Lifelong Burbank Resident Stan Lynch Dead at 69

By On January 5, 2014

Longtime friend Bill Stevens sent in this picture

Stan Lynch (photo courtesy of long-time friend Bill Stevens)

Stan Lynch was a man who cherished his granddaughters, relished his job as journalist covering issues facing Burbank and rallied around philanthropic endeavors helping the underprivileged and projects that preserved local history.

Lynch died of natural causes in his home on Friday evening. He was 69.

Born in Burbank on Nov. 23, 1944, he often reminded friends he was delivered at the Magnolia Hospital in the Magnolia Park area of the city where he grew up.

Lynch was a member of Burroughs’ Class of 1963, which is known for having President John F. Kennedy visit its Senior Prom, said photographer Ross Benson, Lynch’s longtime friend and co-worker at myBurbank.com, the website Lynch was employed with at the time of his death.

Lynch earned a degree in art at Cal State Northridge and after graduation became a reporter and photographer for the Burbank Daily Review, now known as the Burbank Leader.

During the early 1970s he worked for the city of Burbank in the personnel department. He was hired on through the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act — a federal program that provided training and jobs in public service.

Lynch worked with Mary Jo Watkins, who retired from the city of Burbank in July after 42 years. She called him “Mr. Burbank.”

“Stan was an administrative analyst helping the personnel analyst in recruiting new employees,” she said. “He would conduct Civil Service testing for applicants and work with the personnel analyst to formulate the job specifications in order to hire people.”

But Watkins first met Lynch when she was 15. She entered the Miss Burbank Pageant and he took the pictures and wrote the story for the Burbank Daily Review.

“His heart was really back at the Review. Stan was always the guy who wanted to be where the action was,” she said. “If there was a fire in the middle of the night, there would be a picture of it by him or Ross Benson in the paper.”

Lynch also loved local politics, and probably should have been on a debate team, she added.

“He loved to discuss issues and get to the heart of things and offer a different perspective,” Watkins said.

Lynch was a substitute teacher for Burbank public schools and also for private Providence High School, Watkins said, and several of his students have written tributes to him on his Facebook page. He was also a big supporter of the Burroughs marching band when his son Steven was a member.

Lynch served on the committee when Burbank On Parade was revived in 1979, said Sandy Dennis, one of the founders.

“Stan would assist the chairmen to see that all was going well along the parade route,” Dennis said. “He was known as Stan the Button Man, and his lapel button business made all our parade souvenir buttons in the 1970s and ’80s.”

He also made lapel buttons for candidates running for City Council during those years, said Mary Jane Strickland, founder of the Burbank Museum. He supported campaigns for Tom Flavin, Leland Ayers and Bill Rudell. And he served as the first president of the Burbank Historical Society, Strickland added.

He loved preserving information about his hometown so much, he created the website burbankhistory.com.

Any time there was a chance to promote Burbank– he was there, Dennis said.

“He made it a lifetime commitment to support the city where he was a native son,” she said. “He wrote for the Daily Review and it was not a big surprise to go to a city event, and Stan would be there. And if there was something to get accomplished, he was there to help.”

Lynch served on the Time Capsule committee and helped to decide what items would be placed inside it, Dennis added.

He also had a philanthropic spirit and was a member of the Burbank Coordinating Council as a representative of Edison Elementary School, said Coordinating Council President Janet Diel. For the council’s Holiday Baskets program he would put together boxes of non-perishable food items and gifts and deliver them to needy families each year.

“When Burbank Coordinating Council was given free tickets to the Cavalia horse show for our low-income families last year, Stan worked tirelessly to contact and then deliver tickets to them in a one day turnaround,” Diel said. “We could not have done it without his help since the tickets were only given to us the day before the performance.”

The Coordinating Council also covers the cost of summer camp experiences for children from low-income families through its Camperships program, Diel said. Lynch found a new camp through his church that children could attend and he helped process the paperwork for the children attending.”

As a member of Burbank Tournament of Roses Assn., he was a longtime friend, supporter and decorator of floats, Diel said. He spent every year from Christmas to New Year’s at Phoenix Decorating in Pasadena, as a volunteer giving tours of the floats the company was decorating for the Tournament of Roses Parade.

Former Burbank mayor Dave Golonski called Lynch a “fixture in Burbank.”

“He was someone that really cherished the small-town atmosphere of Burbank and exemplified it by paying close attention to what was happening and being involved in the city he loved,” Golonski said.

Lynch has been a friend and mentor to Craig Sherwood, executive editor of myBurbank.com, the website Lynch, as managing editor, has been providing content for on such topics as crime, civic issues, calendar items and personality profiles.

“Stan was someone who helped bring the passion of covering everyday news into my life,” Sherwood said. “He always asked questions and was not scared to have an opinion.”

Lynch was an amazing writer with great instincts for news, Sherwood said.

“When we started myBurbank, he was one of the first to come with me. It did not matter how much the pay was in the beginning. He was just thrilled that he would be the one everyday giving out the arrest reports and the crime log.”

Lynch was totally devoted to his granddaughters, and many times would turn down news assignments because he needed to take care of them, Sherwood said, adding, he really enjoyed being with them.

He is survived by his son, Steven, and granddaughters Savannah and Madison. His parents, Opal and James Lynch, brother Bart and sister Yvonne Nieto all preceded him in death.

There will be a viewing from 5 to 9 p.m. Jan. 14 at Forest Lawn Memorial-Park, Hollywood Hills.

Funeral service will be at 2 p.m. Jan. 15 at the Old North Church at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills. A reception will follow, location to be announced. Interment will be at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills.

There is an online page set up for people to make donations to help with funeral arrangements at  http://www.gofundme.com/61o3uw