Lynn Janae Griffith Valian
“The Earth is a little more dull, and Heaven just got brighter.” The world lost a beautiful soul with the passing on May 21, 2022 of Lynn Valian: beloved daughter, sister, auntie, mother, grandmother, cousin, and friend. Lynn Janae Griffith was born on August 23, 1962 in Portland, OR, to Jerry and Ruth Griffith. She enjoyed sports, church, art, and scrapbooking throughout her childhood and teen years. From early on, she always had a bright smile and happy disposition. She was her twin sister Lori’s biggest cheerleader, and this enthusiasm and positivity toward others was a characteristic well-known to everyone in her life from childhood on. She and Lori were the light of their parents’ lives, and each other’s best friends.
After high school, Lynn attended Clackamas Community College, where she participated in dance and drama performances. She married Stefan Valian in 1985, and they adopted their children, Stefanie and Justin, some years later. Stefan’s military career took them all over the country, and to Japan for two years before they returned to the U.S. to live in Oregon. Though their marriage didn’t last, there were many good years and memories.
Though her life was often detoured by health issues, Lynn maintained her positive outlook and enthusiasm for life. She loved to travel, and made many memories with her family and friends with trips to California, Nebraska, Florida, Seattle, Hawaii, England, and France; her big dream in recent years was to travel to Africa.
In 2008 she, Stefanie, and Justin moved to Stillwater, MN to be closer to her sister Lori and Lori’s family. She worked at Walmart there for many years, a job she loved because it gave her the opportunity to help others; of course, she was well known by staff and customers there because of her kindness and willingness to serve.
Lynn loved doting on her nephews and niece, and was famous for her special, super secure method of wrapping presents, which included a giant stuffed-animal tiger for Ruth, a beautiful framed drawing of a train for Jake, and a giant coral ball Christmas ornament for Seth. And of course there was the famous “pink purse” that made the rounds throughout the family, causing much laughter whenever it appeared.
In 2018, Lynn and Lori’s parents moved to Stillwater too, bringing the whole family together again. Lynn was happiest when she was with family, and they made the most of every holiday, birthday, and a lot of other occasions in between. Lynn loved her children deeply, and was overjoyed when her grandson, Silas, was born in 2013. Time with him was one of her greatest joys in these past few years.
Lynn was always ready to help out anyone who needed it. Her generous, kind nature extended not only to family, friends, and strangers, but also to her beloved cats. They were her constant companions throughout life, taking the form of a vast collection of figurines when she could no longer have a real kitty in her apartment.
Lynn is survived by her daughter Stefanie and son Justin; her grandson Silas; parents Jerry and Ruth Griffith; twin sister Lori Olson and brother-in-law Dan Olson; nephews Jake and Seth Olson; niece Ruth Olson; her dear friend Shirley Boden, and numerous other friends back home in Oregon, and at Oak Park Heights, where they will miss her cheery presence at Bingo and other favorite activities.
If you wish to honor Lynn with a memorial, her family invites you to consider making a donation to The Epilepsy Foundation (www.epilepsy.com); Every Cat Health Foundation (everycat.org); or Best Friends Animal Society (bestfriends.org). Or adopt a kitty or two today, and give them a loving home.