Lynda Van Scoyoc -- 1930-2020
-- Women’s rights activist and LWVOC leader
Lynda Van Scoyoc, the 1999-2000 president of the League of Women Voters of Orange County, Florida, and a noted women’s rights leader, died May 6 in Orlando after a long illness.
Her family urges that, “as a tribute to Lynda, please exercise your privilege to VOTE!”
Lynda was a local and national women’s rights leader for more than three decades. In addition to her role as LWVOC president, she served on the group’s board and was active in many other endeavors. In 2011 she received an “Energizer Bunny Award” for her distinguished work editing and producing the LWVOC newsletters over many years.
“Linda was a quintessential lady,” remembered past president Rosemary DuRocher. “She was elegant and charming.… She was a feminist from the beginning.”
Born on May 17, 1930, in Weslaco, Texas, to William O. and Winsome Morrow Saunders, Lynda moved with her family to Orlando when she was a child. She began her career in commercial art, creating ads for the Orlando Sentinel-Star and continuing with Sears Roebuck, then Stone Brook Advertising for Belk Department Stores. She retired as director of advertising.
Meanwhile, her volunteer work on women’s rights issues grew into local and national leadership. She was among the founders of the Metropolitan Orlando Women’s Political Caucus, serving as its first president. She was national secretary for the Women’s Political Caucus and active in the National Organization for Women.
Martha Haynie, Orange County’s longtime comptroller, said Lynda was her mentor and the person who brought her into public service.
“Both Lynda and the late Jane Emmons (another women’s rights leader) swept me under their wings, and that was the beginning of my political involvement,” Haynie said. “They both mentored and mothered me through the 1980s and were there to prod me into running for office and cheering me on to every step.” Haynie said Lynda administered the oath of office when Haynie was first installed as county comptroller.
The Lynda Van Scoyoc Feminist Papers Collection is available to the public at the University of Central Florida. The collection reflects the growth of organizations she spearheaded, as well as chronicling “the struggle by each group in their efforts to make positive changes to women's rights,” according to the UCF Special Collections website.
Lynda is survived by her husband of 72 years, Donald Van Scoyoc, daughters Lynn Van Scoyoc and Lori Rauch, both of Durham N.C., and Lani Van Scoyoc (and husband Daniel Ryan) of Huntsville, AL, and three grandchildren.
Memorial donations may be made to the LWVOC.org, Orlando Lutheran Towers Foundation, Audubon Park Covenant Church, or First Methodist Church of Orlando.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, a limited burial service is slated for May 14. A larger gathering will take place later, when feasible. See also www.careyhandcolonialchapel.com/obituary/Lynda-VanScoyoc
Deirdre Macnab remembers:
Lynda Van Scoyoc -- 1930-2020 – “A lady firebrand”
LWVOC Past President Lynda Van Scoyoc, who died May 6, is remembered as a “ladylike firebrand” and “quiet force behind our growth” by Deirdre Macnab, who was LWVOC president and co-president, 2005-2009.
“I am so sorry to hear about Lynda’s passing,” Deirdre said. “She was indeed the quintessential lady while being an incredible firebrand.”
Lynda was a LWVOC president (1999-2000), a long-time board member, and newsletter editor for many years. In addition to her extensive LWVOC work, Lynda was a founding member of the group that worked to get the ERA in Florida and of other major women’s rights groups, locally and nationally.
“She came across as so ladylike,” Deirdre said, “but she was unafraid in the face of everything. She was on my original LWVOC board of directors and stayed throughout my four-year tenure.
“One of the things I loved about her was her willingness to try new things. She never grumbled about change. She EMBRACED it.
“She was our Voter newsletter editor, for my entire tenure and many years before. We took it into a whole new format, featuring League member profiles, often written by Ann Hellmuth and featuring our past presidents and their amazing histories. We expanded into four-color, and Lynda was the architect and incredible editor as she mastered new software she had never used before. I truly enjoyed our newsletter work together each month as she was so positive and so open to innovation.
“She adored the League and was a quiet force behind our growth and a huge plus to our organization as a collaborative and always pleasant team member of the board.
“May she rest in peace…she made a huge difference to our League and our impact.”