Memorial Services set for Long-time IMS staff member

Calling hours and a memorial service celebrating the life of longtime motorsports public relations representative and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Media Staff member Lynda Havens are scheduled for Tuesday evening, July 10 at Brickyard Crossing Pavilion at IMS.

Havens, a lifelong resident of Indianapolis, died suddenly at home July 3. She was 60.

Calling hours begin at 5 p.m., followed by a memorial service at 7:30 p.m.

Havens worked in professional motorsports public relations for race teams, sanctioning bodies and racetracks for more than 30 years, primarily in open-wheel and sports-car racing.

Butler University graduate Havens was a member of the IMS Media Staff during events at the Speedway for more than 20 years. She was instrumental in creating the Indianapolis 500 News Bureau, which distributed daily driver updates and features to global media throughout the Month of May, in 1998. She continued to work as the lead editor of the News Bureau through this May.

"Lynda was a true professional with great passion for racing and people, always thinking of the best ways to promote the Indianapolis 500 and other IMS events through interesting, human stories for the media," said Paul Kelly, Indianapolis Motor Speedway communications manager. "But she was an even better person. Always helpful, always happy, with a hearty laugh that made everyone smile. Our sincerest thoughts, prayers and sympathies are extended to her husband, Gary, and all of Lynda's friends and colleagues."

Havens also volunteered at the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska in a variety of roles, including news reporting, Internet chat room moderation and sled-dog handling at the starting line in Anchorage.

Before her career in racing public relations, Havens served as an advertising manager at Esterline Angus Instrument Co. and worked at WTTV-4 television and WNDE radio in Indianapolis.

She is survived by her husband of 37 years, Gary; brother, Eric Sharpnack; sister, Dianne Stephenson; stepfather, Robert Johnson; and several nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Lynda and Gary Havens Endowed Scholarship Fund at Butler University. Online condolences can be placed in the guest book at

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