Father Kenny Lynch passed away April 26, 2002
Rev. Kenny Lynch, pastor, pugilist
As a youth growing up in Walnut Hills, the Rev. Kenny Lynch had two major interests: religion and boxing. Even while attending seminary, he continued to box, prompting his father to say: "Make up your mind. Are you going to fight or praise the Lord?" In a sense, Rev. Lynch decided to do both. During World War II, Rev. Lynch was one of seven
Lynch brothers who answered their country's call, enlisting and serving abroad in the Army, Marines and Navy in some of the war's heaviest fighting. At war's end, only six would return home to a house on May Street with a gold star in its window - poignant proof of the war's toll on the family.
A heavily decorated Army chaplain who also served in Korea, Rev. Lynch died Tuesday in Chicago. He was 91. His younger brother, Gabriel, 76, died only three weeks ago in Cincinnati. Father Kenny's death leaves his youngest brother, Paul Lynch of Mt. Adams, as the only surviving member of the "Fighting Lynches." Believed to be one of only three families in America to have committed so many sons. to the war effort, the Lynches received a framed letter of appreciation from President Franklin D. Roosevelt. An eighth brother served as a chaplain at veterans hospitals, but was not in the military.
Rev. Lynch served with the 3rd Armored Division and the 32nd Armored Regiment in England, France, Belgium and Germany during World War II. The numerous medals and combat ribbons that he received include the Purple' Heart, the Bronze Star for valor and the Silver Star for gallantry on the battlefield.
The Silver Star recognized Rev. Lynch's performance during a battle in France when, under heavy enemy gunfire, he threw his body over a wound ed soldier to prevent further wounds. Later, he carried the wounded man 300 feet across unprotected territory to safety, according to a citation accompanying the award.
After the war, Rev. Lynch served as pastor at Holy Cross Immaculata Church in Mt. Adams from 1947 to 1950. When the Korean War began, he joined the 31st Infantry Regiment, the famed American Foreign Legion, at Heartbreak Ridge, service for which he later received a second Bronze Star.
Rev. Lynch remained in the Army until 1966,- stationed. at posts around the world, then later served at various Passionist monasteries and parishes throughout the United States. He was a member of the Passionist Order, Holy Cross Province for 65 years.
In addition to his brother, he is survived by two sisters, Rosemary Mugavin of Mt. Washington and Ursula McFadden of Hyde Park.
Mass was at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Agnes Church, 1924 Newburg- Road, Louisville, followed by burial with full military honors at the church cemetery. A memorial mass was held in Cincinnati at 4:30 p.m. April 27 at Holy Cross-Immaculata Church, 30 Guido, Mt. Adams.
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