Delano names 2012 citizen of the year
By Starrla Cray
DELANO, MN When Jack Lynch was growing up, his parents often told him, “If you have more, you should give more.”
Jack took that message to heart, and that’s one of the reasons he was selected as “2012 citizen of the year” by the Delano General Federated Women’s Club (GFWC).
“For me, ‘more’ is about family, friends, and community, and I’ve been pretty fortunate,” Jack said.
Although he’s continually pouring his time and energy into helping others, one isn’t likely to find Jack complaining.
“When you volunteer, have fun when you work, have fun,” he said. “That’s the approach I take.”
Whether it’s teaching archery at the Delano Sportsmen’s Club, chairing Delano’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon committee, or serving as commander of the Delano American Legion, that’s exactly what Jack does.
“For citizen of the year, we choose someone who is community minded and service oriented that’s Jack Lynch. He’s well deserving,” GFWC member Jeanie Pilarski said.
This will be the 35th year the GFWC has recognized a citizen from the Delano area. A banquet in Jack’s honor will take place the evening of Saturday, April 21 at the Delano American Legion.
Tickets are available at Downtown Beauty Salon in Delano, which can be reached at (763) 972-3939. Tickets can also be purchased from any GFWC member.
A humble volunteer
Jack describes the honor of citizen of the year as “very humbling.”
“When you volunteer, you really don’t do it to have a lot of recognition,” he said, adding that he’s had the privilege of serving with many great people throughout the years.
People may know Jack as past president of the Delano Athletic Club, past president of the Delano 4th of July committee, and a Knights of Columbus member. He also coached amateur town baseball for 12 years, and taught catechism at St. Peter Catholic Church.
In addition, Jack is postmaster in Howard Lake, and owns All Seasons Sports in Delano.
“I like being involved, and I like working with people,” he said.
Time for teamwork
Jack’s interest in team activities started at a young age.
In high school, he was co-captain of Delano’s football team, and was also active in basketball, baseball, and track.
Jack’s football coach, Dave Robinson, was a positive influence in his life.
“I looked up to him more than just about anybody,” he said. “I still call him coach.”
Jack’s sophomore biology class also shaped his future.
“That’s how I met my wife,” he said, explaining that the class was seated in alphabetical order, and there was one student between him and Pam.
“I had to bribe him [the other student] so I could sit next to her,” Jack recalled.
Jack and Pam were married in 1974, right out of high school.
Jack then served in the military from 1975 to 1978, and earned his associate’s degree in business.
He later became involved in post office work, and has since served as postmaster in Elk River, St. Michael, and Howard Lake.
This summer, he’s planning to retire from the post office, which will allow him to spend more time at All Seasons Sports.
He opened the store in 1990, after Jeff’s Bait Shop and The Locker Room in town were considering closing.
“I got the idea to combine them into one store,” Jack said. “I’ve always been a sports junkie, and I also like to hunt and fish.”
When All Seasons Sports first started, Jack remembers “burning the midnight oil.”
“I had a lot of help from my father-in-law, Ken Kasma,” he said. “He had a huge role. We probably wouldn’t be here without him.”
Jack’s son, Shawn, is now the store manager, and his daughter, Heather, is a University of St. Thomas graduate. Pam serves as bookkeeper, and also works full time at Thrivent Financial.
“We’ve been very lucky,” Jack said.
Although his own children are grown up, guiding young people is still a priority for Jack.
“Mentoring is for everyone, whether you have kids or not,” he said. “Kids are your future. If you’re not mentoring and teaching, we’re not going to have a very bright future.”
In all he does, Jack aims to encourage others and help them work as a team.
“I’ve made my mistakes, and I’m by no means perfect, but I try to lead by example,” he said. “When I’m dead and gone, hopefully I will have left the Earth a little bit better than when I got started.”