Thursday 17 October 2019

'An absolute gentleman, always a big smile'- tributes paid to two Irishmen who died days apart in New York

Keith Lynch (left) and Edward Lynch (right)
Keith Lynch (left) and Edward Lynch (right)

Rachel Farrell and Mícheál Ó Scannáil

FRIENDS and family have led tributes to two Irishmen who died in New York in separate incidents last week.

Keith Lynch (45) died on Thursday September 19 and was originally from Roscrea in Co Tipperary. He moved to New York to work as a carpenter in 2000.

While Edward Lynch (40), who died on Saturday September 21, was born in New Jersey and moved to Cootehill in Co Cavan as a child, before moving back to the US for a career in construction.

The two men, who both lived in Woodlawn, an Irish-American neighbourhood in the Bronx, died suddenly in separate incidents last week.

Edward Lynch has been described as "a caring person who always put his family first", in an obituary also from Pelham Funeral Home.

Edward studied at Dundalk Institute of Technology and worked as an Autocad Technician in Ireland before moving to the US.

"Edward moved back to Cavan in 2006 to help marry off some of his family. After limited success with his siblings, he moved back to New York where he continued his career in construction," the family wrote.

"In his spare time Edward loved water sports, drawing, nature and all kinds of animals. He loved drawing portraits of people he knew. He was like Santa Claus to his nephews and nieces. He was loved by and will be missed by everyone who knew him."

Separately, an obituary from Pelham Funeral Home, described Keith Lynch as "a true family guy, hardworking a friend to everyone he knew".

Keith attended Roscrea Vocational School and worked at the Bacon Factory for many years.

"Although he loved being at home with his family in Roscrea, Keith had a burning ambition to leave home to better himself," his family said.

"In 2006 Keith would meet the love of his life. The couple enjoyed traveling, going to festivals, hiking trips with the dog, GAA matches, theatre, playing darts and pool, and going out for dinner and drinks.

"To say Keith had a sweet tooth and enjoyed eating would be an understatement. If he wasn't eating Meanies, it was Hunkie Dories, Club Milks, Hershey's and of course his favourite vegetables… mushy peas and turnips."

Roscrea RFC in Co Tipperary offered their condolences to Keith's family.

"His family have been very involved in Roscrea Rugby Club and all at the club are saddened at his passing," a spokesperson told Independent.ie

"The Lynch family have been strong supporters of the club with Keith's brother, sister-in-law and uncles all representing Roscrea RFC over the years."

Following Keith's funeral, his friend Sean Ruane, who sang at his service, said that he was a gentleman who was truly in love with his wife.

"He was an absolute gentlemen. Always a big smile and a big hand shake. Always up for the craic seriously. If you look at the pictures from the funeral parlor you can see that he had traveled extensively with his wife. They were inseparable and truly loved other."

"I sang a couple of songs that his wife requested that he would have loved. I sang My Way, One Day At A Time, Tipperary Town, and a couple of others.

"I knew Keith from a place I used to work in and his wife lived on the same block as me when I lived in Brooklyn. I didn't know her then but what a great couple. They truly were in love and did everything together."

Both families have requested that donations be made to the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust in lieu of flowers.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that they are aware of both deaths and are ready to provide consular assistance if required.

Independent.ie has contacted NYPD for comment.

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