lakes area for three more before Lynnie went back to school for cosmetology.

“In the photography studio I loved, absolutely loved, working with her,” Dennis Loucks said. “That was probably the best time of our marriage when we got to be together and work together all the time. And she did very well with that, (she) just got burnt out on the computer.”

One thing stood out to Dennis Loucks — Lynnie’s generous spirit and how she didn't think twice about things. He recalled she was not shy about letting people know if they were a lousy tipper.

“You better tip and tip good,” Dennis Loucks said. “She always cared about people and wanted to put a smile on somebody's face. That's who she was.”

And she could do just that in about 15 minutes, or the time it would take to get your hair cut, Szczodroski said. So many people would go back to see her to get their hair cut because of who she was. Her family would often bring up the suggestion to Lynnie she should start her own business.

But leaving her coworkers and the place where she was able to meet new people was out of the question, Szczodroski said.

Meeting Lynnie almost seven years ago while getting her hair cut, Rachel Cain said they became friends over the last couple of years and started going on “mom dates” as her kids got older.

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“Last October, she called out of the blue (and asked), “Do you want to go on a mom trip,” Cain said. “I'm like, absolutely. So we spent a week in Florida in November, just to get away.”

They had no plans, Cain said, they just wanted to see the ocean and go swimming. But coffee was never too far away as “we had to stop for coffee — always.”

Dennis Loucks had children from a previous marriage, but Lynnie was “Grandma Lynnie” in the grandkids’ eyes.

Cain said Lynnie always loved kids. No matter whose kids they were, she was there to make their day better.

“When I was 17 and I moved out because I thought I knew better, she would come to meet me and bring me money and just make sure I was OK and say, ‘Don't tell your dad,’ ” Szczodroski said. “You know, he wouldn't have even cared but it was just her thing. She always wanted to make sure that I was taken care of.”

Szczodroski said she could remember many instances where she, as a new mom, would be exhausted and Lynnie would come over to the house and get all the kids playing a game or working on a puzzle because, “Lynnie always had something fun to do with the kids.”

“She was always so active with the kids, whether it was my kids or her kids.” Szczodroski said. “She taught me so much about being a mom.”

Lynnie came into their lives when Szczodroski was in the sixth grade. It was just her and her dad, barely making it from day to day, Szczodroski said, but when Lynnie arrived, she “rescued my heart, more than she’ll ever know.”

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“I can still sit here today and just think of her and the first thing you do is hear her laugh, a laugh so infectious that could and did, light up a whole room,” Szczodroski said.

Szczodroski recalled a time when Lynnie was pregnant with her oldest child, Zoe.

“I remember her just dancing and cleaning and just being goofy. Here she is fully pregnant, she's got Elvis playing and she's grabbed a popsicle out of the freezer, and she starts singing into it like it's a microphone,” Szczodroski said. “She's just dancing and laughing and giggling and singing at the same time … and like four hours later going into labor, having her baby.“

Lynnie had four children, and Dennis Loucks said she pretty much laughed her babies right out of her. But that was always her, always who she was, he said. Her demeanor was just laughing and spreading joy.

Dennis Loucks said they never talked about getting divorced after separating and planned to remain friends for the rest of their lives.

Preparing for Lynnie’s funeral, Dennis Loucks went through years of memories together as a family.

“It was both — it was bittersweet and just hard, but it's her joy that I will remember and carry with me,” Dennis Loucks said.

A memorial service for Lynnie Loucks is Saturday, May 14, at Heritage Church in Baxter. There will be a visitation for friends and family 1-4 p.m., with the service beginning at 4 p.m.. Arrangements are with Brenny Family Funeral Chapel in Baxter.

Lynnie Ann Loucks’ obituary may be found at https://bit.ly/3NawTpN .

The family set up a website, at www.lynnieslegacy.life/ to honor Lynnie and create a place where people can share their stories of Lynnie.

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At the request of council member John Ward in April, time was set aside Tuesday, May 17, to discuss the special event ordinance.

TIM SPEIER, staff writer, can be reached on Twitter @timmy2thyme , call 218-855-5859 or email tim.speier@brainerddispatch.com .

Tim Speier joined the Brainerd Dispatch in October 2020, covering Public Safety and the Baxter City Council.
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