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Landscapes 13


Joseph Paul Lynch

August 21, 1929 ~ June 2, 2019 (age 89)


Kindhearted and gentle soul, Joe Lynch departed our world from the Mt St Vincent Care Center in Holyoke Sunday June 2nd, 2019. “Jovial Joe” (a nickname acquired in Jr. High for his good nature and sense of humor) describes perfectly this easy going and truly great father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Joe was a member of the Greatest Generation. Born in Holyoke in 1929, only two months before the stock market crash and the start of the Great Depression, to Hazel (Johnston) Lynch Ballou and Joseph Lynch. Joe grew up in Holyoke, except for his third-grade year where he lived, due to family financial difficulties, with his mother and relatives in Buffalo, NY. Upon his return to Holyoke, he attended Lawrence Elementary and Highland Jr. High, where he often commented that he had received an outstanding education and the love of reading. The “Highlands” area of Holyoke was a major focus of his formative years. Joe became a proud member of the “Magri’s Gang”. This informal and benevolent group that ranged in ages from 6th graders to returning college students, who “hung out” at Magri’s Soda Fountain/Grocery Store on Lincoln Street. Out of this gang, a small group in the early 1940’s, headed by Joe, who became passionate followers of Big Band Swing music. By the mid-40’s you could find Joe in attendance most Friday and Saturday nights at the Valley Arena, Mountain Park or when he turned 21 the Mount View, whenever a nationally known big band was playing. Joe collected “78-rpm shellac” records by the dozens eventually establishing one of the largest collections of Benny Goodman records in the country. He spent many retirement hours recording his Chick Bullock, Artie Shaw, Woody Herman and of course Benny 78’s onto “cassettes”, which he then traded internationally with other big band music collectors for their rare 78 record recordings from the 30’s and 40’s. During this time Joe also became an avid golfer. At twelve he was the youngest member at Holyoke’s old Broadview County Club and four years later a member at Mt. Tom Country Club (now Wycoff CC). Joe could not be missed on the course, by the time he turned 13 he was 6’3” in height and by 17, almost 6’8”. Joe excelled at golf being named captain of the Holyoke High Golf Team in 1946. Unfortunately, due to an illness, Joe had to miss his senior year. He returned to graduate in 1948 but always kept in touch with the class of ’47. After high school Joe was a regular on the western Mass golf scene playing in most major amateur tournaments. He often reminisced about his awesome partners; Gardner Thompson, Glen Barr, Jackie Gilligan and Franny Beaudry. In 1954 Joe married the love of his life June “Junely” or “Fid” (Chevalier) Lynch. They were married for 53 years before her death in 2007. As anyone that knew them, Joe was a devoted husband and at the end of her life her full-time primary caregiver. In the late 40’s and 50’s Joe worked at the old Holyoke Savings Bank, Spalding’s and Swift Foods. 1956, with the birth of his son George, Joe picked up a new hobby, photography. From that point on Joe was never seen without his trusty camera. Joe captured thousands of images of family, friends and events, including countless weddings, St. Patrick parades, baby showers, christenings, also work and golf related activities. In 1960 he joined the Kollmorgen Corp. in Northampton. While working full time Joe continued his education attending night school at HCC, graduating in 1970. Later that year Joe was appointed to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles Marine and Recreational Vehicle Division. In the early 80’s his division transitioned to become the Massachusetts Environmental State Police. He was very proud that he passed the rigorous State Police physical fitness test at the age of 53. Joe was promoted to Sergeant and then as acting Lieutenant responsible for the State’s gun safety and hunter education programs out of the ESP office in Gardner, MA. Upon his retirement in 1995, Joe enjoyed his family and increased his golf activity. You could find him 3-4 times a week, February through November at East Mountain Country Club trying to recapture that old sweet swing of his from his youth. Joe was preceded in death by his beloved wife June and by his two step-brothers Donald and Hank Ballou both originally of Holyoke. He is survived by his son George and wife Denise (Busby) Lynch, his granddaughter Kathleen “Katie” (Lynch) Lindgren, her husband Adam, his great-granddaughter Arwen, and his grandson Michael “Zack” Lynch, all of Oakland County, Michigan. As well as, his sister-in-law Bernice Lafrance of Holyoke and Jane Chevalier of Chicopee, along with over 20 nieces and nephews. The Lynch family would like to give a special thanks to the staff at Mount. St. Vincent Care Center. Especially Mary, Kyle, Kathy, Jane, Evelyn, Joanne, Paula, Jackie, Deepa and Bima for their outstanding and compassionate care. A Funeral Service will be held Saturday June 8 at 10:00am in the Barry J. Farrell Funeral Home, 2049 Northampton Street, followed by burial in Forestdale Cemetery. Calling hours are Friday June 7 from 4:00 to 7:00pm. Memorial Contributions may be made in memory of Joe to: The Michael J. Fox Foundation,(Parkinsons Disease), P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014

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