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centenarian

December 2, 2021 - 4:49pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, centenarian, Pavilion.

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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.

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Photos of Louise Lynch and her celebratory signs submitted by her family.

June 21, 2021 - 2:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in centenarian, 100th Birthday, elon spink, Attica, Le Roy, Milestones.

Above, Elon Spink and his granddaughter, Tammy Charbonneau.

Written by Thomas Spink.

LE ROY -- Le Roy Village Green resident Elon Spink is Genesee County's newest centenarian!

Elon was born 100 years ago on June 19, 1921 in Attica to Ida and Harry Spink. He was the fourth of five children.

At an early age, he was diagnosed with polio, but thankfully he recovered, and he was able to get back his mobility and live a remarkably long life. Having had polio prevented him from enlisting to fight for his country in World War II, which disappointed him as he wanted to help defend his country from the Germans.

During his lifetime, Elon held many jobs. He transported farm equipment, construction materials, worked as an accountant for his brother Tom’s business and then started driving bus. He finished up his career delivering beer and beverages, retiring in 1983 at the age 62.                                        

He moved to Rochester in the 1950s where he would meet and marry the love of his life -- Fern Elizabeth Sherman.  Fern had three children, Patrick, Lucinda and Susan, who have known Elon as Dad for the past 60+ years. Elon and Fern had one child together, Thomas.

Elon and Fern were married for  51 years. Fern passed away in 2006, and Elon continued living ON HIS OWN until December, 2020. At the age of 99 and a half, in the middle of COVID-19, he had a fall and he and his family realized it was time that he needed assistance, which is when he moved to Le Roy Village Green.  

Many of Elon’s most cherished memories are related to sports. Elon was a pretty good bowler. He won team championships in Rochester in the '50s and '60s. Elon is a diehard Rochester Redwings fan and through his son, Pat, (who worked in broadcasting for the Red Wings), he got to meet and befriend several players over the years.

In June of 2001, to celebrate his 80th birthday, he traveled to New York to watch the Yankees play on a Saturday and then rode down to Philadelphia to watch the Batavia Muckdogs parent team take on the New York Mets that following Sunday.   

He is an avid Buffalo Bills fan, and one lifetime experience for Elon was going to the Buffalo Bills first Superbowl in Tampa in 1991. He had the opportunity to meet Bills' owner Ralph Wilson at a Bills game. Ralph asked him how old he was, and when Elon said he was 83, Ralph chuckled and said that he was 86. Later that year, Ralph signed a picture of the two of them saying, “You're still not as old as me.”

The Buffalo Bills are Elon’s favorite team by far. He jokingly comments all the time, “I don’t know if I will ever see them win the Big Game.” Well Elon, maybe Josh Allen will do what your favorite quarterback, Jim Kelly, tried so hard to do four times in a row – and you may get to see a Buffalo Bills’ Super Bowl victory this year as you work your way toward 101!

We all wish you the happiest 100th birthday!

Photos courtesy of Margaret Sheelar.

Below, Elon Spink and his son, Thomas Spink.

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