Lynn Marion Bretz, former director of University Communications at the University of Kansas, died at her home after a long battle with cancer on Sunday, May 27, 2012. She was preceded in death by her loving partner of 30 years Janet Hamburg, her mother Marion, and her father Marshall. She is survived by her sister Anne Bretz-Aronoff and husband Richard, New York City and Kerhonkson, N.Y.; brother Bob Bretz and wife Jackie, Bowling Green, KY.; brother Lewis Bretz and wife Pam, Tasmania, Australia; eight nieces and nephews; and a multitude of friends.
Lynn was born December 18, 1949, in Ruston, LA. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English in 1971 from KU and did graduate work in journalism at KU. She also received a master’s degree in English from the University of Denver. She had essays published in two books, “Landscapes in Kansas: Paintings by Robert Sudlow” and “Through the Looking Glass: Elizabeth ‘Grandma’ Layton,” and wrote articles for Ms Magazine, Kansas Alumni Magazine and the Kansas City Star Magazine. Before joining the staff at KU, Lynn worked for Commodity News Services, a division of Knight Ridder, in Leawood, KS. and for the Lawrence Journal-World. She began at KU as a writer and editor for University Relations, where she progressed to become director in 2002, having served as interim director for three years. Lynn was named Director of University Communications for KU in 2006, a position she held until 2011.
Lynn was an avid advocate for KU, working tirelessly behind the scenes. She also found time to mentor students interested in journalism, serving as media advisor to many groups. In 2011 Lynn was inducted into the KU Women’s Hall of Fame. She was a loyal patron of the performing arts and was herself an accomplished musician. She studied piano and violin for many years and in her early years in Lawrence was a member of a local bluegrass band. Growing up in Louisiana, Lynn was an accomplished golfer and in Lawrence spent many summers playing softball. She loved movies, books, traveling, and was an ardent fan of KU basketball.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the KU Endowment Association in support of the Janet Hamburg Visiting Artist Series. Those may be sent in care of the Warren-Mcelwain Mortuary in Lawrence.
A memorial celebration of Lynn’s life will be at 11:00 a.m. Friday, June 1, 2012 at Plymouth Congregational Church in Lawrence, KS. Rev. Dr. Peter Luckey will be the officiant. Private inurnment will be held at Pioneer Cemetery.