Brian L. Lynch, age 67, of Joliet, passed away peacefully on Thursday, October 17th with his loving family by his side. This gentle, loving, caring, wise, and hard-working man has left a permanent mark etched upon our hearts and will be fiercely missed by all who knew him.
Brian was born on March 30, 1952 in Joliet, son of the late LaVerne and Ann (Zamkovitz) Lynch. He attended Pershing Elementary, Hufford Junior High, and Joliet West High School graduating in 1970. High school is where he deepened his love for playing baseball and football, but also where he met the love of his life, Lorna. Although being a Tiger on the undefeated 1968 JT West football team was a highlight of his high school career, finally asking Lorna to go on a date with him to a basketball game and dinner at the Skylark, was most certainly the greatest moment of those years.
After high school, Brian attended The University of Dubuque playing football for the Spartans. He also became a member of the Mu Sigma Beta Fraternity where he became “brothers” with some of the best friends a guy could ever ask for; forming bonds that will never be broken.
Brian and Lorna were married on August 4, 1973 at First Presbyterian Church in Joliet and lived in Dubuque, IA until Brian graduated in 1974. Brian’s first job was teaching Earth Science and coaching football and girls’ basketball at Walsh Junior High in Ottumwa, IA. His dream was to teach and coach at his alma mater so when the opportunity came in 1979, Brian and Lorna moved back to Joliet where Brian continued his career with Joliet Township High Schools, teaching at East, Central, and West campuses. Brian earned his Masters Degree in Sociology from Governors State University. Prior to retiring from JT in 2016, Brian coached football, baseball, and softball emphasizing a team philosophy. He always strived to make a difference for his students; caring for them and working tirelessly to not only help them learn a subject matter, but to become better individuals.
Brian was a member of Local 124 IATSE Stagehands, the Old Timers Baseball Association of Will County, and First Presbyterian Church of Joliet.
Throughout his life, Brian wore many hats, but perhaps the title of father and subsequently grandfather perhaps Brian was proudest. Dad coached, literally and figuratively, all three of his children through sports, school work, and the roller coaster of growing up. Always leading by example, he impressed upon them the value of a strong work ethic, having respect for others, and the importance of being there for family.
Brian developed a deep fondness for photographing his grandchildren, old barns, planes, wildlife, sunsets and any other inspirational subjects. He loved printing his photographs to make collages for his grandkids to hang in their bedrooms and often sent prints to family and friends. He was never far from a casino or a lottery scratch ticket, always trying to hit the “big one”! Another hobby of his was to search for antiques and collectibles most would seem worthless or impractical, but Dad always saw the uniqueness and value in everything. He was constantly searching for the best baseball cards and trinkets to refurbish and give to his grandkids. Always loyal, Brian loved his Chicago sports teams and was ecstatic when the Cubs won the World Series in 2016. Family picnics down at the river, annual family “Griswold” vacations, and “Boo at the Zoo” with the grandkids were some of the annual traditions Brian most dearly loved.
He is reunited in Heaven with his parents, Ann and LaVerne, Mother-In-Law, Marilyn Thorne, Uncle, Boris Zamkovitz, and Sister-In-Law, Lynn Thorne.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife and best friend Lorna (Thorne) Lynch, loving children Amy (Kevin) Bab, Matthew (Melissa) Lynch, and Christina Lynch, and adoring grandchildren Colin and Gracie Bab and Charlee and Chase Lynch. Also survived by his loving father in law, Darold Thorne, siblings Priscilla Lynch, Lorin (Lynne) Lynch, and Blake (Sharon) Lynch, Brothers in law Gary Thorne and James Thorne, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, October 23rd, 4:00-8:00 pm at Blackburn-Giegerich-Sonntag Funeral Home, 1500 Black Road, Joliet, IL, 60435.
Funeral service will be held on Thursday, October 24th, 11:00 am at First Presbyterian Church, 805 Western Ave, Joliet, IL, 60435.
Interment immediately following at Elmhurst Cemetery, 1212 East Washington Street, Joliet, IL 60433.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the American Heart Association or the Alzheimer’s Association.
To send flowers to Brian's family, please visit our floral section.