Ivan Franklin Lynch, of Griswold, IA, passed away at Woodlands Creek Assisted Living in Clive, Iowa on June 30, 2021 at the age of 87 years, 10 months, and 11 days. Ivan was born on August 19, 1933 at home near Allendale, MO. He was the youngest of twelve children born to Harvey Leroy Lynch and Francis Rebecca (Scott) Lynch. He attended several country schools and graduated in 1952 from Hatfield High School in Hatfield, MO.
In March 1953, Ivan enlisted in the United States Air Force. His basic training was at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, and individualized training as an Aircraft Dispatcher in Biloxi, Miss. He was stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in Alamagordo, NM for four years with dispatching airplanes as his main job. He became part of the Air Research and Development Command where they performed research with missiles. One particular research with sled runs eventually led to the development of ejection seats for jet aircraft. He was selected as Airman of the Month for Holloman Air Force Base. During the military, Ivan was baptized into Christ and was a member of the Church of Christ in Alamagordo, NM.
In January 1957, Ivan was honorably discharged from the Air Force and enrolled at Abilene Christian College in Abilene, TX. In August 1957, Ivan transferred to Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, MO. where he finished his Bachelors Degree in Education with a major in Mathematics and minor in Business. He met his wife, Nancy Higgins, when they had two classes together at Maryville. They were married August 14, 1960 at Central Church of Christ in Griswold, Iowa, Nancy’s hometown. Ivan graduated in December 1959 and taught mathematics for 3 semesters at Savannah, MO while Nancy completed her degree. In August 1961, they moved to Griswold, IA where each accepted teaching jobs; Ivan taught Mathematics and Nancy taught Business. During this time the superintendent noticed the great repoire he had with students, even with challenging students, and suggested he consider counseling. Summers were spent attending school, and in 1965 Ivan received a Masters Degree in Guidance and Counseling from the University of MO at Columbia, MO. He then became Guidance Counselor at Griswold High School until 2014 when he retired after 55 years in education. He worked with nine Principals, eleven Superintendents, and over 4,000 seniors and other students looking for guidance and help during his career. He looked for the positive in each student and was encouraged when they returned years later to express appreciation for everything he had done for them.
Ivan worked towards a Specialist Degree at Central MO. State University at Warrensburg, MO. and took classes at University of Iowa at Iowa City, IA. Additional school assignments were: Director of Special Education, sponsor of National Honor Society, helped with Veteran’s Program each November, Director of Adult Night School classes. He is a life member of Iowa State Education Association and the National Education Association. He served on several committees for the Area Education Agency, National Education Association, and Griswold Schools. He was a KJAN Good Neighbor for November 8, 1994, received the Outstanding Educational Award from Area Education Association Area 13, and nominated for a National Education Award. In 2008, Ivan received Griswold Schools Teacher of the Year Award from CASS Lodge 412 for years of academic excellence, compassion, and role in developing the minds of our youth. Ivan was known as a caring and compassionate person with his students, co-workers, and within the community.
Ivan enjoyed working with elderly people as well as youth, serving the Griswold community in a number of ways. In addition to teaching, he worked as Social Service Consultant at the Griswold Care Center for 30 years. He spent many hours of volunteer work for different projects and wrote grants; helping write the grant for planting trees and shrubs at the wooden playground complex. Ivan spent many summers working as a carpenter with a fellow teacher. He enjoyed carpentry work, gardening, and developed an interest in woodcarving during adult night school. A large carving of Jesus in the Garden is displayed in their home. He could be found around the neighborhood helping someone take their medicine, fixing a meal, or sharing a product from his large garden. Ivan served on the Board of CASS, Incorporated in Atlantic for over 30 years, as a Board member, Vice-President, and President. He was a member of the Griswold American Legion and Optimist Club for many years, receiving the Griswold Optimist Club Outstanding Education Award in 1999. He was Grand Marshall for the Old Soldiers Reunion Parade in 2019.
Ivan transferred his church membership to Central Church of Christ in Griswold in 1961. He was very active in Church, teaching Adult Sunday school classes starting in 1962, serving as Elder since the 1970’s, Sunday School Superintendent, Deacon, Chairman of the Christian Education Committee, Chairman of the Pre-School Board at the Church for 30 years. Ivan had a deep love for his Lord. His mission in life was helping people. The one thing he wanted to pass on to those around him, especially his children and grandchildren, was his love for Jesus and for them to visualize their Dad, right to the end, as having known Jesus as his dearest friend and depended on him each day. Ivan lived in his home in Griswold for 60 years until he moved to an Assisted Living Facility in Clive last year due to failing health.
Ivan was preceded in death by his parents Harvey and Francis Lynch; seven brothers: Floyd and Clyde in infancy, Carter (Roberta) Lynch, Walter (Helen) Lynch, Melvin (Evelyn) Lynch, Paul (Phyllis) Lynch, Clifford Lynch; four sisters: Luceal (Emmet) Findley, Goldie (Clarice) Lemar, Mable (Joe) Luttrell, Ellen (Max) Pottorff; mother and father-in-law, Harold and Thelma Higgins; sister-in-law Nina Foster; nieces Joanna and Karen; nephews Dale, Mark, Glenn, Lester and Larry, and other relatives.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Nancy Lynch; daughters, Lisa (Kevin) Page, Urbandale, IA; Amy (Dennis) Eastin, Bethany, MO; Grandchildren, Taylor Page and Jordan Page, Urbandale, IA; Emma Eastin, Bethany, MO. He is also survived by twenty-two nieces and nephews, who were more like sisters and brothers to him (being closer in age), and many other relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be held Friday, July 9 at 11:30 a.m. at Central Church of Christ in Griswold with a lunch following. Visitation with the family present will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 8 at Central Church of Christ. Burial will be held on Saturday, July 10, at 11:30 a.m. at Lotts Grove Cemetery near Allendale, MO. Rieken Duhn Funeral Home in Griswold is assisting the family.
Memorials may be directed to the family for later designation or to the Griswold Dollars For Scholars. Rieken Funeral Home, Inc.