'An Unbelievable Dad'
On his days off, Lt. Michael F. Lynch, a firefighter at Ladder Company 4 in Manhattan, loved to play with toy dinosaurs with his elder son, Michael, 3. They would line them up by type and take them for "far walks" — a game in which the dinosaurs foraged for food and water.
"He was an unbelievable dad," said his wife, Denise. She said he would come home from a 24-hour shift and see their other son, John Ryan, known as Jack, and say how "shocked he was at how much Jack had grown." Jack is 1 year old today.
His nieces and nephews called Lieutenant Lynch, 33, who was 6 feet 5 inches and 230 pounds, Big Mike. The firefighters in Ladder 4 called him Prancer, a nickname given him the night he thought he heard a bell and started jumping around the firehouse looking for it. Mrs. Lynch called him "drop-dead gorgeous."
Lieutenant Lynch was last seen on Sept. 11 helping people trapped in an elevator in the lobby of 2 World Trade Center. Mrs. Lynch hopes to meet someone from that elevator because she is certain that its occupants survived. She said, "Those people were in good hands with my husband."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on February 24, 2002.
LYNCH-Michael F. Of New Hyde Park, New York, FDNY Ladder 4, heroically in the line of duty at WTC on September 11, 2001, 33 years old. Devoted husband and best friend of Denise (nee Bertrand). Loving father of Michael (three years), and Jack Ryan (nine months). Beloved son of Catherine (nee McGuire) and Daniel of Flushing, NY. Adored youngest brother of Kathleen, Bernadette, Mary, Rory, Barbara, Danny (NYPD), and Maureen. Wonderful caring uncle of Kerry, Katie, Michael, Marcelle, Julia, Liam, Christina, Johnny, Andrew, Danny, Nicholas, Olivia, Morgan, Hank, McKenzie, and Emily. Loyal brother-in-law of John, Joe, John I, Tom, Hank, Chris, Anne Marie, Paul and Brittini. Fond son-in-law of Joan. Dear nephew of Jimmy, Dolores, and Rose. Cherished cousin and friend to many. A Celebration of Life Mass will be held at Notre Dame R.C. Church, New Hyde Park, NY, 9:30 AM on November 24th. Memorial donations may be sent to Michael F. Lynch Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 279, New Hyde Park, NY 11040 (private) or Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9 Memorial Fund, 782 8th Avenue, New York, New York 10036 (public).
Paid notice published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 21, 2001.