February 27, 1928 – July 14, 2019
ABBYANN DAY LYNCH C.M., O.Ont., L.M.S., Ph.D., LL.D (Hon.), D.S.L. (Hon.) 1928 - 2019 Our hearts are heavy knowing that Abby, who was mother, grandmother and great grandmother to her extended Toronto family, and sister, aunt and great aunt to her large U.S. family, passed from this life on July 14, 2019, acquiescing gracefully and bravely to Alzheimer's disease. A pioneering woman with a brilliant mind and gentle soul, Abby believed in setting a high bar, working hard, sharing her thoughts by being a prolific writer and academic, and making a difference, especially in the lives of vulnerable children and the elderly. As a philosopher, she fearlessly blazed many trails. Born in Hackensack, New Jersey, and a graduate of Manhattanville College, her first journey was north to Canada, moving from New York to Toronto to pursue a Licentiate in Medieval Studies at the Pontifical Institute (University of Toronto, St. Michael's College). In Toronto, she became one of Canada's leading experts in biomedical ethics, standing up in particular to protect the rights of children. Towards the end of her career path, she was President of Associated Medical Services and consultant on biomedical issues to various hospitals, health organizations and regulatory bodies. For all these contributions, she was honoured to receive the Order of Canada. More than anything, Abby loved her husband, Lawrence E. Lynch, who predeceased her in 2001. After saying their vows in St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York City, in 1953, their family grew quickly and today includes their beloved children, their spouses, grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Lisa (Andrew, Domenica, Sophia, Luke; Jeffrey); Mimi and her husband Stephen (Katherine, James, Madison, Jack; Mark, Nadia, Nathan, Evelyn); Edward and his wife Rose (Mike, David, Kerri); Paul and his wife Sheila (Abigael, Isabel); Martha; Chris and his wife Anna (Alexander, Emilia). There wasn't a mystery book Abby hadn't read, an ice cream cone she let sit for too long, a piano score she hadn't memorized, or a challenge she didn't stare down, sometimes with outsized idealism. She loved Canada, and over the years she balanced her fondness for her adopted country with pride in her native country. Born into a long line of Republicans, she became a staunch Democrat, strongly supporting the election of President John F. Kennedy, and fully committed more recently to the politics of President Barack Obama. She kept her family grounded in its roots, traveling with them extensively and sharing her love of New England, the sea and the shore, most summers spent in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Looking at the world through her eyes was to see wonder, hope, gratitude and always a dream to leave the world a better place. Hearing it from her perspective as a gifted concert pianist was to sit in the second balcony, eyes glued to the keyboard, listening to music by her favourite composers, Schubert, Chopin, and Beethoven. The family wishes to thank Abby's personal support workers, Eloisa, Marichelle and Jeanette, and the many PSWs at Cedarhurst Dementia Care Centre, for their love and attentiveness to Abby during the past three years. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Our Lady of Lourdes church on Thursday, July 18, 2019, at 1:30 p.m. Visitation is on Wednesday, July 17 from 5-9 pm at the Rosar-Morrison Funeral Home, 467 Sherbourne Street, Toronto. The family welcomes friends to stop by Our Lady of Lourdes parish hall after the funeral Mass for refreshments. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation in Abby's name to Alzheimer Society of Toronto (www.alz.to). May Abby rest in peace, in the loving embrace of her maker, in the hope of life eternal.
- Visitation Wednesday, July 17, 2019
- Funeral Mass Thursday, July 18, 2019
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August 13, 2019
I was saddened to learn of Abbyann’s passing. I met her through SPRINT volunteer work. I had just joined the Board of Directors, having spent some years as a “ground level” volunteer. I wanted to become familiar with all aspects of SPRINT, and had not been to Stewart Angus House. Someone at SPRINT gave me her name and phone number and told me to call Abbyann and arrange for her to show me around. I mentioned to my husband, a Deputy Registrar at the CPSO, that I had to call her, and his reply was, “Abbyann Lynch! She’s a wonderful medical ethicist who does a program for us at the College!”Sure enough, it was the same Abbyann Lynch :)) She was so modest and kind, never even alluding to her expertise and accomplishments. That day, she was a volunteer, just showing me around. We liked each other and became friends. She invited me to her place for lunch (I still have the recipe of the dish she served - Salad of Chicken and Haricots Verts- and I think of her whenever I make it.) She and I did a project together for the SPRINT staff, although I can’t remember exactly what the topic was. I do remember some of the basic principles she taught about ethics. Her approach was so gentle and open minded. One thing that amazed me about her was that she was open to making a new friend (me), even though she was much older than I was, and likely had legions of friends and admirers, as well as a huge family! Abbyann is someone whom I admired, who made a tremendous impact on my life, someone I will never forget.
Sincerely, Georgia Klass
July 27, 2019
My deepest condolences to the Lynch family. I remember Larry and Abbyann and their many kindnesses.
July 17, 2019
Abby was a wonderful teacher, thesis director and mentor to me for many years. I am saddened by her passing, and send my sincere condolences to all her family and friends.