Beloved father, son, brother, and friend, died peacefully with family at his side on January 19, 2016. All who knew and loved him will sorely miss his generous smile, bountiful creativity, intense curiosity, and his loving heart. Ward was born in Lakeview, Oregon on September 29, 1923, the eldest son born to Everett and Dorothy Lynch (Ward).
He moved to the Portland, Ore. area as a young child and attended school there until he moved to Tonasket, Wash. where he received his diploma from Tonasket High School.
With World War II raging, he joined the Merchant Marines where he saw duty in the Philippines and the ports and convoys in the Pacific Theater. He took pride in his shaved head after crossing the Equator, a tradition in the Navy and Merchant Marines. He met his first wife, Constance Lynch (Dieffenbach), during a port call in Seattle, Wash. She took his heart and name before he went back to sea. Upon his return, he settled in Tonasket with his new wife and first born child Caroline. He owned a Record Store in Tonasket for a number of years where his daughter Catherine (Lorraine), Jane Ellen, and Elizabeth, were born. He and his family moved to Mountlake Terrace, Wash. in 1954 where he worked at Kelly’s Television Repair shop in the Loyal Heights area of Seattle until 1956 when he took a position at Boeing Airplane Manufacture in Seattle. He spent the next 29 years supporting a growing family.
He and his wife Constance’s family continued to grow with Thomas, Christopher and Christina (the twins), Michael, Peter, Theresa and Anthony.
He turned to art in his mid 40s, an interest he had had since his youth. Ward was well known for his three dimensional macramé hangings and inclusion of local material and of other artists’ works into his own. His macrame led to an in interest in jewelry and fine metal work. He soon found another passion and started teaching art classes. In 1973 he lost his first wife of 29 years, Constance, to cancer.
He met his second wife, Barbara Darilek (Bovela) shortly after and found new love and more children, as Barbara had four young children, Angela, Paul, Ronald, and Diane.
A family vacation led to an opportunity in Okanogan, Wash. which Ward thought too good to miss. He purchased a rock and gem shop and he and new wife Barbara, along with their seven youngest children relocated to Okanogan.
The Okanogan Artisan rose from the ashes of the Rock and Gem Shop he had purchased in 1976. He continued his artwork expanding into different mediums and techniques. For many years he taught numerous classes devoted to art history and technique part time at the local Community College in Omak, Wash. and at his business in Okanogan. His attention was then captured by the local Omak Community Theater where he was able to provide the knowledge and expertise learned from many years in electronics and art to install theater lighting and direction which continued for many years.
With the departure of their offspring and Barbara’s retirement, they moved to Everson, Wash. where he continued his art and teaching up until his last days
Ward had many interests and found the most joy in teaching and sharing his love of art and the world around him with his many friends, students, and children.
Ward is survived by his wife Barbara, his daughters Lorraine Tedrow, Jane Ellen Lynch, Elizabeth Lynch, Christina Lee, Anastasia Miller, Angela Doty (Darilek), Diane (Darilek) McKinney; his sons Tom, Christopher, Michael, Peter, Anthony Lynch, and Ron and Paul Darilek, and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren, and many sons and daughters he “adopted” along the way. He is preceded in death by his mother, father, older sister Dorothy, younger brother James, oldest daughter Carolyn Sue Pierce (Lynch), oldest son John Ward Lynch, Jr., and a son who died at birth.
A Celebration of John’s life will be held Friday, January 29, 2016 at 12 p.m., noon at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 205 12th St, Lynden, Wash. 98264; phone number 360-354-2334.