Lynn Adams Kokjohn: a family history of service

DuPont retiree focuses on philanthropy, empowering women 
December 10, 2019

The first woman president of Rehoboth Beach Country Club is set to oversee a $10 million renovation of the club, founded in 1925 as a nine-hole golf course with a converted farmhouse for a clubhouse.

Dressed in a royal blue jacket that rivals the brilliance of the Rehoboth Bay outside, Lynn Adams Kokjohn gushed when explaining the comprehensive improvements that will transform amenities and services of her beloved club.

“We will be making much better use of our waterside setting. You can’t beat the view!” she said, gesturing to the bay surrounding the club on three sides.

Lynn detailed enhancements during a recent tour of the facility, where crews were already at work to meet the Memorial Day unveiling. 

Updates include a refreshed lobby and reception hall; six-lane pool, snack shack and enlarged pool restrooms; rooms for casual, fine and outside terrace dining; a bayview bar and state-of-the-art kitchen equipment.

The club’s No. 1 attraction, its golf course, will see renovations to its driving range and practice facility; members will also enjoy spacious new lounges and locker rooms.

Lynn said she had no idea she was the first woman president in the club’s history until another member told her.

“Being a woman, you always have to pave the way,” she said. “I love this club. We’ve been voting more females into leadership roles in the last three years, so members have embraced it. Four of our 14 board members are women.”

Lynn and husband Tucker retired to Rehoboth in 2003 after long careers with DuPont in Wilmington, where Lynn worked primarily in strategic planning and development of Corian products and services.

“It was great,” she said. “I got to develop new colors and styles people could relate to. DuPont was big back then.”

Two years after the Kokjohns returned to America after working in Seoul, Korea, Tucker, a mechanical engineer, decided it was time to retire.

“I said, if you’re retiring, I’m retiring!” she said. “He wanted to move south, and I said, we have children who live in Delaware, so I’m not going far!”

For Lynn, retirement has been more of a shifting of professional skills to personal, philanthropic pursuits than the absence of responsibilities typical retirees desire.

Lynn’s focus on humanitarian efforts stems from a family history of service to others. Her father, Thurman G. Adams Jr., was the longest-serving state senator in Delaware history at the time of his passing in 2009. Thurman represented Delaware’s 19th District, comprising areas of Bridgeville, Georgetown and Long Neck, since 1972. 

“He was a great man,” she said. “I used to love going to the peach orchard where he grew up. My grandfather had peaches, wheat, barley and soybeans.”

In addition to the family farm, Thurman’s father, T.G. Adams, launched grain brokerage business T.G. Adams & Sons in Bridgeville, which Lynn’s nephews operate today.

Lynn is passionate about her volunteer organizations. She joined Fund for Women in 2006, and now chairs the state organization that helps Delaware women and girls in need by funding projects from housing to healthcare, career training to emergency food programs.

“It’s all about helping women and girls in need,” she said. “I love hearing stories about people we help.”

In May, Fund for Women awarded nearly $170,000 to 12 Delaware nonprofits to help women overcome abuse and poverty, improve their physical and mental health, and gain financial independence.  

Lynn also serves on boards for Delaware Community Foundation and Beebe Medical Foundation. She’s excited about Beebe’s current capital projects.

“We’re building the Route 24 orthopedic center, and a southern Delaware campus in Millville, which will have an emergency room and cancer center,” she said. “Patients won’t have to travel to Lewes for chemo or other services.”

Even with all her activities, Lynn finds time to relax and enjoy time with family.

“I enjoy UD football; my husband goes to every game,” she said. “I went there, both my parents went there - that’s where they met - and my grandmother went there.”

One son, a chemical engineer, lives in San Diego; all of the couple’s other children live in upstate Delaware.

“I love going to the beach and spending time with my seven grandchildren,” she said. “I’ve found being a grandmother to be a great role. It’s funny to watch your kids deal with the issues you had to deal with.”

  • The Cape Gazette staff has been doing Saltwater Portraits weekly (mostly) for more than 20 years. Reporters, on a rotating basis, prepare written and photographic portraits of a wide variety of characters peopling Delaware's Cape Region. Saltwater Portraits typically appear in the Cape Gazette's Tuesday edition as the lead story in the Cape Life section.

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