Michael R. Lynch, 59, educator at Towson Catholic High School

October 21, 2003|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Michael R. Lynch, interim principal at Towson Catholic High School, died of a stroke Thursday at St. Joseph Medical Center. The Fells Point resident was 59.

Mr. Lynch, who was a member of the school's faculty since 1978, was presiding at a meeting there when stricken Thursday evening.

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Mr. Lynch earned his bachelor's degree in 1962 from Catholic University of America in Washington. A former member of the Xaverian Brothers, he taught for several years at a parochial school in Brooklyn, N.Y., before coming to Towson Catholic in 1978 to teach theology and Spanish.

He was an assistant principal but was serving as interim principal, at the time of his death.

"I love teaching. I feel very confident as an assistant principal, with the daily running of the school," he told Towson Catholic Magazine, a school publication, in an interview during the summer. "From 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., whenever the kids are together, I'm with them."

"From the framed pictures of former students lining the shelves of his office to the fondness with which he speaks of the school, it is clear Towson Catholic is a part of him, and vice-versa," Pat Becker, a school administrator, said yesterday. "Towson Catholic was where his heart was; it was his home, and those students were his children."

Although Mr. Lynch gladly served as interim principal, he was fearful that if named principal, he would lose the daily interaction with students that he enjoyed.

"He was totally focused in his students. That was his life," said the Rev. F. Dennis Tinder, pastor of Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Towson, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered yesterday.

Mr. Lynch also worked as a bartender Saturdays at the Whistling Oyster in Fells Point.

"He liked everyone, and everyone liked Mike. He was also extremely knowledgeable and could talk to anyone about anything," said Read Hopkins, who owns the bar with his wife.

Mr. Lynch is survived by a sister, Nancy Lynch Roeder of Shrewsbury, Pa.; a nephew; and two nieces.

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