Lillian Henderson Draughon, of Atlanta, Georgia, passed away early Thursday morning. After a diagnosis of and subsequent 6 year deterioration from Primary Progressive Aphasia, she is finally at rest.
“Lyn” to friends, she has always been “Pi” to her husband Clyde and later known by the same name by her ten grandchildren. Born Lillian Florence Henderson on October 28, 1939 in Mobile, Alabama, she was the only child of Andrew Damrell Henderson and Helen Denniston Henderson until the age of 16 when her brother, Drew, was born. While her father served as a surgeon in the South Pacific during World War II, Lyn and her mother lived in Mobile at their antebellum family home, Oakleigh, which is now on the historic register and a museum open to the public. The family later moved to the Spring Hill area of Mobile. Lyn and Clyde were sweethearts at Murphy High School and later married in their home church, Montgomery Street Presbyterian, on July 1, 1960. Proud of her upbringing but never pretentious, Lyn shared her southern heritage with Leigh, Laura, and Karen, her three daughters. She was a loving mother, always generous and fair.
A graduate of Randolph Macon Woman’s College with a Masters in Education from Georgia State University, Lyn enjoyed a career in teaching for over thirty years. Through her husband’s banking career moves with Trust Company bank, she taught at Berry College, Augusta Preparatory School, and Pace Academy where she served as Head of the Foreign Language Department. After her retirement in the 1990’s, Lyn continued to enjoy working with young people as a volunteer for Agape of Atlanta. This and other enriching small group activities were the foundation of her lifelong membership in the Presbyterian church and faithful servant of Christ.
Lyn was a life-long learner. Fluent in Spanish and French, she studied the rudiments of many languages as she and Clyde traveled abroad. Their bookshelves were filled with travel books and magazines as well as photo albums which spoke of their many trips together – in total 87 countries. Many of these countries were visited several times, including the Rocky Mountains of Canada to which they returned 13 times. In fact, the two of them loved nothing more than planning a trip; they earmarked magazine articles, talked with friends, and pored over maps as they set their itinerary. Lyn’s yellow highlighter carefully marked the route on maps that later made it into photo albums which retold the tale of their adventures together. Whether cruising the fjords of Scandinavia, trekking through India, or hiking in the Basque region, they always had the right gear for the trip: retractable walking sticks, travel sized painting kits, every size and shape of suitcase and backpack, boots for hiking, and dinner jackets for a favorite restaurant. Lyn not only packed the bags, but often made the reservations when a foreign language was required: German for Switzerland, French for the Dordogne, Italian for Venice, and so on.
Another shared love of Lyn and Clyde’s was the lake house they owned at Lake Burton for thirty years. While they spent many quiet weekends reading, kayaking, swimming, and walking the beautiful trails in the Georgia mountains, Lyn and Clyde also enjoyed hosting friends and family. As her daughters’ families grew, Lyn designed two different additions to the house which allowed for all 18 Draughons to sleep under the same roof during summer holidays. When the grandchildren were young, there were two different dinner times and menus, much of which was coordinated by Lyn. Posted on the board in the kitchen was the weekly menu, all planned by her, which the grandchildren loved to read. She knew how to feed a crowd and what the grandchildren liked. A favorite recipe they counted on was ‘Pi’s spaghetti’!
Lyn had many passions: reading, swimming, hiking, art and working in the garden to name a few. She made many life-long friends through participation in exercise classes at Cherokee Town Club and Canterbury Court, book clubs, church circle groups and art classes taken at Chastain Art Center. She was always looking for a new experience to learn and grow.
Capable, intelligent, and pragmatic are words an old friend uses to describe her friend of fifty years. Her daughters would add, loving, thoughtful and generous. Lyn never forgot a birthday, not those of her nieces and nephews in Colorado, nor those of her mother’s caregivers whom she managed for more than ten years, and certainly none of her sons-in-law nor grandchildren. She sewed prom dresses for her daughters when the budget was tight, orchestrated three beautiful Atlanta weddings, learned to matte and frame paintings in order to support her husband’s hobby of watercolor painting, wrote lovely letters, and as an avid reader, always had a novel by her bedside. Lyn was an excellent cook and gracious hostess, teaching her children and grandchildren the value of a well-cooked meal shared among friends and family.
Her family wishes to thank the very special group of caregivers who served not only Lyn, but her husband and daughters, in these last years of declining health. Their unfailing devotion and genuine love sustained Lyn in every way, most especially in spirit, as they always treated her with dignity.
Lyn is survived by her husband of 58 years, Clyde Osborne Draughon Jr, and their three daughters, Leigh Walsh (Tim) of Atlanta, Georgia, Karen Waddill (Danny) of Newport News, Virginia, and Laura Kirby (Lem) of Asheville, North Carolina, and her ten grandchildren, James, Jack & Megan Walsh; Wilson, Lillian, Evan & Henry Waddill, and Paul, Mark & Wallace Kirby. Lyn is also survived by her brother Drew Henderson of Boulder, Colorado.
A service will be held at Trinity Presbyterian Church (Dobbs Chapel) on Friday, February 8th, at 2pm, with reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in her memory to Agape Atlanta or Trinity Presbyterian Church.
My sympathies to the fsmily. I loved her and enjoyed working with her at Pace.
To the Draughon family and friends please accept my deepest condolences for the loss of your loved one Lillian. In Jehovah God’s Psalms 83:18 word the Bible is a wonderful promise for the loved ones we have lost in death to be fulfilled very soon by his son Jesus Christ a resurrection back to life Acts 24:15; John 5:28, 29, right here on a brand new Paradise Earth no more sickness pain or death Life Without End Revelation 21:1-5 jw.org.
What a great life and family. She will be missed. John and Marilyn Arant
So sorry for your loss Leigh, I loved running into your mom at Cherokee. She was a great lady!
A truly lovely Southern Lady. Will be missed by all.
I’m so sorry .. my heart just dropped when I saw your FB post … I so loved seeing your mom at Cherokee when I lived in Atl ..She was a dear and such a sweet smile on her face always
Love to all your family .BY