‘Ferocious on behalf of goodness.’ Miami-Dade advocate for homeless, libraries dies.

Carli Teproff
·3 min read

For decades, Lynn M. Summers (Aguirre) poured countless hours into the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, Friends of the Library and The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.

A lawyer by trade, Summers became the second person to be named executive director for the Community Partnership for the Homeless (now Chapman Partnership) and helped draft an agreement between Miami and the homeless community in an effort to better protect those living on the street.

“Without a doubt helping people was her passion,” said her husband Horacio Aguirre.

Summers, who once served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Miami-Dade, lost her battle against breast cancer and later leukemia earlier this month. She was 69.

“Lynn was a shining example of public service going back to her days as an assistant U.S. attorney,” former publisher of the Miami Herald David Lawrence Jr. said in a eulogy. “Yes, she loved good books, but she loved good people even more.”

Born in Gainesville, Summers graduated from Santa Fe High School and then the University of Florida in the early 70s. Soon after she moved to Miami, and was hired by former Judge Gerald Wetherington to serve as the first female bailiff in Miami-Dade, according to her husband.

She received her law degree from the University of Miami and was hired by the son of Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black. She then was hired by the United States Department of Justice as an Assistant United States Attorney in Miami.

She later met Alvah Chapman, the late publisher of the Miami Herald, who offered her a position as executive director of what is now the Chapman Partnership. In her role, she helped draft and negotiate the Pottinger Agreement, which established protections for Miami’s homeless population. It was dissolved by a federal judge in 2019.

She then ran her own business, Community Technologies Inc., advising developers on affordable housing and low-income housing projects. In 2000, she was asked to serve on the board of directors of the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind. That’s where she met her future husband, who was also a board member.

“I was a lost cause by the second date,” he said.

Summers, who served fourteen years on the board of directors of City National Bank, also loved The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. She volunteered as a member of the leadership committee and advocated to get more funding and protect it from development.

Her love for reading led her to serve as president of the Friends of the Library, the Miami-Dade County organization that supports the Public Library System.

“She really believed that libraries were the key to getting low-income children ahead in life,” Aguirre said. “She was totally committed to that.”

Summers died on Feb. 14. In the eulogy Lawrence read at Summers’ funeral, he called her “tough in a truly loving way.” He went on: “Ferocious on behalf of goodness. Fierce. Effective. Inspirational.”

In addition to her husband, Summers is survived by her husband’s children Horacio Aguirre Jr. and Alessandra Aguirre, sisters-in-law Carmen Aguirre, Helen Aguirre Ferre and Marta Aguirre Bascom, brother-in-law Alejandro J. Aguirre, her sisters Sybil Farwell, Renee Mobley Sands, Marcia Mobley Yiasemides, brother Alvin Mobley and Jorge Arubla, whom she considered a son.

A funeral Mass was held Feb. 20. A Celebration of Life will be planned for later this year.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to be made to any of the organizations Summers championed.