James “Jim” Lynch had a big voice and a huge laugh, and you could always hear him when he entered a room, said Sue Lynch, his wife.
“He was 6 foot tall and over 300 pounds, and his body fit his big voice and big personality,” she said. “He always looked for the best in everyone. He was a wisecracker and a big tease.”
James Lynch, 71, of Portage, died Dec. 6 after a battle with melanoma.
He was the Porter County veterans service officer for 10 years, and had been an Indiana State Police officer for 20 years and a criminal investigator for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management for more than 15 years. He was a Marine and a Vietnam veteran. He also served in the Army National Guard, retiring as sergeant major.
He was involved in numerous community organizations, including Vietnam Veterans Chapter 905, where he was past president, and several other veterans organizations. He was a member of St. Peter Lutheran Church.
He enjoyed traveling, camping and sightseeing as he drove across the country. He was an avid reader, and enjoyed watching military shows on the History Channel.
Sue Lynch said her husband had a servant’s heart, and was especially devoted to helping veterans get the benefits they deserved. He spent his free time going to veterans events, talking to people and encouraging them to sign up for their benefits.
“He felt gratified getting claims settled, and he did a great job with it,” she said.
He was a hard-charger and focused, his wife said.
“He always gave 150 percent,” she said. “His life was all about helping veterans.”