Family: Country music icon Loretta Lynn safe; Singer mourns death of ranch foreman swept away in flood

Published 10:00 am Monday, August 23, 2021

The family of country music icon Loretta Lynn says the 89-year-old singer is safe after deadly floodwaters inundated her ranch.

“Loretta Lynn Memaw is safe. Completely safe and healthy. Our family. All of them are safe. Our people. Our people. Our town. Pray for them. Us,” Loretta Lynn’s grandaughter Tayla Lynn posted on Facebook. “Our Ranch. We’ve been hit pretty hard. Details will come as we get out from under water. For now focus on the people.”

The foreman at Lynn’s ranch, Wayne Spears, was killed in the flooding.

“He’s out at his barn and next thing you know, he goes from checking animals in the barn to hanging on in the barn to people seeing him floating down the creek. And that’s how fast it had come up,” Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis said.

A photo taken by someone at the ranch showed Spears in a cowboy hat clinging to a pillar in brown, churning water up to his chest.

“Wayne’s just one of those guys, he just does everything for everybody, if there’s a job to do,” said his friend Michael Pate, who met Spears at the ranch 15 years ago.

A post on the ranch’s Facebook page  said Spears was a family friend and a fixture at the ranch,

“The ranch will never be the same without him but he will always be remembered for his ready smile, kind heart and willingness to go the extra mile for everyone around him,” the post read.

Loretta Lynn posted on her official Facebook page.

“He took such good care of things here on the ranch for us,” Lynn wrote. “He’s one of us and the whole Lynn family is heartbroken. Please pray for his precious family and friends.”

Jody Cody Finger posted an aerial video of the flooding at the Lynn ranch.