Rest Well, Dear Friend…

30 Nov

 In Memoriam…

Our dear friend Linc Hurst passed away from us in Nov 2008

Professor Lincoln D Hurst was perhaps the world's leading authority on the life of Errol Flynn having collected more detailed original documents than any other collector. One of his prized posessions was Errol's “Lost” Spanish Diary… which again refutes the Charles Higham charges in Errol's own hand… Gentleman and Scholar, kind-hearted and generous… his voice will be missed…


 A passing…


Early reactions…



I found out tonight that my favorite professor, Lincoln Hurst, died. “Favorite Professor” is a title that does not even come close to the impact Professor Hurst had on my life. A favorite professor is a person that tells great stories, challenges students to greater knowledge and whatnot. I believe God placed Hurst in my life to completely turn it upside down.

I am in grad school today because God used Hurst to get me in there. I am at Texas A&M, specifically, because of him. He asked me what school I wanted to go to and I answered A&M. The next day, he overnighted his recommendation (it became lost in the mail) and made a phone call to the A&M communication graduate director to get me in. It worked.

But that's not even the most important thing Hurst did for me. Lincoln Hurst was the only Calvinist I knew at UC Davis. I wasn't a Calvinist yet but I confessed to him during our weekly visits that I had so many questions about predestination that nobody was willing to answer for me. He didn't say anything about how Calvinism answers all those questions or try to force anything on me. He simply said, “Read Romans. Then come back and tell me what you found.” Well, as some of you know, I read Romans with new eyes while on a retreat in the mountains of Santa Cruz. I went up the mountain as an Arminian and came down as a Calvinist.

I told Hurst that and he just scratched his beard as he always did when he had too many thoughts and not enough words to keep up with them. We moved from talking about research at every meeting to him steering me in the right direction in my early Calvinist days. He was the only one in California that I could talk to about this new theology thing. I learned that there were other ways to think of the end times besides Dispensationalism. I learned to study God's word as a cohesive whole, and not just concentrate on random verses.

I was at his lecture on Romans and was amazed at how he stood for Christ against the students who quickly labeled him a heretic to his face. I was ready to jump on anyone who insulted him but even when the students closed in on him, he was at peace. He stood his ground and was able to answer their questions humbly and with grace. I won't forget that moment. I won't forget him. He was not just a favorite professor. He was my friend and a father in Christ to me. And now he is rejoicing with the Lord as we speak. I will see you soon my friend.

*Here is his bio on wikipedia for anyone interested:… *



Another item from rate your professor:

11/29/08 My favorite professor out of five years at Davis. May he rest in peace.


Prof.Hurst's pages at IMBD.

In Memoriam: Professor Lincoln Douglas Hurst

Professor Lincoln Douglas Hurst: California Aggie Memorial  [pdf]

May 6, 1946 – November 11, 2008

Professor Lincoln D. Hurst

Dr. Lincoln D. Hurst was a Religious Studies faculty member who taught most of the department's Christianity and New Testament-related classes during his tenure at UC Davis. His classes were always packed and many students wait-listed just for the opportunity to be admitted. Students found his comical style of teaching endearing and interesting. He kept the material fun and alive.

Dr. Hurst was an internationally recognized scholar and historian who published extensively on a wide variety of topics, including history, the Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and film.

You can read more about him from a student perspective on “Facebook.” The Facebook page is under groups: Yep, I'm a Huge Fan of Professor Hurst.

A memorial [pdf] took place on December 4, 2008 on the UC Davis campus. The tribute video shown at the memorial is available on Youtube.

To keep alive the memory of Professor Lincoln D. Hurst, a Professor Lincoln Douglas Hurst Memorial Fund will be created and the money donated to purchase media material, such as DVDs, to be used in the teaching of Religious Studies courses. Many people who knew Dr. Hurst know that his passion for film was incorporated in his teaching. If you would like to contribute please send a check, payable to UC Regents, to:

Religious Studies
c/o Lincoln D. Hurst Memorial Fund
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616


Please add your comments!

— David DeWitt


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  1. Anonymous

    November 30, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    Much more interestingly and to the point, he was a fan of Flynn. And a respected scholar of our hero. Rest in peace, kind sir, and say hello to The Baron for all of us.

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  2. Anonymous

    November 30, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    What a sad moment … my best wishes to Linc's family, of which I always felt we were on some level.
    I can see him hooting it up with the man himself …

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  3. Anonymous

    November 30, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    I only knew Linc for a short time, but in that time he and I clicked and from our first email on we seldom let a day pass that we didn't talk electronically. Besides being a devout Flynn fan and biographer and expert, he loved football and baseball and we happened to like the same teams. His beloved Cubbies broke his heart AGAIN this year but he chuckled his way through the losses.
    And when we spent time discussing Errol he listened more than he talked, arguing that since I'd known Flynn and lived alongside him I should tell him how to guide the final pages of his manuscript. He even honored me by insisting he include me and one of my stories about EF in the ending, known as the Testimonies.
    Shortyl after his first heart attack he emailed me from the hospital, having just left ICU and grumbled about how the nurses were trying to take away his laptop. I know he rubbed some folks the wrong way, and at times (like us all) could be disagreeable. Nevertheless, his heart was always there at the end. I shall miss our emails, usually addressed to one another by Sire and My Lordship, and a chance to discuss football and baseball with a fellow sports enthusiast.
    God bless, Sire. Hopefully we shall meet again in the distant future.
    Sir Ivanhoe
    PS: We must make sure his biography sees the light of day!

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  4. Anonymous

    December 1, 2008 at 1:19 am

    Very sad news. Linc was very kind to me as a fellow Flynn fan despite our being strangers. Linc rest in peace. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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  5. Anonymous

    December 2, 2008 at 12:33 am

    Wow what a surprise. I thought he did a great job on the Flynn DVD's and we have lost a true Flynn fan.
    See you on the other side sport.

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  6. Anonymous

    December 3, 2008 at 2:18 am

    Indeed, he was a brilliant writer and scholar. Even when I was ticked off at him, he was brilliant. He often bested me with the final word. His remarkable career brought him many accolades and his students adored him. There was, perhaps, a bit of Don Quixote in him. I loved listening to him on the phone when he was “Up” and his enthusiasm was contagious. Often, after watching a film that he had expounded on, I would watch it and his insight ALWAYS made that a rewarding experience. I would rather he were here today to argue with me again. God bless him. Linc, one day we’ll meet again, pard, and we’ll argue again, and the heavens will thunder with our laughter. Until then noble Lincoln….

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  7. Anonymous

    December 4, 2008 at 9:11 am

    I drank a few toasts to Lincoln last night in a small Spanish bar over-looking the Mediterranean.
    I will miss him greatly but am just very thankful that I had the great honour of knowing the man.
    We never met but I'll never forget his kindness to me. Several times he sent me small packages full of little Errol Flynn goodies – copies of rare letters and photos. These would arrive unannounced and were always such a great surprise.
    He joined the Errol Flynn internet group that I formed a few years ago. Upon joining he immediately sent me an e-mail congratulating me on the group and also, in that charming manner of his, pointing out a couple of minor errors on the groups introductory page.
    He wasn't being critical, but when it came to anything to do with Errol Flynn; Linc was a perfectionist and he wanted it right.
    He was a true champion of the Flynn cause and his name must rightfully stand aside the likes of Tony Thomas, William Donati, Tom McNulty and others.
    I think it says so much about the man that he touched so many lives… God bless you Linc.

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  8. Anonymous

    December 4, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    This is not so much a reply to anything, but rather a comment that for the first time seems to make some sense — at least to anyone who believes in God and the Hereafter and hopes that Linc and Flynn are finally whooping it up together in a heavenly cantina somewhere. So with this in mind, here is a little previosuly unmentioned moment in my life that occurred while I was living in EF's Mulholland House.
    One evening when he had needed my help up the stairs in order to get to his room, and eventually to bed, I left his bedroom and crossed to my guest room. I heard a sound like a groan or a gasp of despair. I turned and saw through the partly open door Errol slumped over on the edge of the bed, face buried in his hands, shoulders shaking as if he were weeping. I hesitated to disturb him, to let him know that I'd seen him this way, but couldn't just walk away. I watched and saw him take a book from under his pillow. He read it for a few seconds (maybe minutes) and then in a mixture of rage and frustration flung it across the room. It hit the door and fell to the floor. I looked down and saw it was a Bible.
    Meanwhile, the Colonel had fumbled out a cigarette and was trying to light it with shaky hands. I knocked on the door. He muttered something that I took to mean come in, and entered. Picked up the Bible, and went to his side, held his hand steady so he could light his cigarette. He looked up at me with the saddest, tear-filled eyes a man could possess. Neither of us spoke. We didn't have to. When a man bares his soul, whether willingly or unwillingly, words have no place in those moments.
    I slipped the Bible under the pillow. Pulled down the covers and helped him, still in his bathrobe (and pajamas I think) get into bed. I then turned off the light and left him smoking in the darkness.
    Several days later while I was getting out of the pool (early morning swim, which he also liked to do) he came out and gripped me hard on the shoulder. He smiled (not grinned, smiled) and said: Thanks. I said nothing and went inside and made my breakfast. A little later I heard him yell my name out. I was up in my room. I went into his bedroom and looked out the window. He asked me to “Chuck down my cigarettes, will you, Ivan?” I found them and did as he asked. As I turned to leave I saw the same Bible. It lay on the bed, open. I looked at it and scrawled on the inside of the cover was God? – and next to it a familiar 4 letter obscenity beginning in “F”. Below that was the word: Faith? And again the same obscenity. And finally the words: Help me believe. And the same obscenity.
    Confusing to say the least.
    So this I ask you, Linc. Next time you speak to the Colonel, ask him for me if in those three words and obscenties Flynn was doubting his agnostic feelings? (After all Denver Pyle told me EF was reading the Bible at the Garden and wanted me to go talk to him, which I did) And if Errol wrote the obscenities to curse God or to show how God felt about Errol? Meaning: Errol wrote the obscenity after each question because he believed that's how God felt about him.
    When you get an answer, Linc, find a way to let me know, will you, Sire?
    Sir Ivanhoe

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  9. Anonymous

    December 6, 2008 at 8:51 am

    Most of you here know of my long friendship with Lincoln. I met him in 1997 a few days after Tony Thomas passed away. I had left a goodbye post to a man who treated me like his own son.
    Lincoln e-mailed me and this began an 11 year friendship, along with its ups and downs. I couldn't begin to tell everyone how close we were but we would talk on the phone almost daily for over 8 years. Linc would come to my home here in Los Angeles and stay over for visits, so he could meet a lot of other Flynn fans, writers, actors, drunkards, filmmakers, lovers of movies or what has now become the “Mulholland Drive Boys”.
    Lincoln was like a member of my family, my wife was shocked when she heard the news. She use to get the biggest kick out of Lincoln and he would charm her along with both our kids.
    I was completely shocked to find out and thanks to Steve Hayes who informed me of this huge hole we will all have with us for a long time.
    Lincoln and I worked on 'the book' and for over 8 years. It is funny Steve, that you mentioned this incident with Errol and the bible. Since Lincoln was a devout Christian and a Professor of Theology one of the reasons for writing 'the book' besides going after Higham, was to prove to fans that Errol did have a sense of 'faith' in God. But like most people, Errol wrestled with his faith. Errol was searching for something better. I always felt it was an inner peace.
    When Errol was abandoned by his parents at 16 or so, Linc felt it was around that time Errol was searching for the 'WHY' he was left by his parents. As a parent myself and Lincoln saw both my children grow into adults, we would talk about how I could never leave my own 16 year old son alone for a year.
    Errol grew up fast and hard. This interest in reading the Bible was the fascination that Lincoln felt he had to make this somewhat the angle of this book. In all the papers, letters and diaries that Lincoln acquired from Deirdre, there was a common thread and it was that Errol wanted to know if God exist and why then did he exist.
    Errol was reading the Bible when he was with Earl Conrad writing Wicked Wicked Ways. I do believe that he was reading it up until he died. Mrs. Patrice Wymore Flynn, told Lincoln that he would carry a pocket bible with him and when ever he meet a Priest, Rabbi or Reverend he would pull out his Bible, with all his bookmarks and make then explain the meaning of certain passages.
    I remember Lincoln telling me all these little gems and I would always tell him to put this stuff in 'the book'. I haven't seen any of the many revisions of what he sent to the publisher and I can only imagine what his finish version is like.
    Linc always told me he had enough for three huge volumes and I use to plead with him to write a three volume set on Errol Flynn. It would be the most definitive work on Errol Flynn and written by a man from academia. I always told Lincoln that he was a much better writer then David McCullough, which he would laugh and deny.
    I only wish, I had met Steve Hayes ten years ago, so I could introduce him to Lincoln. Can anyone here imagine, how much information on Errol Flynn, Steve and Linc could have come up with? Lincoln would have picked Steve's brain like a Thanksgiving Day Turkey in a mission on skid row.
    We all have to be grateful and and feel very Bless to have known, talked and for me, to have worked with Lincoln. I will always remember his excitement, when he first saw himself on the Gangster DVD. For him being a film historian and movie buff, it was a real treat, to see himself on a DVD doing what he always did, in front of hundreds of students. What he was most proud of was that, he was on the same DVD with people, who he considered to be the top in their field of Hollywood Film Historians. I always encouraged him to fill Tony Thomas's place as a film historian and he did it, even for a brief time.
    Linc and I had our differences towards the end. Maybe it was the pressure of working on this massive project, maybe we just were too close and two of a kind, I don't know. He was always the professor and I was his peck's bad boy in giving him trouble in his classroom. We never ironed out our differences over what happened two years ago. That I will always regret.
    However, as memories continue to flow, I remember fondly, how we would say goodbye on the phone, “we'll meet again one day, when we're both like golden clouds upon the wind” or “I'll see ya when I see ya, “yeah, if I don't see ya first!”
    When I heard of your passing, I was on the deck of a cruise liner in the very same waters that the Zaca sailed back to LA. As the sun was setting behind Catalina, I made a promise to myself and I will make sure it ALL gets done. Linc you and I have talked about this very situation taking place many times over the phone. I gave you my word then and no matter what happened between us, nothing will prevent me now from keeping that promise.
    So you rest easy, my old Errol Flynn buddy, because all that we talked about, dreamed about, will get done. I will take care of everything just as we planned.
    By the way Linc, Greg and I gave you a Viking's Funeral, with cigars, drinks and a huge fire, like the one I had when you were here, many years ago. I played one of your favorite film scores, the theme to the film THE VIKINGS. We emptied a bottle of sambuca in your memory.
    Bung ho old boy

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  10. Anonymous

    December 6, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Jack: I read your “eulogy” to Linc and was very touched. Yes, I too wish I'd known Linc longer because even in the seven or eight months I did know him he and I hit it off very well. I will always keep the last email I received from him when he'd just come outof ICU and was afraid — not for survival but that the nurses wouldn't take away his laptop!
    Jack, as I told you over the phone, I will see to it that Linc's book gets published. I spoke to Tym, Linc's nephew and told him the same thing and at the same time emphasized I want nothing out of this other than to get closure on Linc's book. It will hopefully put the last nail in Higham's coffin!
    Thanks, chum. Your pal, Sir Ivanhoe

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  11. Anonymous

    April 29, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    I live not far from Davis, CA and I'm a bit shocked that I had no idea of his passing. I recognize his picture from listening to all the documentaries on EF and do hope his book will be published. A very sad loss not only for Flynn fans but for his academic connections and his close friends (as evidenced by the posts).

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