Ledyard - Martin Joseph Lynch of Ledyard, a pharmaceutical chemist who came to Connecticut in 1959 as part of the first team of researchers at Pfizer's Groton R&D laboratories, died peacefully on Wednesday, April 3, 2013, at The Elms in Westerly, two days before he celebrated his 86th birthday.
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He was a scientist at Pfizer for 39 years, beginning in 1954 at the research labs in Brooklyn, then transferring to Groton. He co-authored several research papers in his long career with Pfizer before retiring in 1993.
Martin was committed to public service. A lifelong democrat, he believed that government should steward citizen's needs through thoughtful long-term financial planning. He brought this vision to Ledyard's Town Council, where he was a councilor for 12 years (1983-1995) and recognized in 1989 for his "imaginative financial strategy designed to promote fiscal continuity." In his tenure, he supported the expansion of the Town Hall, the development of Ledyard's Senior Center, improvements to roads and bridges and to the school system. He also served on the Planning Commission, the Inland Wetlands and Water Courses Commission, the board of directors of the Southeastern Transit District and the Connecticut Public Transportation Commission. Until 2012, he worked for several years on the finance committee of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Gales Ferry, of which he was a founding member.
Martin was born in the Bronx, N.Y., on April 1, 1927, to Margaret (Phelan) Lynch and Martin J. Lynch, who died shortly before his birth. He also was preceded in death by his mother, brother, Joseph Lynch; and stepbrother, John McCarthy.
After graduating from All Hallows Catholic High School in the Bronx, he persuaded his mother to let him join, at age 17, the V5 Naval Aviation program in 1944. He was discharged into the inactive reserves at the end of World War II and later served in the U.S. Army during the Korean war.
He earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Md., in 1949; a master's in chemistry from Fordham University in 1953 and attended the doctoral program in chemistry at Brooklyn Polytech before leaving to take up his research position at Pfizer's new Groton branch. Later he earned an MBA from the University of New Haven. An enthusiastic life-long learner, he attended Eastern Connecticut State University after retirement, earning bachelor's degrees in mathematics, accounting and economics.
He was most of all devoted to his family. He married Joan (Coon) Lynch on June 18, 1955, in Hurley, N.M., and loved her for 58 years. She survives him. He was the proud father of seven children, Michael, James, William, Margaret and Patrick Lynch, Mary Hanifin and Martha Elder; and was thrilled to have 12 grandchildren. As a native New Yorker, he rooted all his life for the Yankees but forgave those of his descendants who persisted in following lesser teams. Persistence, he believed, was to be encouraged as a virtue, in all its forms.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, April 8, at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Gales Ferry. Interment will follow at Avery-Stoddard Cemetery in Gales Ferry. Visiting hours will be 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, at Byles-Groton Memorial Home, 310 Thames St., Groton.
A passionate believer in the importance of education and supporter of local causes, Martin requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to LEAF (Ledyard Education Advancement Foundation, P.O. Box 324, Ledyard, CT 06339, www.LedyardEducation.org).
Please visit www.byles.com for directions, to sign the guestbook or to share a memory.
Byles-Groton Memorial Home - Groton
310 Thames St.
Groton, CT 06340
860 445 4844
Published in The Day on Apr. 5, 2013