Jim Lynch

Very sorry to learn that Jim Lynch passed away last month. I first met Jim ten years ago during my very first my visit to Lakeview. Jim’s law office was my first stop. He patiently told me about the workings of the Daly Scholarship, provided me with a list of the recipients, and encouraged me in my research on the Daly Fund. He told me that it was his hope that someone would write a book about the scholarship, its impact and about Bernard Daly. I’m working on that book and hope to live up to his expectations.

As his long-time friend David Maxey wrote, “By birth Jim was a cattleman; by vocation, a lawyer.  He was a superb performer in both categories.  He and I entered the legal profession at about the same time, at opposite ends of this country.  It was inevitable, I believe, that Jim would decide to stay at home and serve the community he grew up in.  Yet he achieved national recognition as an expert in trust and estate law.”

For almost 40 years, Jim was also the secretary-treasurer for the Daly Fund Board of Trustees. In that capacity, he provided extraordinarily good management, continuing in the legacy of Ted Conn, Jim’s former partner. Astonishingly, Ted Conn and Jim Lynch managed the affairs of the Daly Fund for about 80 years, and though I’ve been told that they had quite different personalities, they both provided exceptionally good management. Having served as a college dean at OSU for about decade I know how hard it is to sustain good management and leadership over time and yet, thanks to Jim Lynch and Ted Conn, the Daly Fund has done that and more for almost a hundred years.

It wasn’t just the Daly Fund and the many clients Jim served, it was the larger community of Lake County. I recently interviewed Howard Ottman, Lake County School Superintendent from 1986 – 1999. Howard, who also coached track, told me that he was frustrated that his best runners didn’t do well at the state meets because the track was 37 feet short of a quarter mile and made up of rough cinders. Howard drew up plans for a new track and football field and his first supporter was Jim, a new member of the school board at the time. It took about twenty years, but the new track and field was completed, as were a great many things that happened because of Jim’s support.

Good management matters…

Note: Many thanks to David Maxey, Jim’s long-time friend, who I met in Philadelphia during my recent bike trip; Christine Gacharna, Jim’s step-daughter; and Dan Dunham, my former OSU colleague who introduced me to Jim.  

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