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Gerald Lynch

Gerald Vincent "Jerry " Lynch

Sunday, August 16th, 1925 - Monday, April 6th, 2020
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Obituary

Jerry Lynch, Founder of Belmar-Lake Como St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Hotel Owner, Prominent Tenor
Gerald Vincent LYNCH, of Wall, N.J., formerly of Belmar, N.J., passed away on April 6,2020 at Jersey Shore Medical Center due to coronavirus complications.

Jerry was born in Bayonne in 1925 to Jeremiah and Mary Driscoll Lynch. From an early age Jerry developed a reputation as an exceptional singer, and he would go on to be regarded as one of the great tenors in the state of New Jersey, known for singing show music, sacred hymns, and Irish songs. As a young man Jerry sang on Broadway, most prominently as a member of the 1951 production cast of “Where’s Charley?” starring Ray Bolger; fittingly, Jerry played a singer. After some years on tour Jerry grew weary of the road and returned to New Jersey and worked for Western Electric Co. in Kearny.

It would not be long before Jerry met the love of his life, Frances Largey. They married on November 22, 1958; as Fran is fond of saying, “Sure, ‘twas a match made in heaven!”. Jerry and Fran lived in Orange, and while living there Jerry was a member of the choir of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Newark.

In 1963 Jerry would open Jerry Lynch’s Hotel in Belmar which would become one of the great Jersey Shore summer bars and entertainment venues over the course of its 20 years of operation. Jerry would also own and operate the Erin Hotel, and was also partner in Steve Gepp’s Pub. Jerry would become an active member of the New Jersey Licensed Beverage Association, eventually serving as president of the organization.

Soon after opening Lynch’s Hotel, Jerry and Fran moved to Belmar where they would become immersed in community life. They became parishioners at St. Rose parish where Jerry served as choir member and soloist for over 40 years. Jerry also served on the Board Education in Belmar for 12 years. He joined the Belmar Kiwanis Club and served as its president.

Jerry’s community involvement would help raise the profile of Belmar on the state scene. In the later 1960s Jerry was among the key figures in forming the Jersey Shore Summer Basketball League, with his team winning the first 6 league championships. What made Jerry most proud was his role in establishing what is now known as the Belmar-Lake Como St. Patrick’s Day Parade, first held in 1974. For as long as his health would allow Jerry marched annually wearing his “founder” sash as the parade continued to grow into one of the largest and best attended parades in the state.

After leaving the hotel business Jerry became a Real Estate salesman with the MacGowan Agency of Spring Lake and Belmar. Jerry and Fran would retire to Wall in 1997 and became parishioners of St. Denis in Manasquan, where Jerry would continue to sing as choir member and soloist for as long as he was able. He remained a prominent tenor and was a featured singer at many Irish-American events.

Jerry was a member of many civic associations, most especially the Jerry Lynch Social and Civic Club. He was also a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of the Jersey Shore, which named him Irishman of the Year in 2015. He was also a member of the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh of the Jersey Shore, The B.P.O.E. of Manasquan, the Irish American Society of the Oranges, and the Msgr. Thomas U. Reilly Council of the Knights of Columbus.

Jerry is survived by Frances, his beloved wife of over 61 years, as well as 2 sisters, Eileen (the late William) McMahon and Regina (the late Maurice) Reidy. He was predeceased by his brother John and his wife Geraldine, and sister Margaret and her husband Ernie Altobelle. He is also survived by his in-laws Marion and Joseph Alexander and Dorothy Largey, wife of the late Harry Largey. He was also predeceased by in-laws Katherine and Raymond Donahue, Robert and Marguerite Largey, William and Gloria Largey, and John Stanley Largey. He had 29 loving nieces and nephews, 26 of whom are still living, and many great-nieces and great-nephews.

Due to the coronavirus crisis, the burial service for Jerry will be private. A memorial mass will be held at St. Rose’s Church, Belmar, NJ at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Rose Grammar School, 605 6th Avenue, Belmar, NJ, 07719. O'Brien Funeral Home, Wall Township is in charge of the arrangements. To offer condolences please visit www.OBrienFuneralHome.com.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Location
    St. John's Cemetery, Orange
    Address
    Ridge Street
    ORANGE, NJ
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

Affiliations

  • Celtic Cross
  • Kiwanis International

Condolences

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MC

Mike Cory

Posted at 01:24pm
Will always remember Jerry's voice belting out Ave Maria from the balcony of St Rose Church in Belmar! Jerry, thank you and may prayers be with your entire family!
KJ

Kathleen Jenkins

Posted at 06:22am
Thoughts and prayers go out to the Lynch family from the Jenkins “Lolly Ormsby” family. Wonderful memories of Jerry.
Dennis, Bruce, Nancy and Kathleen ❤️
TF

The DeRose Family

Posted at 03:57pm
Uncle Gerald life was blessed. A happy marriage and a generous heart. With so many nieces and nephews his legacy will certainly live on.
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Gerald Lynch
R

Rosemary

Posted at 03:43pm
Uncle Gerald had great heart and love of family and God. He touched the world and so many people with his goodness and generosity. I have so many wonderful memories of family holidays and summers at the Belmar house with my grandparents watching the boats on Shark River Inlet, eating pies from Freedman's bakery, walking down the grand staircase, watching the adults play billiards and playing hide n seek on the property with my cousins all after a fun filled day at the beach! When we stayed at the house, Uncle Gerard did all the cooking including breakfast and dinner for his extended family. We felt welcomed and loved by he and Aunt Francis. The world is a better place for having an Uncle Gerard.
ST

Sharon Teufel

Posted at 07:23pm
My deep and sincere condolences to Fran. I had the pleasure of working for Jerry at the Erin hotel bar. I have fond memories of my time there and made many friends that are still a part of my life. 🙏🙏🙏
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