Jean Lynch, I-T family matriarch, dies
ROBERT AND JEAN LYNCH
Jean H. Lynch, 89, widow of Robert M. Lynch, publisher of the family-owned Sonoma Index-Tribune, passed away at her home in Sonoma on Monday, Aug. 8, surrounded by her family, just a few months short of her 90th birthday.
She was born Nov. 11, 1921, at her grandmother's home in Lemon Cove, Calif. Her parents were A.E. "Jack" Allen and Cecile Helen McKee Allen. Her family moved to Sonoma in the mid-1930s, where her father ran a butcher shop on Broadway. She graduated from Sonoma Valley High School in 1939 and attended Santa Rosa Junior College where she met her husband-to-be, Robert Lynch. Shortly after her graduation from SRJC, they were married in Sonoma at the Trinity Chapel.
Before she was married, she worked as a legal stenographer for the law offices of A.R. Grinstead. During World War II, while her husband served in the U.S. Navy, she was a local volunteer in support of the troops.
As her three sons, Bill, Jim and John were born, she became an active volunteer as a member of the school PTAs, a Cub Scout den mother, Sonoma Valley Little League snack bar coordinator, and numerous other school, church and family related groups. She was a member of the Trinity Episcopal Church altar guild for many years and also served as secretary to the Sonoma County Grand Jury for two years.
While she was not directly employed in the family publishing business, she was active in various state publishers' association auxiliary committees, and was also a steadfast supporter of and participant in many local nonprofit organizations.
She was a cancer survivor, having been stricken with breast cancer in her 40s and enduring radical surgery and heavy radiation treatments.
"Our mom was always the steady 'rock' in our family - the one who made sure that we all understood and fulfilled our responsibilities and obligations as family members, students, citizens and community volunteers," said Bill Lynch. "Although she didn't actually work at the I-T, her presence was felt, because she was our dad's strongest supporter, and expected him and us to do our best to make sure the family business served Sonoma Valley and earned the respect of its citizens. She loved this community and was fiercely loyal to its institutions and traditions. Through most of her adult life, she was a volunteer at countless local fund-raisers and events and made many friends," he added.
Her husband, Robert Lynch, and her youngest son, John Patrick Lynch, preceded her in death. She is survived by her brother, Jack E. Allen of Arroyo Grande; sons, Bill (and Dottie) and Jim (and Sharon) Lynch, of Sonoma; grandchildren, Ryan (and Rachel) Lynch, of Portland, Ore., Darin Lynch, of San Francisco, Chris (and Michele) Lynch, of Sonoma, Brendan Lynch, of McKinleyville, Lily Lynch and Max Lynch, of Sonoma, Chris (and Jennifer) Murphy, of Pleasanton, and Lisa (and Jan) Cholko, of Santa Rosa; niece, Jackie Sapp, of Renton, Wash.; and daughter-in-law, Rose Mantle, of Melbourne Beach, Fla. Eight great-grandchildren also survive her.
A memorial service is set for 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 16, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 275 E. Spain St., Sonoma. Duggan's Mission Chapel is handling the arrangements.
The family prefers memorial donations to Hanna Boys Center, Hospice By The Bay Sonoma Valley Team, Trinity Episcopal Church Memorial Garden or a charity of your choice.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: The Index-Tribune office will be closed Tuesday, Aug. 16, between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. so that staff members can attend the memorial service)