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Sikeston civic leader, Lynn Dempster, dies

Friday, April 11, 2003

SIKESTON - Ethelyn "Lynn" Matthews Dempster, 76, died April 11, 2003, at Missouri Delta Medical Center.

Born Aug. 10, 1926, in Clarksville, Ark., in Johnson County, she was the eldest daughter of the late Herbert Spencer and Flora Ann Lee Matthews Sr.

In May 1979, she married Robert A. Dempster who preceded her in death on March 23, 1995.

A retired Sikeston businesswoman, Mrs. Dempster was appointed to a six-year term on the Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents in March 1991. She was a legal secretary and office manager for the law firm of Dempster, Barkett and McClellan in Sikeston. Active in numerous civic and professional organizations, she served as a member of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation Board of Directors, for which she also served as an emeritus member. Mrs. Dempster was chairperson of the Leadership Gifts Committee for the SEMO Foundation's Vision of Excellence Campaign and was also a member of the President's Council of the Foundation.

She and her husband, who was a prominent Sikeston attorney, were active in the life of Southeast Missouri State University for many years. They made donations to the University in 1982 for the renovation of the original Robert A. Dempster Hall of Business; to the university's nursing program in 1988 for the construction of the Lynn Dempster Auditorium; and in 1990 for the construction of the new Robert A. Dempster Hall. Mrs. Dempster also maintained several scholarships at the University for students with financial difficulties.

Mrs. Dempster also served as president of the Missouri Delta Medical Center Foundation in Sikeston and as secretary of the Senior Citizens Bootheel Services Inc. A member of the Scott County American Cancer Society, she was also a member of the First United Methodist Church Administrative Board, Menninger's President Club and the Sikeston Little Theatre.

She and her husband also furnished the lobby and family room of the Wendell Apartments prior to the opening of the complex and were among the original founders of the YMCA in Sikeston.

She is survived by three daughters, Pamela Ann Waltrip of Sikeston, Paulette Mouchett of Jackson, Miss., and Vicki Lynn Burke of Eureka; three sisters, Alice Gardner, Jewell "Jo" Sikes and Juanita Edwards of Sikeston; two granddaughters, Kimberly Dawn Waltrip of Nashville, Tenn., and Sarah Kathleen Burke of Eureka; and three grandsons, Zane Mouchett of Jackson, Miss., Aaron Waltrip of Columbia and Sean Burke of St. Louis.

Also preceding her in death were two brothers, James H. Matthews and H. Spencer Matthews Jr.

Visitation is from 1 p.m. Sunday until service time at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church.

Ponder Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


Memorial contributions may be sent to:

Southeast Missouri State University Nursing Program One University Plaza MS 7300 Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

Paid obituary