Richard B. “Dick” Lynch, 82, of Wakefield formerly of Cumberland, passed away on Wednesday, March 6, 2019. He was the beloved husband of 55 years of the late Mary E. (Hanewich) Lynch. Born in Hartford, CT, he was the son of the late James and Katherine (Burns) Lynch.
A native of Seekonk, now a resident of Wakefield, Rhode Island, Dick was 1954 graduate of Saint Raphael Academy, Pawtucket and a 1958 graduate of Boston College where he was a 4 year football scholarship recipient. He later received a Masters in Education from Providence College.
He began a 46 year career as an educator in Rhode Island. Starting as a teacher/coach at St. Raphael Academy led to 27 years in the Cumberland School Department as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, middle school principal, and high school principal. He then left Cumberland to become an Assistant Superintendent and then Superintendent of Schools in Smithfield before retiring in 1994.
He began his second career as the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League holding that position for 10 years before retiring again in 2004. During his tenure with the League, he worked to implement coaches’ education and sportsmanship programs along with many other initiatives.
In addition to his career in education, he was an assistant football at the University of Rhode Island for one year as well as Head Football Coach of the Providence College Club team.
In addition, Dick was a nationally recognized basketball official refereeing games in the NCAA Division I, II, III National Tournaments, as well as the Holiday Festival in New York, The Big East, Atlantic 10, Ivy League, MAAC and ECAC conferences. Highlights of his officiating career include being selected to officiate in the NCAA Division I Tournament three times and officiating the NCAA Division II National Championship.
He has been selected as a recipient of the Pawtucket Red Sox Hometown Hero Award, the Rhode Island Sports Council’s Paul Kilcullen Sports Advocate Award, the Institute for International Sports Frank Keaney Award, Rhode Island Chapter National Football Foundation/Contribution to Football Award, Words Unlimited – 2004 Frank Lanning Award/Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also recognized as one of the Providence Journal’s Rhode Island’s Top 100 Most Significant Sport Figures in the 20th Century. He is a Member of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League Hall of Fame, the Providence Gridiron Club Hall of Fame, Rhode Island Basketball Officials Hall of Fame, the Rhode Island Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame, College Basketball Officials Association John P. Nucatola Award and the Russ Beisswanger Award, the Rhode Island Soccer Officials Hall of Fame, and the Cumberland High School Hall of Fame.
He served on the Board of Directors of the College Basketball Officials Association for 8 years and was subsequently elected President. For six years he served on the National High School Basketball Rules Committee. In addition, he served on the Hall of Fame Screening Committee for the National Federation of High School Association, the Board of Director for the College Basketball Officials Association, and the Rhode Island Basketball Officials Association Board #84 Past President. He was the Co-Director of the Northeast 3-Man Officiating School and an Observer for College Basketball Officials for the Atlantic 10 Conference-Women, Big East-Women, Ivy League and ECAC- Men.
He is survived by his children Patricia E. Tweedie and her husband John, Terrence M. “Terry” Lynch, Colleen M. Bodziony and her husband Kurt, and Maureen A. Gauthier and her husband Tom. Grandfather to Cory Tweedie and the late Benjamin Tweedie, TJ and Taylor Lynch, Nicholas and Megan Bodziony, Matthew and Alyssa Gauthier.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. in St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Church, 864 Point Judith Road, Narragansett. Burial will be Private. Visiting hours will be held on Friday, March 8, 2019 from 4-8 p.m. in Avery-Storti Funeral Home, 88 Columbia Street, Wakefield. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Dick Lynch’s memory to Rock Steady Program at South County YMCA, 165 Broad Rock Road, Peace Dale, RI 02883. For guest book and condolences, averystortifuneralhome.com.