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Obituary Stories

Double amputee never lost his drive

Patrick Varine
| Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, 11:00 p.m.

In 1958, Bernard Lynch was in an accident and lost both legs below the knee.

“When they sent him home from the hospital, he was told he'd never climb up a ladder again,” said his daughter, Kathleen Hull.

Not long after that, Mr. Lynch got out a ladder, climbed a few steps, then called his doctor.

“He overcame so much,” Mrs. Hull said. “I don't know that I could do what he did.”

Bernard J. “Bernie” Lynch of Latrobe died Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. He was 90.

Mr. Lynch was born April 1, 1927, in Altoona, a son of the late Bernard and Anna (Kujawa) Lynch.

He graduated from Pittsburgh Central High School and was assigned by the Navy to the V-12 training program for naval officers at the University of Notre Dame.

Mr. Lynch served as a second class seaman during World War II, stationed in San Francisco. After returning to Notre Dame, he earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and spent his career working for Duquesne Light, Alco Products, Latrobe Forge and Spring, and Standard Steel, retiring in 1982 as head electrical engineer.

Neil Lynch said his father was a very determined man.

“What always struck me after he lost his legs is that he didn't look for any sympathy,” Neil said. “He wanted to jump right back into life.”

Mr. Lynch loved golfing, and continued to golf until he was 78.

“We would take him up to Champion Lakes, and when that got to be too much for him, he'd go up to the Timberlink Golf Course,” he said.

Both Mr. Lynch and his late wife, Dolly, shot holes-in-one at Timberlink over the years.

“We got them both plaques to commemorate that,” Neil Lynch said.

Mr. Lynch met Dolly through a mutual friend when both were in high school. Dolly died on Dec. 29, 2017.

“He died of a broken heart, because he sure missed her,” Hull said. “We were all shocked to see him go so quickly.”

Mr. Lynch also was an avid gardener.

“He just asked me last week if I wanted him to order any seeds for me,” Mrs. Hull said. “He started all his plants from seed, and that's how all of us children got our gardens started as well.”

Mr. Lynch was an active member of Holy Family Roman Catholic Church in Latrobe, a former member and past president of the Latrobe Rotary Club, a member of Knights of Columbus Council 940, and a past board member of the Latrobe Municipal Authority, Chestnut Ridge American Red Cross chapter and Latrobe Art Center.

He is survived by six children, Bernard J. Lynch, Kathleen A. Hull, Neil P. Lynch, Kevin J. Lynch, Robert N. Lynch, and Sean M. Lynch; 17 grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; and 22 great-grandchildren.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Hartman-Graziano Funeral Home, 1500 Ligonier St., Latrobe. A funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Holy Family Church, 1200 Ligonier St., Latrobe, with interment to follow with full military honors by the Greensburg VFW.

Memorial contributions can be made to St. Anne Home, 685 Angela Drive, Greensburg, PA 15601 or the St. Vincent DePaul Society, P.O. Box 654, Latrobe, PA 15650.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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