Frances E.H. Lynch, 95, city substitute teacher

September 20, 2004|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

Frances Elizabeth Hildebrandt Lynch, a former substitute teacher who was a longtime Howard Park resident, died of vascular disease Tuesday at the Wesley Home in Baltimore. She was 95.

For a decade starting in 1949, "Betty," as she was known, was a regular substitute teacher at Western High School.

The daughter of a French embroiderer mother and embroidery designer father, she was an accomplished seamstress. She enjoyed sewing and made her clothes until she was in her 80s. Her father's family's business, Hildebrandt and Co., which operated from 1887 to 1933, was featured in a 1997 Maryland Historical Society exhibit.

A Baltimore native, she was a 1926 graduate of Western High School. Offered a choice by her mother of going to college or using the money toward a house in Howard Park, she chose the house, beginning 71 years of living in that community.

After high school, she worked as a secretary, and she studied secretarial skills at night from 1926 to 1928. She worked as a dental assistant for Dr. Raymond Baldwin starting in 1928.

In 1931, she married Arthur Morrison Lynch, whom she met at what was then Howard Park Methodist Episcopal Church.

She stopped working in 1934 to raise a family and turned to substitute teaching when her children were older.

She volunteered at Maryland General Hospital between 1959 and 1969.

From 1969 until 1976, she helped her husband, who had become legally blind, operate his concession stand at the Social Security Administration in Woodlawn.

She also created an outlet for the couple to stay socially active. During the 1960s and 1970s, the couple hosted a discussion group in their home. The group of as many as 20 friends and educators met every Sunday, reading and talking about world affairs. Discussions were led by Francis Fairbank, former chairman of the history department at City College.

As a child, she attended Grace Methodist Episcopal Church in Baltimore, which became Grace United Methodist Church. In Howard Park, she became an active member of Howard Park Methodist Episcopal Church, later Howard Park United Methodist Church. She taught Sunday school, played piano for Sunday school and served as an adult counselor for the Junior High Youth Group.

In 1998, she and her husband were honored with lifetime memberships there. They also attended St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Woodlawn.

Over the years, the couple traveled extensively, touring Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean, North Africa and other regions.

"It was inspiring that they continued to do that," said her daughter, Carolyn Bracken of Catonsville.

Every year, they traveled to Ocean City with their family.

She enjoyed baking for her family, completing Sunday dinners with a variety of homemade cakes.

She was a member of the Howard Park Civic Association for 50 years, and was a longtime member of the League of Women Voters. She liked to garden, and relaxed at home by playing the piano and organ.

The couple moved to the Wesley Home in 1997.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 4 at the Wesley Home, 2211 W. Rogers Ave., Baltimore.

In addition to her husband of 73 years and her daughter, she is survived by a son, Arthur M. Lynch Jr. of Rodgers Forge; two grandsons; two granddaughters; one great-grandson; and three great-granddaughters.

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