LYNCH, Joseph George
Joseph George Lynch, born August 12, 1924, formerly of Covell Hill Road in Portland, passed away at his residence in Hartford on September 10, 2012. Joe was known for his considerable accomplishments, his loyalty, generosity, quick wit, humor and adventuresome spirit. Joe served in World War II as a navigator on B17 bombers flying missions over Europe, earning three Purple Hearts for his valor. Following his discharge, Joe attended what he referred to as the "finest educational institution in the world", Wesleyan University in Middletown, where he earned an AB with honors in Government. After Graduating in 1947, Joe served during the 80th Congress as administrative assistant to Connecticut's US Senator, Raymond E. Baldwin. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1951, Joe joined the law firm of Halloran, Sage, Phelon & Haggarty. He remained with this firm throughout his sixty year career as the six man firm grew from its location in a small brick two-story house on Lewis Street in Hartford to include over eighty lawyers and offices in six different Connecticut locations as well as an office in Washington D.C. Joe became a noted trial attorney, concentrating in the fields of aviation law, product liability, probate and education law. Joe later served as a parajudicial officer in the US District Court assisting in the mediation, arbitration, and settlement of civil law suits. Joe also served as Portland's town counsel and was Judge of Probate for the town of Portland for two decades. In addition, Joe was legal counsel to Wesleyan University for many years. In May of 2004, Joe was much honored to receive the Raymond E. Baldwin Medal, Wesleyan's highest honor awarded by the alumni body for extraordinary service to the University and to the public. Joe was a member of the board of directors of New England Air Museum, the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, the Rockfall Foundation, as well as Vice-Chairman of the State of Connecticut Insurance and Risk Management Board. In 2003, he received the Secretary of State Public Service Award. Joe was a Life Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, The American Bar Foundation and was listed in "The Best Lawyers in America" since 1982. Joe's loyalty is exemplified by his relationship with Wesleyan. In 1999, Wesleyan again recognized Joe, naming him "Fan of the Century". Joe was also a loyal member of the former University Club and then very active in the Hartford Canoe Club where he often entertained family and friends. Joe's generosity was legend and perhaps best symbolized by his tradition of serving Sunday morning breakfast. If the flag was on the front door, Joe himself served breakfast from 7 a.m. to noon to anyone and everyone who entered, from the newspaper boy to the governor. Sunday breakfast crowds could top sixty people. While rehabilitating from his war wounds, Joe met his future wife Lieutenant Vicky Hamilton who was serving as a physical therapist. Joe and Vicky were married in April of 1946 and established their first residence in Portland. When Joe completed law school, the couple returned to live in Portland where they raised four children and continued to reside until Vicky passed away in 2003. The neighbors of their Covell Hill home and the Portland community enriched their lives as well as the lives of their children. Although Joe enjoyed establishing and following traditions, he also had a spirit of adventure. Joe and Vicky were world travelers enjoying a variety of journeys with their family and friends. Tortola became a traditional yearly venture both for Joe and Vicky and then for Joe. Joe Lynch was predeceased by his wife of fifty-seven years, Vicky Hamilton Lynch. He is survived by their four children: Leslie Lynch Raider and her husband Paul, Shirley Lynch Scarlett and her husband George, Michael Garth Lynch and Wendy Lynch. He will be much missed by his eight grandchildren: Rebekkah Raider Corbett and her husband Dan, Laura Anne Lynch Lee and her husband River, Woody Colling and his wife Jessica, William Joseph Lynch, Brenden Colling, William Scarlett, David Lynch and Evan Scarlett; as well as his two great-grandchildren, Elsie Anna Corbett and Trace Ewan McFarland. Elsie and Trace viewed their great-grandfather as a master of providing entertainment for children from family Thanksgivings at the Equinox, pony rides at the Canoe Club brunches, a carousel ride in the summer and ice skating in the winter within walking distance of his apartment and St Patrick's Day parades that could be seen from his balcony. Joe Lynch is also survived by many, many friends and the people whose lives he touched. His quick wit, practical jokes and ability to tell funny stories will be remembered by all who knew him.
In accordance with his wishes, a celebration of his life will be held at a later date. To send an online expression of sympathy, please visit www.portlandmemorialfh.net