TOGUS AND FORT FAIRFIELD - Brien Daniel Lynch, 66, died on March 13, 2016, at the Togus V.A. Medical Center after a brief illness and after a long-time residency at the Nursing Home Care Unit there, Veteran's Village. He passed away peacefully in his sleep there that evening with family and staff at his side.
Brien enlisted and joined the Marine Corps soon after his graduation from Fort Fairfield High School in June, 1967, during the Vietnam Conflict. He specialized as an artilleryman and served two tours in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged in March, 1973, as a Staff Sergeant (E-6). While in the Marine Corps, Brien earned the Combat Action Ribbon; Rifle Marksmanship Medal; National Defense Medal; The Republic Of Vietnam Campaign Medal w/Device; the Vietnam Service Medal w/6 Stars; Meritorious Unit Commendation, Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry w/Palm; and Good Conduct Medal. Brien was a lifetime member of the VFW post in Fort Fairfield and the American Legion.
After proudly serving his country in the Marines, Brien went to school for a year at the Kennebec Valley Vocational Technical Institute in the Heavy Equipment program. He used this knowledge when he purchased a potato farm in Presque Isle to keep his equipment running, as an ancestral love of farming was in his blood. He grew potatoes until he was involved in a tragic accident in August, 1976, which left him with a head injury and paralysis that was to determine Brien's destiny for the next 39 ½ years. He also attended the University of Maine at Presque prior to his accident.
As a young man, Brien enjoyed many sports--baseball and basketball, fishing and hunting--working on various farms and tinkering with a truck with his best friend Tim Howard that they put into operation during the harvesting of peas for a couple of years.
He was a member of St. Denis Parish while growing up in Fort Fairfield. His long-time neighbor and friend, Tony Levesque, was instrumental in his receiving the honors of the Fourth Degree of the Knights of Columbus in September, 2010.
While at Togus, Brien's caregiver Roberta worked with Brien on painting with water colors as well as other things. He won a first place ribbon in the Maine Veterans Creative Arts Festival and participated in the National Veterans Creative Arts competition in 2015.
Brien is survived by his mother, Inez (McKenney) Lynch; sisters Hilda (Edward Schencks, Jr.) of Buxton, and Janice of Fort Fairfield, ME; brothers, Clyde (Nancy) of Darlington, PA,, and Kevin (Linda) of Bethany, CT; brother-in-law Charles Dix of Hollis; five nieces and nephews, Kristina (Brian Johnson), Brady (Melanie) Dix, Jeremiah (Bobi-Sue) Dix, Michael (Staci) Lynch, and Danielle (Chris King); and seven Great Nieces and Nephews, Brady N., Kasundra (Kassie), Cameron, Samantha, Hailey, Karissa and Colton. He has had a special relationship with the Clarence & Rollande Lynch family - Cousins Brenda, Kathy, Jerry, Dick, Janet and Andrew--all of his life.
Brien was predeceased by his father, Clement Lynch and his grandparents, Edward and Hilda (Williams) Lynch and Harris and Ann (McCarthy) McKenney.
Brien's family would like to convey their utmost gratitude to the staff of the U.S.V.A. Hospital Veterans' Village and to the personal care attendants from Bridges in Augusta for many years of compassionate care of Brien.
A Celebration of Brien's life will be held at the Chapel at Togus at 11 a.m. on March 28 with a time of fellowship in the Dining Room of Veteran's Village on the 2nd Floor of Building 207 following. Visiting hours will be held at the Giberson-Dorsey Funeral Home, 144 Main Street, Fort Fairfield, Monday, March 28, 2016 from 7-9 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday March 29, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at the Parish of the Precious Blood, St. Denis Catholic Church, 147 Main Street, Fort Fairfield with Fr. Jean-Paul Labrie celebrant. Spring interment with military honors will take place at the St. Denis Catholic Cemetery, Fort Fairfield. A time of continued fellowship with refreshments will be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall Council # 1753, 260 Main Street in Fort Fairfield following the funeral Mass.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Voluntary Service (135), VA Maine Healthcare System, 1 VA Center, Togus, ME 04330 for recreation for the veterans. A donation in Brien's memory will be made by the family to the Parish of the Precious Blood Endowment Fund. Online condolences may be expressed at www.gibersondorseyfuneralhome.com