SALEM, Va. (WFXR) – A country music icon, Loretta Lynn was loved all over the United States for her honest lyrics and her journey from coal miner’s daughter to music industry superstar.
“She was a woman who didn’t grow up with an easy life,” said Lisa Cox, who met Lynn while working for her family’s theme park. “I think it shows particularly women that your dreams can come true. You just work, and you don’t quit.”
Cox got to meet several celebrities who came to perform at Lakeside Amusement Park, but she remembers Lynn as kind, smiling, and someone you could talk to.
“Just no pretense about her at all,” she added.
She drew large crowds to Lakeside, but she was also well known for her rodeos at the Salem Civic Center.
“She meant a lot to Salem,” said the retired local broadcaster, Herm Reavis. “Salem meant a lot to her.”
Now he’s a broadcast legend, but Reavis was a young manager at the local country station when he first met Lynn.
“She never met a stranger, everything was honey this and honey that,” he said.
Reavis would go on to interview her multiple times throughout both their careers and came to know Lynn for her sweet disposition and connection with the community.
He recalled her visiting the Salem VA Medical Center.
“She did a free show that afternoon for patients at the hospital,” he remembered. “That meant so much. Well, it meant a lot to her, but it meant so much to the hospital and the patients.”
Reavis says her record of awards and honors speaks for itself, but he hopes people remember her for her honesty.
“She was real,” he said. “She tried to tell stories that would relate to the people who listened to her music.”