On May, 23 2020, Verne “Larry” Lynn, age 89, of Pittsboro, North Carolina passed away peacefully at Galloway Ridge following a lengthy illness associated with Parkinson’s disease.
Larry was born September 5, 1930 in Laurelhurst, Washington. Larry had a zest for adventure, an astute mind, sharp wit and strong desire for constant learning. Larry received a B.S. degree in Physics from Tufts University in 1951. He honorably served in the U.S. Navy between 1951 to 1953.
After completing his active duty commitment with the Navy, Larry spent the next 26 years (from 1953-1979) as a member of the MIT staff at Lincoln Laboratory, Bedford Massachusetts, including seven years as the Associate Head of their Surveillance and Control Division. In 1979 Larry was appointed Director of Defensive Systems, in the Director Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E) Office. In this position Larry was responsible for the planning and oversight of innovative technology thrusts relating to ballistic missile defense, space defense, strategic warning and defensive systems and strategic aircraft survivability initiatives. After four years in this role, Larry was selected as the Deputy Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). This leadership position provided Larry with the opportunity to manage a diverse portfolio of leading edge technologies of extreme interest and value to our military services. Larry also assumed responsibilities for oversight of DARPA's $2B annual budget for innovative research and demonstration of various significantly mature technologies as prototypes. In 1985, Larry co-founded the Atlantic Aerospace Electronics Corporation and remained the Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer until 1993. In July of 1993, Larry was appointed to the position of Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Advanced Technology by Secretary of Defense, Les Aspin. Larry's many executive responsibilities included oversight of OSD's Advanced Development Portfolio, Ballistic Missile Defense Initiatives, Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrations (ACTDs) and the Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office (DARO). In July of 1995, Larry was appointed DARPA Director by President Bill Clinton. For over 60 years DARPA has successfully developed and transitioned emerging and breakthrough technologies for national security purposes. In addition, many of DARPA's fundamental advances have also benefited greater society such as GPS, the Internet, Robotics, etc... After an extremely successful government career, Larry continued to support the US Defense Department as a special independent consultant. During this period, Larry also served as an international advisor to the Defense, Science and Technology Agency of Singapore. Larry played a key role in the fielding of key technologies that have proven vital during our enduring conflict against extremists.
In addition to the many roles he held during his long and distinguished career, Larry authored more than 40 technical publications in the field of radar, tactical and strategic surveillance systems and weapon systems. Additionally, he was a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the Threat Reduction Advisory Council, the Defense Science Board, the Army Science Board and was a Fellow of the IEEE. In 2013, Larry was a recipient of the Eugene Fubini Award from the Defense Science Board.
Larry is survived by his beloved wife of 32 years, Shirley (Pieczynski) Lynn, his son Stuart Lynn (Aimee Weeks), his daughter Dr. Allison Lynn, stepsons Tom Shaw (Melissa), and Greg Shaw (Susan) and seven grandchildren; Dr. Jake Shaw, Brandon Shaw, Katie Shaw, Jenny Shaw, Matthew Shaw, Keegan Weekslynn and Tariel Weekslynn. He was preceded in death by his parents Eldin and Irma (Tuell) Lynn.
Larry and his wife Shirley shared a common interest in exciting technologies, travel and outdoor activities which took them to some of the most beautiful destinations on all seven continents. Additionally, it gave him great joy to pass on his love of nature and travel to his children and grandchildren through the many trips they took together.
In summary, the family would like to express their heartfelt appreciation to all of Larry’s friends who have sent words of love, encouragement and support. Those that know Larry best knew he was a humble man who wanted no fuss or fanfare to be made after his passing. Larry sincerely hoped that he would be remembered for his work, his friends and his perpetual joy of having a loving wife and warm home. Larry loved to travel and discover new places, ideas and fun things to do. Larry certainly enjoyed a productive and rewarding career. Larry was always thankful for the opportunities to see so much of life, from so many exciting places and experience true generational and lasting friendships. We should all be so blessed at the end of our own lives to be able to express similar sentiments.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials may be made to: The Parkinson’s Foundation.
To plant a tree in memory of "Larry" Verne Lauristan Lynn, please visit our tribute store.