OBITUARY

Naomi Evers Lynch

January 26, 1954September 2, 2018
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     "Naomi Evers Lynch, 64, was a fierce advocate for social justice, education, and water safety. Born to Ulysses Evers and Maxine Monroe Evers in Holly Grove, Arkansas, on January 16, 1954, Naomi grew up during the height of the Civil Rights era. Along with her siblings, Ulysses “CeCe” Evers (deceased), Morgan Evers (deceased), Marshall Evers, and Phyllis Evers, Naomi walked two miles to a segregated school each day, often passing by white-only schools. Naomi recalled stories of waking up to burning crosses, confronting bullies on the walk to school, and protecting her siblings. Naomi knew at a young age that studying and working hard would be the best way to confront inequalities and overcome prejudice. She grew up listening to inspiring speeches by civil rights icons Ralph Abernathy, Julian Bond, and Medgar Evers. Eventually, her mother decided to move her family to Atco, New Jersey, where Naomi enrolled in Edgewood Regional High School. She excelled in the classroom, played varsity tennis, and learned to play the clarinet in the school band. Naomi’s hard work paid off when she received a full scholarship to Georgian Court College, a small Catholic Women’s College in Lakewood Township, New Jersey. Wanting to better understand America’s roots and to advocate for youth, Naomi majored in History and Education. As one of only five black graduates, Naomi graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor in Arts and a deep commitment to serving her community. After graduation, she became a middle school teacher. 

     While at Georgian Court College, Naomi met a handsome and brilliant West Point graduate named Myron C. Lynch Jr. After many tennis matches and quirky dates together, they married on November 25, 1975. They later moved to Raleigh, North Carolina together. Naomi enrolled in North Carolina State University and graduated in 1978 with a master’s degree in Adult and Community College Education. Upon graduating, Naomi had a robust career in education, garnering over forty years of experience as both a practitioner and educator around the globe. Naomi held staff and faculty positions with Saint Thomas Aquinas College, University of Maryland (overseas division), San Francisco City College, Old Dominion University, and Rhode Island College, where she designed and led an admissions program to help underprepared students gain admission to college and receive academic support throughout college. In addition, she worked in international schools in South Korea, Germany, and Saudi Arabia, teaching Social Studies and English for children and adults. 

     Naomi loved her husband, Myron. Together, they traveled the world and raised their daughters, Miriam and Sarah. As frequent movers in the military, they loved exploring new cities and local cultures together. Eventually, she and Myron settled in Burke, Virginia. Naomi became interested in supporting veterans transition into civilian life. She joined the Army as a Transition Policy Analyst and quickly climbed the ranks to become Lead Transition Officer for the US Army Installation Management Command due to her innovative ideas and superb leadership skills. She helped thousands of veterans secure employment, gain career skills, and support their families. Words used to describe Naomi’s public service include: “far beyond expectations and requirements”, “one of the best directors in the entire program’, “very aware of the needs of the community”, and “excellent advisor to all commanders.” Most strikingly, Naomi advocated for women in the workplace. Seen as a respected mentor to all, she particularly helped women grow and advance in the Army. 

     Even while juggling a busy career, Naomi always made time for her two daughters, Miriam and Sarah. Despite not knowing how to swim herself, Naomi encouraged her daughters to become swimmers. After the love of her life, Dr. Myron C. Lynch’s sudden death, Naomi continued her husband’s legacy and officiated swim meets as USA Swimming Official. You could find her on the sidelines of the Burke Center Penguins or Junior National Swim Meets in her uniform cheering on her daughters and the team. She volunteered countless hours as an official and team representative. She loved hosting swim parties, bringing healthy snacks, and socializing with the other parents on the team. Both of her daughters went on to attend Howard University and Vanderbilt University on swimming scholarships. With a strong faith in God, Naomi was an active member of the Friends of the Chapel at Howard University, where she made many close friends. After church, you could find her eating her favorite organic meal with her daughters at Whole Foods or power-walking on the National Mall with her brother Marshall. With her daughters by her side and through cancer treatment, she even completed in a 5K at the age of 63. 

      Naomi never lost her curiosity and drive toward continuing her education. At the age of 61, she pursued her Ed. D. at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, becoming the first woman in her family to attend an Ivy-League institution. On the first day of classes, she learned that she required an invasive surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. Despite this devastating news, she persevered and went to class, eager to learn and share with others. Over the next two years in the program, she developed a thesis on the importance of civics education to encourage active citizenship and critical thinking skills in adolescent youth. Often days after chemotherapy, Naomi would tirelessly research, read, and write, committed to her passion for education and advocacy. 

      Naomi once wrote, “My philosophy is very simple and straightforward: All persons are created equally, and as leaders we must ensure that opportunities are available for all people. Education is the key.” Naomi lived an extraordinary life worth celebrating. Her life is a testament to the power of education, family, and resilience. Her legacy lives on through the lives of her two dear daughters and the thousands of people she has interacted with and advocated for throughout her life’s journey. Though she will be missed, her impact will be felt forever."

Services

  • Visitation Thursday, September 13, 2018
  • Visitation Friday, September 14, 2018
  • Funeral Service Friday, September 14, 2018
  • Reception Friday, September 14, 2018
  • Graveside Service Monday, September 17, 2018
REMEMBERING

Naomi Evers Lynch

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Kathleen Koop

September 13, 2018

Naomi was a brilliant light that shined within her every spoken word and action. It was entirely my privilege to learn, from her as we navigated through our Penn classes together. God bless you Naomi and your incredible daughters that you often proudly spoke about. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us. I will never forget you.

Crystal Bobb-Semple

September 13, 2018

Naomi was a steady source of wisdom for our cohort at Penn GSE. When she talked, we all listed knowing that the depth of her experiences, her broad view of the world, and her deep commitment to justice would deepen our understanding of the many issues we were working through to improve the educational system in this Nation. I will remember how proud she was of her daughters and how proud and protective they were of her. Looking at the video remembrance I see the love and care she invested in her children. Her legacy will live on and is already evident in the smile she and her daughters all share. May God grant the family peace during this difficult time.

Joan Henley

September 13, 2018

Naomi was committed to improving the transition experience for thousands of Soldiers and their spouses. She traveled to installations throughout the world to meet with Soldiers and their spouses so she could positively change the transition program for the future. Naomi’s passion was contagious!

Patricia Patton

September 12, 2018

Naomi was definitely a force to be reckoned with. She was always a source of inspiration for life, work and spiritual growth. My heartfelt condolences go out to the entire family. May God continue be with you all during this difficult time.

Na'Stelle Graves

September 11, 2018

I wish to send my condolence to the family of Mrs. Naomi E. Lynch. Although, she did not know me personally, her excitement and constant vigilance to the Army Career and Alumni Program, now known as the Soldier for Life-Transition Assistance Program helped shape my career as contract staff to now, an SFL-TAP Transition Service Manager for an Army installation. Her desire to want the best in the next career journey for all that serve and sacrifice the most, is a testament to why she lived a life of perseverance and purpose. May God continue to bless your families and provide comfort through his Word.

Martha R Williams

September 11, 2018

I met Naomi at orientation at PennGSE. She was excited about embarking on her doctoral degree studies. She shared with me her medical condition and we prayed right at that moment. I truly admired Naomi's persona; calm and confident. She told me a little about her background but the conversation shifted to her daughters and oh how she bragged about her girls.
To Sarah and Miriam I often refer to Proverbs 3 to comfort those who have lost a parent," My daugherts forgot not your mothers teaching, keep them in your heart, for long life, and Peace will they bring you"

We will truly Naomi at PennGSE.

Patti Wells

September 9, 2018

I am so very sad to hear of Naomi's passing. I've been fortunate to have known here since about 1991. I met Naomi through a mutual friend, Pat Day, who sadly is also deceased.

I will always have fond memories of the times Naomi and I spent together... at work, at lunches, TDY trips, etc., etc. My prayers are for Naomi's daughters and other family members, and for her good friends.

God bless!

Patti

Vanessa Gattis

September 8, 2018

It was such an honor to have Ms. Lynch as a part of my DAIG Team. From the first day she came and worked for me, it was a delight! Her smile and humor was infectious. From Germany to Hawaii to all over the U.S., Ms. Lynch was the ultimate professional. She also never hesitated to try new foods with me wherever we went. More than anything, she always provided the most encouraging words, even as I was pursuing my Ph.D. She was the first to congratulate me when I successfully defended my Proposal while in Germany. Ms. Lynch holds a special place in my heart and my memory of her will be forever implanted. Rest in Heaven Ms. Lynch, you are truly missed! SID#3
Dr. Vanessa M. Gattis, COL (Retired)

Sue Harvey

September 8, 2018

I had the privilege of working with Naomi for over twenty years. Naomi was a consummate professional. She undertook complex projects and attained successful solutions. She was always a team player and earned the respect from her colleagues. Naomi & Myron raised a beautiful family, including their two lovely daughters, Miriam & Sarah. I will cherish the wonderful memories of the times we shared as colleagues & as friends.

Diana Dinsick

September 8, 2018

I remember Naomi most for her kindness and for the way she worked to achieve the educational goal she’d set, regardless of the health challenges she faced. She was a bright, shining light to all who knew her.