SPECIAL SECTIONS ABOUT SPECIAL TOPICS

SPECIAL SECTION--  PART A-- About Dick Lynch 

PERSONALITIES: DICK LYNCH, COLES COUNTY CORONER 

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DICK LYNCH GOES TO MORTUARY SCHOOL

DICK LYNCH AS MORTICIAN AND COLES COUNTY CORONER

       Dick Lynch graduated from Charleston High School in 1959. He would attend Eastern Illinois University., but would settle in on a career as undertaker. He graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Chicago. He was at the top of his class in grades.

       Dick’s first job as undertaker was with Caudill-King Funeral Home in Charleston. Mrs. Viola Brooks was co-owner and hired him initially. He would stay with them until his death. Dick decided to run for Coles County Coroner in 1972.  He won that first election and would serve as coroner until his death in 1991.         

As coroner Lynch was instrumental in getting stop-lights at the dangerous Loxa-Lerna crossing on Route. 16. In addition, he kept his promise of using college students in coroner inquisitions. Dick always thought that students would have excellent insight into possible causes of student deaths.      
       Lynch
used an all-student jury in a case of a student death at Pox Ridge. The university community lauded him for this. Dick always ran a good race and had competition, especially with Dave Swickard. Dick was a Democratic party leader, but was well liked by both parties.  Coles County is usually considered a Republican stronghold, but he and his Uncle Lee Lynch broke the pattern.

DICK LYNCH RECEIVES VARIOUS AWARDS AND WORKS WITH SEVERAL FUNDRAISERS

 

       Dick received the Jaycees Distinguished Service Award in 1972. He was very active in the Red Cross, Heart Fund, vice-president of the Charleston Chamber of Commerce in 1972, the Outstanding Young Men of America

Award, 1972 (name and biography in a large national book), president of the Kiwanis in Charleston, Rotarian exchange person to Australia in 1974, member of the Knights of Columbus, St. Charles Church, and a batter at the Charleston night at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, at a Cardinal game (1973), as well as a member of the Advisory Board on Necropsy Services to Coroners in 1982, No doubt one could write a lot about Dick's activities, but this would require a lot of research and additional pages.

       What I remember about Dick is his Don Rickles sense of humor and wise-cracking". If you took him too seriously, you might feel insulted. Many will remember the old blue-bomb station-wagon coroner car? When he would stop by 408 Madison people would call Louise all upset, wondering why the coroner was there!

Lynch would help Louise in lots of ways and they could confer in a special way on community projects and possible news. Louise knew everything about everybody, and Dick knew as much. They could have together written a real interesting book about lots of people and events in Coles County. Louise and Dick were good friends and had lots of fun. 

MELVIN TAYLOR FUNERAL WAS SPECIAL FOR THE TAYLOR FAMILY

       The funeral that Dick Lynch and Tom Watson, Charleston Fire Chief, planned for my dad, Melvin Taylor, was one of the largest that Charleston ever had for a civic official. He planned the video-taping, put a black wreath on the front door of the porch of 408 Madison, and planned the service itself. He did everything perfectly, just as the Fire Chief would want. From what I understand, he and Tom had the fire truck practice pulling into and out of the funeral home parking lot, and had a special platform built to allow putting the casket on top of the truck.

 


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