Art, faith, compassion marked Latrobe woman's life
Dolly Lynch knew she was dying, she had been ill for a while, but told her family she'd be with them for Christmas.
She kept her word.
“She wanted to be here for her family and see her family,” her daughter, Kate Hull said. “She went to bed that night very happy.”
Delores A. “Dolly” Lynch, of Latrobe, died Friday, Dec. 29, 2017, at home. She was 90.
Mrs. Lynch and her surviving husband of 68 years, Bernard J. “Bernie” Lynch, had a large family. They had six children, comprising five sons, and Hull their only daughter.
Their progeny has grown to 17 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren.
Hull said her mother kept the family together.
“She had a good sense of humor. She found humor in just about everything,” Hull said. “If you were hurting, she would talk, she would listen, and before you knew it, you were laughing with her.”
A painter in oils and watercolors, art permeated Mrs. Lynch's life, whether it was working in her basement studio or at Latrobe Hospital, where she worked for 25 years as the inpatient mental health activities director.
At the hospital, she planned art activities for patients, such as painting and knitting, Hull said.
She had studied art at the Carnegie Institute, where Andy Warhol was one of her classmates. “She said he was weird,” Hull said.
Mrs. Lynch was a member and officer of the Latrobe Art Center and Art League, the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art in Ligonier Valley, the Greensburg Art Club and the Pittsburgh Watercolor Society.
“She was so talented,” Hull said. “She loved to go to workshops and learn from different people. She just loved art. It gave her a lot of joy.”
Ginny Hutchinson of Unity came to know Mrs. Lynch at the Latrobe Art Center, where she had worked from 2003 to 2015. Mrs. Lynch displayed her paintings there.
Besides being an amazing artist, Hutchinson said Mrs. Lynch was always willing to help and always in a good mood.
“She was phenomenal, just a lovely lady for one thing,” Hutchinson said. “No matter what she had on, she was impeccable. She was always just stunning, a beautiful woman with that beautiful white hair. I think she had that as long as I knew her.”
Jan Sabatos of Latrobe said she met Mrs. Lynch through the art leagues in Latrobe and Greensburg. They'd paint and attend workshops together.
“She was always willing to take workshops,” she said. “She found enjoyment in learning something new all the time.”
Sabatos described Mrs. Lynch as gracious and generous, sharing her ideas and expertise with other artists. Mrs. Lynch's paintings were always in demand, and she won many awards.
“She was a very good friend to me, and to other artists,” Sabatos said.
While Mrs. Lynch would often talk about her family, Hutchinson said she would also listen.
“When you sat down and talked to Dolly, she was always interested in you as a person and what was going on in your life,” she said. “If I ever needed to talk to somebody about something serious, or to get advice, she was the one I'd go to.”
Mrs. Lynch was active at Holy Family Parish, and her faith was very important to her, Hull said. Until becoming ill, she and her husband went to church every day.
At Holy Family, Mrs. Lynch taught CCD, served as a Eucharistic minister and was a member of the parish council.
Mrs. Lynch had a rosary in each of her purses, Hull said. She enjoyed gambling at the casinos, and Hull said she found a rosary in her mother's “gambling purse,” broken, perhaps, from being prayed on a bit too hard.
Hull said she learned compassion from her mother.
“That is one thing I always wanted to be like from her, compassionate,” she said.
Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Hartman-Graziano Funeral Home, 1500 Ligonier St., Latrobe. Services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Holy Family Church, 1200 Ligonier St.
Burial will be at St. Vincent Cemetery.