John D. Lynch
John D. Lynch, Esquire passed peacefully surrounded by his family on March 14, 2017 after a long and difficult battle with Alzheimer’s. John is survived by his wife of 55 years, Patricia M. (Washburn) Lynch and his ten children: Susan Lynch McKnight and her husband, Jamie, of Narragansett; the Honorable Karen Lynch Bernard, Associate Justice of the RI Family Court, of Warwick; Bethany A. Furtado, Chairwoman of the Warwick School Committee, and her husband, Gil, of Warwick; Kristen E. Lynch of Warwick; Deborah L. D’Orsi and her husband, Scott, of Sudbury, MA; Tricia A. McCool and her husband, Steve, of West Roxbury, MA; John D. Lynch, Jr., Esquire and his wife, Demonica, of Warwick; Jennifer L. Buckley, Esquire and her husband, Jerry of Warwick; the Honorable Erin Lynch Prata, State Senator District 31, and her husband, Joe, of Warwick; and Joseph R. Lynch and his wife, Danielle, of Belmont, CA. He also leaves his 27 beloved grandchildren: Jimmy and Paige McKnight; Robert, Owen and Georgia Bernard; Matthew, Nicolas and Zachary Furtado; Raymond Pendergast; Hope, Will, Tess, Drew and Luke D’Orsi; Jack, Corinne, Devlin, Jimmy and Catherine McCool; Julia Lynch; Carly, Ryan, Ben and Danny Buckley; and Caleb, Charlie and Nolan Lynch.
John was the son of the late James F. Lynch, a former Warwick Police Chief, and Rita M. (Craig) Lynch. He also leaves: his sisters Dorothy Horan and Rita M. Lynch Barbone; his brother James C. Lynch and his wife, Joyce; his sister-in-laws: Nancy Bessette, formerly of Cranston and Judy Mullarkey and her husband, Ed of Rocky Hill, CT. He was the brother of the late Richard Lynch. John leaves many nieces, nephews and good friends.
He was a lifelong Warwick resident and was very proud of his Apponaug roots. He was a graduate of LaSalle Academy ’57, where he was captain of the football team, Boston College Class of ‘61, and Suffolk University School of Law Class of ‘64.
John practiced law for over 50 years at his law office on Tollgate Road in Warwick, proudly practicing over the last few decades with his children Karen, John Jr., Jennifer and Erin. He was a member of the RI and Federal Bar Associations; Kent County Bar Association; RI Family Law Inns of Court; RI Trials Lawyers Association; and the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. He was recognized as the Boston College Man of the Year by the Boston College Club of RI and was appointed by Governor Noel as a member on the original Judicial Tenure and Discipline Committee. He was a past associate member of the Warwick FOP, Knights of Columbus, Warwick Elks, Potowomut Golf Club and the RI State Police Auxiliary. He was very proud to have been appointed as an Honorary Lt. Colonel of the RI State Police by Col. Walter E. Stone.
John was recognized by his peers and clients as an outstanding criminal, civil, and divorce attorney. He was known for his keen intellect, quick wit, and especially for his voracious representation of his clients. John was a leader and a mentor to many young lawyers. Over the years, he had some very memorable cases. In the 80s he represented a client in an Alienation of Affection lawsuit, which gained national attention and led to appearances on the Oprah Winfrey, Phil Donahue, and Sally Jesse Raphael shows. In the 90s he represented the Estate of Pearl Sunderland Rose which resulted in an auction of hundreds of historical artifacts and paintings, in particular a long lost 1858 Albert Beirstadt 6’x10’ painting of Lake Lucerne, which was recovered from the late Ms. Rose’s home and restored. The painting currently hangs in the National Gallery of Art, in Washington D.C.
A life-long Democrat, John ran for the RI State Senate in the late 1960’s after graduating from Law School. Though his bid was unsuccessful, his passion for politics continued as an integral part of many successful city and state campaigns for some of his closest friends including the campaigns for former Warwick Mayor and Governor Philip W. Noel and former Warwick Mayor Joseph W. Walsh. He was an invaluable mentor to his children and was proud and honored to assist his daughter Bethany Furtado in her successful elections to the Warwick School Committee, as well as his daughter Erin Lynch Prata in her successful elections to the RI State Senate District 31.
For John, there was nothing more important than his family. John and Pat enjoyed hosting family holidays and many summer weekends at their Warwick home surrounded by his children and their families, relatives and friends. John and Pat were avid golfers and spent time traveling with some of their dearest friends to golf courses throughout Rhode Island, Florida and Ireland.
An avid supporter of Warwick Public Schools and Warwick Youth Athletics, John worked behind the scenes donating his time and raising money during the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s for many organizations, especially Toll Gate High School, the St. Gregory’s Girls Softball program, the Kent County YMCA swim team, the Warwick PAL Football and Baseball programs, and Special Olympics RI. John was proud to coach his sons’ Warwick PAL Football and St. Gregory’s Baseball teams.
The Lynch family wishes to extend their special thanks to the supportive staff of Brookdale South Bay and Hope Hospice Care of RI South Team, who all showed a level of professionalism, compassion and kindness that made all the difference during John’s illness.
Relatives and friends are invited to Calling Hours on Sunday from 2:00-7:00 p.m. in St. Gregory the Great Church, 360 Cowesett Road, Warwick where a Mass of Christian Burial will be concelebrated on Monday at 10:00 a.m. followed by burial in St. Joseph Cemetery, West Greenwich
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to Home and Hospice Care of Wakefield, 143 Main St, Wakefield, RI 02879 and to Toll Gate High School, c/o Candace Calouri, Principal, 575 Centerville Road, Warwick, RI 02886.
Arrangements by the Urquhart-Murphy Funeral Home. www.murphyfuneralhomes.org