The reason I bring this up is that there's another set of characters who really did matter for years on end who simply departed like a thief in the night because Lynn didn't like the real person that one of them represented: Phil and Georgia. From what others have been able to piece together over the years, Lynn's brother Alan Ridgway had long taken exception to the way he and his wife Joan had been depicted in the strip; what distinguishes the two of them from all the other people Lynn ignored is that he probably had an exceptionally strong negative reaction to the infamous Hogan's Alley interview wherein she depicted their mother as a vicious abuser. Rather than deal with the controversy her actions created, she did what she did before and simply banished Phil and Georgia to Montréal without any indication that they'd ever left Milborough; one week, they were complaining about their neighbor's moronic barking dog and the next, they'd vanished from the mortal sphere.
Granted, Phil made the occasional walk-on part later on but none of the people who'd started following the strip in the Declining Years had any real idea who important he used to be. All that they knew is that every so often, Elly's brother (who seemed to not want to be part of the family that they could see) showed up to remind them that, yes, he existed. The reason for their departure in-strip is telling; Phil (and not, of course, Georgia) got a better job elsewhere and didn't see fit to tell Elly about it. The message that that sent the long-time readers is that something happened off-camera to make Phil tired of having to deal with his big sis and her friends; what that something might be is beyond me but it would have to be something that Elly didn't even know she did.