Our community is at a great loss with the passing of one of its most beloved and active volunteers, Bill Lynch, 84, of Keene, who died on Saturday, June 22, 2019, at his home in Keene.
His parents, Timothy and Pearl (Scully) Lynch welcomed their youngest son into the world on Sept. 5, 1934, in Springfield, Mass. Bill joined his older brother, Robert, at the family home in Holyoke, Mass.
Bill attended local schools and was a participant in many team sports, excelling in alpine skiing and golf. He attended Kents Hill Preparatory for one year and found he loved politics through his experiences as a campus activist. Following prep school, he attended the University of Maine at Orono where he was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity and was on the college golf team.
Following his graduation from Orono in 1958, Bill joined the Peerless Insurance Company in Keene where he met his future wife, Margaret “Peggy” Mallat of Keene. Bill and Peggy were married at St. Margaret Mary Church on Aug. 12, 1961. There followed seven years of assignments to various branch offices until his reassignment to the home office in Keene when he was appointed deputy manager of Netherlands Insurance Company in 1971.
Bill joined Clark Insurance Agency, now Clark-Mortenson Agency, in 1974 as executive vice-president. While busy building up clientele for the agency, Bill made time to be a support to, and a cheerleader for, many non-profit organizations, and became active in democratic politics.
He served as a committed board member to a variety of non-profits including, Cedarcrest, Monadnock Developmental Services, Keene Housing Authority, Keene Senior Center, New-Hope-New Horizons, Keene Downtown Housing Corporation, chairman of the Great Ashuelot Duck Race, board member and vice-chairman of the New Hampshire Housing and Finance Authority, Retired Senior Volunteer Program, CHESCO, and the Keene Lions Club. He was a skilled fundraiser for worthy causes such as the United Way Campaign, serving as chairman; chairman of the Night Light Campaign to put new lights at the Alumni Field; co-chair for the building drive for the Senior Citizens Center; and the 600 Club for Monadnock Developmental Services.
Bill was successful in most of his political endeavors and served in the N.H. House of Representatives; as Cheshire County Commissioner; Cheshire County Treasure; and as mayor for the city of Keene.
The community acknowledged Bill’s many years of commitment and service through various awards and commendations. He received the Citizen of the Year Award in 1994; was recognized by both the Lions Club and Rotary Club for outstanding community service; and was awarded the Granite State Award from Keene State College in 1996 for two decades of volunteer work.
Bill had seen a “Duck Race” on a trip to New Mexico and brought the idea back to the Keene Lions Club Board of Directors as a fundraiser for the club’s charities, and the “Great Ashuelot Duck Race” was born and has been a successful example of a community working together for a common purpose. Bill has been a hard working and committed member of the community and a beloved member of his family. He was a kind and supportive dad to his four children and grandchildren, and a true and loyal friend to his extended family, and he will be sadly missed by all. There is comfort in knowing that he is at peace with his God and enjoying a well-deserved reward for a life well lived.
Bill is survived by his former wife and friend, Peggy Lynch of Westmoreland; his four children, Kelly A. Lynch of Irvington, N.Y., Tracey M. Lynch Clason and her husband, Spencer S. Clason, of Westmoreland, James P. Lynch and his wife, Rosanne, of Germany, and Timothy W. Lynch of Gypsum, Colo.; his four grandchildren, Seth Clason, Emma Clason, Inez Mendez, Keagan Lynch; a brother-in-law, Lawrence Mallat of Keene; a sister-in-law, Marie Mallat of Keene; and several nieces, nephews and extended family members. He was predeceased by his brother, Robert Lynch; a brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Robert and Norma Mallat; and a sister-in-law, Joan Mallat.
A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Saturday, June 29, at 9:30 a.m. in St. Bernard Church, 185 Main St., Keene. Burial will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery, Main Street, Keene. Family and friends are invited to call on Friday evening from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Foley Funeral Home, 49 Court St., Keene.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mr. Lynch’s memory to the Monadnock Developmental Services, 121 Railroad St., Keene, NH 03431; or to St. Vincent dePaul Society, c\o Parish of the Holy Spirit, 161 Main St., Keene, NH 03431.
To offer online condolences to the family or to share special memories, please visit www.foleyfuneralhome.com.