- Jimmy Lynch
- 69 years old
- Lived in Washington Crossing, Pa.
- He passed his passion for sports on to his children
Jimmy Lynch was a lawyer, an avid reader, and a history buff. His thoughts were analytical and serious, but his soul was playful. When the kids in the family got into mischief, he’d be the first one to laugh. The adults would frown at his enabling, but the children loved him for it.
When it came to his kids, there was nothing Mr. Lynch wouldn’t do. He logged thousands of miles on the family vehicle driving to games and camps, and thousands of hours sitting through practices.
“And he probably went to five Backstreet Boys concerts with [my sister] and her friends,” said his son, Jamie Lynch. “Poor guy. But he was just happy to be with her.”
Mr. Lynch, 69, died on Sunday, Dec. 6, at Chestnut Hill Hospital from complications of COVID-19.
Mr. Lynch was born in Tampa, Fla., and traveled extensively as a youngster with his father, who worked in Army intelligence. The family settled in the Bustleton section of Philadelphia in the early 1960s when Mr. Lynch was in middle school.
Mr. Lynch’s father, John, was stern, a “serious military man,” Jamie Lynch said, no doubt scarred from surviving the Bataan Death March as a prisoner during World War II. Mr. Lynch, born in 1951, attended La Salle High School and La Salle College before getting his law degree at the University of Delaware.
He worked in the legal field throughout his life, including a private practice in Newtown. He also was a substitute teacher at Bensalem High School.
Mr. Lynch met Eileen Baumgardner some 50 years ago and was married in Elkins Park on a 75-degree day on Jan. 11, 1975. They raised their family in Washington Crossing.
“He was so lovable,” his daughter, Carolyn, said. “Growing up in our family, he probably got in as much trouble with the adults as we did as kids. He would be laughing when somebody would misbehave or do stupid kid stuff.”
Mr. Lynch was a rower in high school and college, and passed his love of the sport to his daughter. Carolyn, a director of strategy and operations for Catholic Relief Services, earned a partial crew scholarship to Boston College.
“He loved spending Sundays out on the Schuylkill every spring,” Carolyn said. “He made a lot of good friends both when he was rowing and then later with my friends’ parents.”
Their father had a lifelong thirst for knowledge and trivia. The kids laugh about it now, but there were times when such arcane facts would come in handy.
“He would always impress our friends,” said Carolyn, “whether he was driving to a lacrosse tournament or a crew competition. No matter where we were he would point out that a Civil War battle happened in that field right here. Or that Thomas Jefferson did something historic in that building over there.”
Mr. Lynch even got through a few rounds of qualifying for the TV game show Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?
But for all his love and intellect, he had one weakness: He spoiled his four-legged children. Jamie said his father “may have been the biggest bleeding-heart for dogs in the world.”
“At every holiday,” Carolyn added, “there’d be a circle of three or four dogs around him waiting to be fed from the table.”
Mr. Lynch and his wife adopted German short-haired pointers. Chucky was their first in the early 1990s.
“Hopefully, Chucky is meeting him with a big, slobbering kiss up there.”
Jamie Lynch is a host and producer at radio station 97.5 FM, but he first started appearing on Philadelphia sports-talk shows as a 10-year-old. Driving home from 76ers and Phillies games, Mr. Lynch would call the stations, get through the screening process, and then hand the phone to his son, who would then give his analysis on-air.
Their final moments together came on Dec. 6 at Chestnut Hill Hospital while watching an Eagles-Packers game, which was poignantly appropriate for Jamie.
“I sat with him the first half, holding his hand and giving him the play-by-play of the game,” Jamie said. “And it dawned on me that the first Eagles game he took me to, in 1997, we sat in the 700 level. The Eagles beat the Packers when [Green Bay] missed a field goal at the buzzer.
“Eagles-Packers will always mean something to me now. It’s cosmic. … Any Eagles-Packers game from now on, we’re going to have a big ‘Jimmy Bowl’ and make it a special event.”
In addition to his son, daughter, and wife, Mr. Lynch is survived by brothers John and Kevin Lynch, and granddaughters Skyler Pearson Lynch and Cassidy Aileen Blair.