Charles Lynch Jr., 84, educator in city schools

April 18, 2003|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Charles Henry "Buck" Lynch Jr., a retired public schools educator and jazz enthusiast, died Sunday of complications from cancer and respiratory failure at Good Samaritan Hospital. The Lochearn resident was 84.

Born in Baltimore, he lived near Falls Road and Cold Spring Lane as a boy and attended elementary school in that community. After attending Booker T. Washington Junior High School, he graduated, at age 16, from Frederick Douglass Senior High School in 1934. He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Virginia State College in 1940.

During World War II, he was a sergeant stationed at Camp Lee, Va.

In 1941, he married Gwendolyn Thomas, a Baltimore City public school speech pathologist who later taught at Towson University. She survives him.

In 1946, he joined the faculty of Carver Vocational-Technical High School, where he taught bookkeeping, business arithmetic and typing for 20 years.

"He was a person who spoke only the best about people. He never harbored a bad thought," said his son Thomas Lee Lynch of Randallstown. "He loved his days at Carver and his students always remained in contact with him. Years later, in 1996, they gave him a roast at Martin's West."

In 1966, he left the classroom and became an accountant in the Baltimore public schools' 25th Street headquarters. He later was an assistant to Saul Perdue, an assistant schools superintendent.

In 1976, Mr. Lynch retired as supervisor in Region 9.

"He was thrifty and hard-working, witty and courteous. As a young man, he waited tables in city hotels, prepared income taxes and taught driver's education to supplement the family's income," said his other son, Charles Henry Lynch III of Brooklyn, N.Y. "Throughout his adult life he mentored and befriended thousands of young people."

In commemoration of his service as an educator, role model and community activist, he received the Mayor's Citation for the City of Baltimore and the state of Maryland's Certificate of Distinguished Citizenship.

In 1996, he was recognized by the Maryland Senate for his "outstanding dedication as a business education teacher" and for "instilling a sense of personal and racial pride" in his students.

A Roman Catholic, he was a former member of St. Francis Xavier Church in East Baltimore and New All Saints congregation in Forest Park.

He belonged to Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and two social groups, Baltimore Friends and Committee X.

Mr. Lynch enjoyed listening to jazz at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Left Bank Jazz Society and area clubs. He also had a summer home in Cape May, N.J., and regularly attended the Cape May Jazz Festival.

He also liked gospel music, learning the latest popular dance and playing golf.

He was a member of the Urban League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Virginia State Alumni Association, the McKim Center, the Forest Garden Improvement Association, the Cape May Improvement Association and the Maryland Retired Teachers Association.

Mr. Lynch read extensively and traveled throughout the United States, Europe and the Caribbean.

A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. May 1 at New All Saints Church, 4408 Liberty Heights Ave.

In addition to his wife and two sons, Mr. Lynch is survived by a grandson and two great-granddaughters.

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