YOUNGSTOWN Ursuline graduate dies in crash at Pentagon
By PAUL WHEATLEY
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Youngstown native Terry Lynch, 49, a 1970 graduate of Ursuline High School, was killed Tuesday in the jet crash at the Pentagon.
Lynch was there doing consulting for Booz Allen Hamilton, a global company with offices in Virginia.
He and his wife, Jacqueline, 48, a 1971 graduate of Austintown Fitch High School, had just celebrated their 24th wedding anniversary Aug. 27.
"I lost my very best friend," she said from their home in Mount Vernon, Va., about 10 minutes away from the Pentagon.
She said representatives from Booz Allen Hamilton had been consulting at the Pentagon a few days a week. Her husband was inside a room on the complex's west side.
Authorities told Jacqueline he was probably killed instantly after that part of the building was struck by a Boeing 757 around 9:40 a.m. Authorities told her it would be another day or two until they are able to identify bodies.
Jacqueline said her only relief is that her husband didn't suffer in his death.
"I know he died a hero," she said. "I also know he died doing the work he loved the most."
Valuable work: Terry definitely left a footprint on the country.
After obtaining a bachelor's and a master's degree in history from Youngstown State University, Terry and his wife moved from the Mahoning Valley to Mount Vernon in August 1978.
He took a job with Ohio Congressman Charles Carney that same year, doing legislative work. He also worked with Birmingham, Ala., Congressman Albert Lee Smith Jr. in 1981 and U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama from 1983 to 1995.
Two of his biggest achievements should help children for years to come, his wife said.
He helped to introduce legislation that created National Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Week, which is recognized annually beginning July 28, passed in 1991 by then-President George Bush.
Through his suggestions, the National Institutes of Health set aside funding to build a multipurpose center for children with rheumatological diseases in 1993. The center opened at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Md., last year.
He also worked with the government, studying illnesses associated with the Persian Gulf War and weapons of mass destruction before signing on with Booz Allen Hamilton in 1999.
Jacqueline said Terry wouldn't take credit or want any recognition for his work. He just enjoyed doing it.
"He was at the point in his life where he was really happy with the way things were going and it just ended," she said.
Family: The Lynches have two daughters, Tiffany, 22, who is stuck in Paris, without a flight home since air travel has been grounded, and Ashley, 17.
Jacqueline called her husband a great father who enjoyed catching movies with Ashley and rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers football team, especially when the Steelers played the Philadelphia Eagles, whom Tiffany cheered on.
His parents, Thomas and Cathleen Lynch, reside in Northville, Mich.