Shirley S. Lynne, 83, a Democratic precinct chairman for 40 years and a Wheaton community activist, died Oct. 17 of aortic insufficiency at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring.
Mrs. Lynne served on the Montgomery County Board of Appeals for seven years and its Property Tax Assessment Appeals Board for nine years. She was a citizen member of the Maryland Health Claims Arbitration Board for five years.
As president of the Wheaton Forest Civic Association since 1970, she was deeply involved in response to the opening of the Wheaton Metro station 15 years ago, pushing for the bus terminal to be on Veirs Mill Road, away from her neighborhood, and for the construction of a wooded berm between her neighborhood and the Metro station.
One of her last campaigns this year involved the Wheaton Metro station; she fought for better access for people with disabilities to elevators, parking and taxi stands during construction at the station.
"She cared," said her daughter, Diane Lynne. "She wanted to make the community a better place. I think she was distressed that so many people were discouraged, thinking their input would not matter, and she thought one person could make a difference."
Mrs. Lynne also was a founding member the Montgomery County Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and she chaired Montgomery's Mental Health Advisory Committee. She also served on the 4th District Police Advisory Committee in Wheaton.
Mrs. Lynne was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and graduated from City College of New York. She moved to Washington and worked at the General Accounting Office. In 1946, she joined the Central Intelligence Agency and spent the next eight years analyzing State Department intelligence reports for the CIA library. While working there, she earned a master's degree in library science at Catholic University in 1949.
She married and moved to Wheaton in 1958 and began volunteering at her synagogue, which is now Congregation Har Tzeon-Agudath Achim of Silver Spring.
She served two terms on the Wheaton Redevelopment Steering Committee. She was a steering committee member of the Wheaton Citizens Coalition and was on the Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee for the past five years.
Mrs. Lynne was named Citizen of the Year in 1993 by the Mid-County Citizens Advisory Board, and in 1986 she received the Charles W. Gilchrist Volunteer Award from Montgomery County. She received an award, four times, from the "Keep Montgomery County Beautiful" campaign for her work on plantings and maintenance of a community sign.
At 4 feet 11 inches, she often was the shortest person in hearing rooms but never was short of energy, her daughter said. She enjoyed taking sculpture classes and working on art.
She swam, did aerobics and yoga and played bridge. She also traveled around the world with her daughter and recently danced through the night at a harvest festival in Napa Valley, Calif.
Her husband of 48 years, Robert Lynne, died in 2000. A son, Stephen Lynne, died in 1986.
Survivors include her daughter, of Silver Spring.