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If Kelly Tomblin needed advice about kids, Army life or cooking, the first person she would call was her old friend, Lynn Deppen.

“You could always go to her for anything,” said Tomblin, an Army wife who met Deppen seven years ago.

“She’s just always been a very uplifting person, very nurturing. We all looked up to her as the ideal wife and mother.”

Now wives at Storck Barracks in Illesheim, Germany, will have to find another “mom” to dispense advice. Lynn Deppen, 39, died unexpectedly at her home Thanksgiving morning of natural causes.

Her husband, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jim Deppen, is an Apache Longbow instructor pilot with the 6th Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, which has been deployed to Iraq since February.

The couple have three children: Patterson, 7; Rachel, 6; and Jackson, 1.

Friends remembered Lynn Deppen as an always-sunny woman and devoted mother who reflected her upbringing in rural Luverne, Ala. She opened her home to others any time.

“She was a true Southern belle. She had all that pride, that hospitality,” said Gloria Higgins, an Army friend for the past two years.

“She would do anything for anybody. She would be the first one to bake cookies or make a meal.”

Her death stunned the tightly knit aviation community at Storck, which has steeled itself for bad news from Iraq but never expected it at home. The deployment has been hard for many Illesheim families.

Higgins said Lynn Deppen never complained.

“She died with that hope to see Jim,” Higgins said. “That’s the saddest thing, that she won’t get that hug and that kiss.”

A memorial service was held Monday in Illesheim. Friends have suggested donations to an education fund established for her children at the Community Bank in Illesheim.

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