Troy Luginbill

Troy Luginbill has worked at the Lynden Pioneer Museum for the past 27 years. On Oct. 15, Luginbill will work his last day as director and curator of the Lynden museum. (Bill Helm/Lynden Tribune)

LYNDEN — On Nov. 26, Troy Luginbill will celebrate his 50th birthday.

Not since his early-20s has he celebrated a birthday and not been at the Lynden Pioneer Museum.

On Oct. 6, Luginbill resigned as the museum’s director and curator, effective Friday, Oct. 15.

For Lynden, losing a director such as Luginbill will represent a loss.

Loss, not coincidentally, is a big reason why he is stepping down.

“A docent died in early July,” Luginbill said Friday. “All the people I knew and worked with, they all died again. That’s 24 people in 27 years. They were all like aunts and uncles, like grandparents. I’m going to take some time to learn how to grieve.”

Luginbill spent the first decade-plus of his life in Bloomington, Indiana. He moved with his family to Washington when he was 11. 

Another 11 years passed and Luginbill found himself holding the enviable position of curator at the Lynden Pioneer Museum. 

Two years later, Luginbill was also the museum’s director.

“I’ve been at the museum longer than my marriage and my son’s life,” Luginbill said.

In 2019, Luginbill was diagnosed with epilepsy. He said he’s been fortunate he can drive to work.

“The doctor said that epilepsy isn’t exasperated by stress,” Luginbill said. “Then, COVID hit. I watched two museums close in Whatcom. I couldn’t walk away at that point.”

Once he leaves the museum, Luginbill said he’ll take “four or five weeks off” to finish a few projects around the house.

“And I’ll tell my family how much I appreciate them,” he said.