Lynn Eller sang with the Atlanta Symphony Chorus and the Atlanta Chamber Opera.
By Michelle E. Shaw
Several things could have been considered signatures of Lynn Eller: the red cashmere scarf he wore during the winter months, his ever-present Dachshund or even a special dish prepared by him. But one thing that especially stood out was his voice.
“When he was in a room you could hear his voice, not because it was loud, but because it was resonant,” said Linda McCord of Atlanta. “He had a very natural gift in his gorgeous, rich bass voice that lent itself to classical and opera-style singing.”
And with his melodious voice, Eller not only sang but he did voice-overs and narrated theatrical productions. He stopped singing when his hearing started to fade, but he kept up with other hobbies including researching the genealogy of his family.
“He’s been interested in the origins of his family since before I met him,” said Don Robinson, his partner of 56 years. “He was quite involved with the Eller Family Association and even contributed to a publication the association produced.”
Eller died Friday at his Atlanta home, from complications of a recently diagnosed, late-stage cancer. He was 85. A memorial service is planned for 2 p.m. Sunday at Central Presbyterian Church. His body was cremated by H.M. Patterson & Son, Spring Hill.
Eller, who was born New Year’s Day in 1927, held the distinction of being the first baby born that year in Straton, Neb. He graduated from high school and went on to the University of Nebraska, where he earned his bachelor’s degree. He also earned a master’s degree in marketing from New York University, which he put to work when he worked as a marketing coordinator for the military’s Post Exchange in Europe.
Eller and Robinson met in Germany and made a life together in Atlanta. They shared a love of music and were involved with many of the same organizations, Robinson said.
“I was the conductor of the church choir, and Lynn sang in the choir,” he said. “He really had a fantastic voice.”
Eller also sang in various groups around Atlanta, including the Atlanta Symphony Chorus, the Atlanta Chamber Opera and the Fletcher Wolfe Chorale.
When he wasn’t singing, Eller was working on his family’s history, Robinson said. In addition to helping with writing, Eller served on the board of the family association for several years. In 2005 he was honored with an award that recognized his “significant contribution to the Association,” according to a family newsletter.
“Family was very important to him,” Robinson said. “He thoroughly enjoyed meeting with his family and extended members through the family association. He very much enjoyed music, but family was also high on the list.”
Eller is also survived by his brother, Wade Burdette Eller of Boise, Idaho.