Pavilion native celebrates being a centenarian plus
After attending a one-room schoolhouse, teaching for 27 years, and maintaining lifelong connections with her former kindergarteners, Louise Lynch accomplished perhaps her biggest feat yet.
Lynch, a lifelong resident of Pavilion, celebrated her 104th birthday Nov. 8.
She was born in 1917 on the Connor homestead on Route 20 in Pavilion, which later became known as Texaco Town. The only daughter of six children, she was the second youngest born to Daniel and Katherine Lacy Connor.
Neither Louise (born Margaret Louise) and her husband George Edward Lynch used their first given names and went by their middle names instead. They married in 1940 at the site of Louise’s baptism and longtime allegiance: St. Mary’s Church in Pavilion, and Louise remained at the Connor Homestead, where she was born, for 70 years. Her father had nicknamed the place Broadway Heights for its prestige of being at the area’s highest elevation on U.S. Route 20, her son Michael Lynch says.
The homestead farm has remained in the family since 1841. One of Louise’s claims to fame was at age 95, when she was diagnosed as legally blind yet she still mowed her large lawn riding her John Deere tractor. That drew many "horn toots" and friendly waves from former students as they drove past, her son said in a letter to The Batavian.
Her teaching career path began in 1938 after receiving her teaching degree from Genesee Normal School, followed by completing her Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education at Geneseo State College. She attained “Permanent Certification” as an elementary teacher and went on to work at Pavilion Central School as a kindergarten teacher for all but one of 27 years. Louise retired in 1973 and continued to find joy when speaking to former kindergarten students and hearing them share fond remembrances from decades past.
No surprise to anyone who knew her, Louise loved children, especially the “little ones,” though she also related well to older ones and chaperoned at least four senior high trips to New York City and Washington, D.C., her son said. Pavilion Central School Alumni Association named her Alumnus of the Year in 2008, and she was a lifetime member of the New York State Teachers Association.
After retiring, Louise and husband Ed wintered in Florida and Arkansas, where both were employed at Oaklawn Jockey Club in Hot Springs. She also worked part-time as a pari-mutuel clerk at Finger Lakes Race Track, where her husband Ed was the Pari-MutuelManager.
Louise is an avid sports fan and supporter of the Buffalo Bills, and has been a loyal member of Notre Dame University’s “Subway Alumni.” A constant fixture at Pavilion Central basketball games in the 1940s and 50s, she could be heard "cheering above all others," Michael said. She lost her husband of 56 years in 1996 and has a son, Michael, three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She has happily resided at South Street Senior Care in Le Roy the last three years.
Photos of Louise Lynch and her celebratory signs submitted by her family.