Lynn Kubasek, The Mother Of All Volunteers

Lynn Kubasek, The Mother Of All Volunteers

Courtesy of WOWSA, Laguna Beach, California.

When I think of Lynn Kubasek who passed away in January 2019, I think of a woman who cared deeply for all those around her. Those people in her family and in her professional life as well as on all the many numerous Catalina Channel and Santa Barbara crossings where she devoted and donated hundreds – if not thousands – of hours,” recalled Steven Munatones. “Among any crew members, on any escort boat, she was a close friend, help volunteer, and mother to all. Her enthusiasm and passion were so infectious. But her desire to help wasn’t limited to a major channel crossing; her sense of urgency to help extended to anyone, anytime they ventured offshore or were onshore.”

She was always been there for others. Always with a smile, a laugh, a hug and valuable encouragement, she was very frequently offering to mentor, help and observe for channel swimmers and marathon swimmers as well as others who simply want to swim with the Oak Streeters along the Laguna Beach coastline or try to swim a pier-to-pier swim – or something more daunting like the Fear No Pier swim. Just thinking of her makes me smile.”

When Kubasek passed away, so many people shared their fond memories of the 60-year-old from Laguna Beach, California. Carol Schumacher Hayden said, “I miss my Mermaid Sister. We had SUCH fun together. Swim free forever, Sweetie.”

Alberta Thielen said, “A beautiful mermaid has left our world and has left to swim in epic waters. See you one day again, Lynn.”

Molly Nance wrote, “It is heartbreaking to lose such a wonderful member of our open water world. They say that seafoam that washes up on the beach is from mermaids who have passed. I will think of Lynn the next time I see those familiar bubbles.”

The Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association, an organization that she devoted hundreds of hours volunteering for as a member of the board of directors, an observer and escort crew member for numerous swimmers, wrote of their colleague and friend, “We celebrate the life of Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association board member Lynn Kubasek: beloved mother and grandmother, accomplished swimmer, encouraging crew member, diligent observer, water quality advocate, swim camp organizer, Laguna Beach open water swimming leader, emissary of aquatic joy.”

Like one week, I am wolfing down a breakfast burrito after a 3-mile swim, and a few weeks later, my big accomplishment is not barfing up a hard boiled egg. What is going on,” wondered Lynn Kubasek last November in the midst of her fighting pancreatic cancer. “Getting through a day is a challenge right now.”

Scott Zornig, a long-time friend and fellow swimmer of Kubasek in Laguna Beach, said, “On September 29th 2018, Lynn was diagnosed with cancer. Her diagnoses came less than 3 weeks after she swam 45.9 km in the 20 Bridges Manhattan Swim in 8 hours 22 minutes and one week after completing a 74.7 km Catalina Island circumnavigation relay in 31 hours 53 minutes together with Gary Workman, Forrest Nelson, Tom Hecker, Kris Berglund, and Sabrina Young with ATI Team 1

Lynn was a fighter who is faced her illness with the same vigor and intensity she used in completing her marathon swims.

Zornig summed up everyone’s opinion who had the good fortunate to meet Kubasek, “Lynn was a kind, wonderful person with an infectious smile. She was ALWAYS the first to help others during their time of need.”

Cherié Edborg wrote, “Since I met Lynn, she inspired me and made me smile.”

Kubasek was nominated for the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year. Her nomination was as follows, “There is not a day that goes by without her cheering on or offering to swim with others. Her swimming friends come from all over the world. When not in the water, Lynn Kubasek is creating YouTube clips and online supporting swimmers day in and day out.

She willingly and happily jumps on escort boats, prepares drinks, and offers to observe or crew on a moment’s notice or months in advance. Ocean water is seemingly in her blood; she wears lanolin as often than make-up; and marine life are her cherished friends. Always willing to help out, she has a permanent smile on her face in and out of the water. For her deep love of the ocean, for her profound sense of appreciation of the sport, for her overwhelming and all-encompassing sense of voluntarism, Lynn Kubasek is a worthy nominee for the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.”

Kubasek was also known to warn others of urban runoff and has made many dozens of YouTube videos from the channel swims which she participated as a support member or observer:

A brief synopsis of Kubasek’s open water swimming career is posted here.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Maya Angelou once wrote, “Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.” Kubasek was a woman of courage, kindness, truth, mercy, generosity, honesty – and so much more.

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