Remembering Clarence Lynch
C. W. Lynch, a longtime resident of Warner, Oklahoma passed away at his home on Saturday, July 9, 2016, at the age of 84. He was born at Lenna, Oklahoma on August 24, 1931 to Jim and Iva Lynch. C. W. grew up in Stidham, Oklahoma and was raised by Motha and Fanny Toon of Raiford, Oklahoma. He graduated from Stidham High School and received a scholarship to Connors State College to play basketball. While attending Connors, he became their first All American in Connors history in 1952. C. W. continued his education at East Texas State University and he became an NAIA All American in 1955 as well as leading the ESTU to their first National Championship.
On May 28, 1955, Clarence married the love of his life, Mary Jean Jones of Greggton, Texas and they spent 61 wonderful years together. After marriage to Jean, C. W. enlisted in the Army at Ft. Lee, Viriginia from 1955 to 1957. Clarence later started his coaching career as a High School Basketball Coach in Dustin, Oklahoma. He taught on an Indian reservation in Zuni, New Mexico before returning to Connors State College in 1961 as the head basketball and assistant football coach. In 1971, he started the first tennis program at Connors and in 1985 he started the softball program. Clarence coached at Connors for 33 years before retiring in 1993.
Clarence would tell you that he lived a wonderful life and was fortunate enough in his lifetime to have been given many honors. As mentioned before, he was named All American n 1952 and again in 1955. In 1995, he was inducted into the East Texas Athletic Hall of Fame. In 2003, he was given a Lifetime Service Achievement and inducted into the Connors College Alumni Friends Hall of Fame. In 2004, his national championship team was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at East Texas University. In 2006, Connors College retired basketball jersey #12 that was worn by Clarence.
In 2007-2008, the hospitality room at Marvin Self fieldhouse at Connors College was named in his honor, and in 2013, he was inducted into the Connors Hall of Fame. Clarence was a longtime member and deacon of the Warner First Baptist Church and some of his best times were being with his grandchildren, fishing, gardening, and taking care of his cattle.
Clarence was preceded in death by his parents, Jim Lynch and Iva Davis, and Motha and Fanny Toon; brother, Ray Lynch; sister, Lucille Holmes; and two great nephews, Nathan Lynch and Dallen McKinney.
He is survived by his wife, Jean of the home; two sons, Steven Lynch and wife Kandy, and Keven Lynch; two grandchildren, Kruz Lynch and Shea Lynch, all of Muskogee; five sisters, Carolyn Fowler, Nettie McKinney, Lavern McKinney, Lillian Krider, and Ethel Dodson; one brother, Sammy Davis, all of California. Clarence’s extended Toon family includes a multitude of cousins; Shirley James of Muskogee, Paulette Martin of Ketchum, Paul Grant Toon of Guymon and Becky Hale of Tulsa; as well as an extended host of nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 12, 2016 at Cornerstone Funeral Home.
Funeral services honoring Clarence’s life will be 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at the Connors State College Gymnasium with Pastor Sam Dunn officiating. Interment will follow at Warner Memorial Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Steve Salmon, Chuck Smithson, Paul McCrary, Bill Muse, Perry Keith, Mike Jackson, Mark Calavan, and Luther Martin. Honorary pallbearers will be Mike Bailes, Charles McGrew, Ken Baird, Bob Kirhn, Paul West, Joe Cash, Don Carlton, Ed Hardman, Monty Madewell, Leo Smithson, Kruz Lynch, Ron Jones, Raymond Jones Jr, Randy Jones, Kenny Ray Lynch, Tim Lynch, Trevor Embey, Jerimiah Lincoln, and Keven Lynch.
The family requests memorials be made to Connors State College Foundation, 700 College Rd, Warner, OK, 74469-2204.
The funeral services are under the direction of Cornerstone Funeral Home, 1830 N. York Street, Muskogee, OK. Condolences may be made to the family online at www.cornerstoneofmuskogee.com.