LYNCH, THOMAS M. (November 28, 1926 - December 6, 2017), an accountant with the international firm of ERNST & YOUNG, served in his retirement as Executive Director of the Domed Stadium Corporation, forerunner of the GATEWAY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP., the civic initiative that led to a baseball stadium for the CLEVELAND INDIANS and a basketball arena for the CLEVELAND CAVALIERS.
Thomas Lynch was born to James J. and Beatrice (Gallagher) Lynch on Cleveland’s near West Side. A member of St. Ignatius of Antioch Parish, he graduated from SAINT IGNATIUS HIGH SCHOOL in 1944. After serving briefly in the US Navy toward the end of WORLD WAR II, he attended JOHN CARROLL UNIVERSITY on the “G.I. Bill” and graduated in 1950. He joined the CLEVELAND POLICE DEPARTMENT but took accounting classes at night at JCU. He got his foot in the door at the accounting firm that was at that time named Ernst & Ernst by taking a part-time job as a proofreader in 1952. After passing the CPA exam, he spent his entire career at Ernst & Young, serving in both the Cleveland and National offices. He was the partner in charge of audit in the Cleveland office at the time of his retirement in 1988.
In 1988, Lynch became executive director of the Domed Stadium Corporation, which had been formed in 1986 to explore a multi-purpose domed replacement for the CLEVELAND MUNICIPAL STADIUM, home of both the CLEVELAND BROWNS football team and the Cleveland Indians baseball team. By spring 1990, the Cleveland Browns had opted out of participation, a domed structure had been deemed too costly, and the Domed Stadium Corporation gave way to the Gateway Economic Development Corp., but under Lynch’s direction the land parcels were assembled for what would become the Gateway sports complex. Lynch subsequently served as Chief Financial Officer for Sudbury Inc., a diversified manufacturer of industrial products.
Lynch worked on fundraising campaigns for his alma maters, St. Ignatius and John Carroll University, chairing the critical 1974 campaign after St. Ignatius made the decision to stay in its near-West side location. He was a longtime member of the Board of CATHOLIC CHARITIES CORP and served a term as President. He was on the Board of St. Augustine Health Ministries for a number of years, including several stints as Treasurer. He and his wife, Margaret Gibbons Lynch, the longtime president of the Coterie of St. Augustine Health Campus, were subsequently named life trustees of St. Augustine Health Ministries.
He also served as treasurer or fiscal advisor for a number of non-profit organizations: The CLEVELAND MEDICAL LIBRARY ASSN.; the Irish American Archives Society; the Coterie of St. Augustine Health Campus; the Ladies ANCIENT ORDER OF HIBERNIANS; and The Center for Learning, which was formed by the Sisters of the Holy Humility of Mary to publish values-based teacher resource materials.
Lynch was Irish Man of the Year for the Cleveland Athletic Club in 1982, received a WALKS OF LIFE AWARD (with his wife, Margaret Gibbons Lynch) from the Irish American Archives Society in 1999, and was named Hibernian of the Year in 2014.
MARGARET GIBBONS LYNCH was born in Cleveland on January 23, 1930, to Thomas and Delia (McDonnell) Gibbons. Both parents were Irish immigrants from County Mayo. In the 1960s, she helped to found a Mother Seton Society chapter in St. Mel Parish to help to clothe low income
members of a “sister” parish in Colorado. She was a longtime officer and “Life Member” of the Ladies ANCIENT ORDER OF HIBERNIANS and was honored as Hibernian Woman of the Year in 1970. With her husband Thomas Lynch, she served as a Board Member of St. Augustine
Health Ministries and CATHOLIC CHARITIES CORP. As an early member and longtime officer of the Coterie of St. Augustine Manor, she spearheaded fundraising by running a boutique shop and a Christmas Fair and working on the annual “Top of the Towers” benefit.
Thomas and Margaret (Gibbons) Lynch had been married sixty-six years when Thomas died in 2017. Margaret followed him in death on September 6, 2021. Together they had 7 children; Margaret, Kathleen (Blaney), Eileen, Timothy, Thomas, Mary Lynch-Jarrell, and Patricia. They are both buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in BROOK PARK, OH.
Daniel Brennan and David Patrick Ryan