Bonnie's Story

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On April 20, 2017, Bonnie Brenneman Lynch (age 91) joined 93 percent of people who've ever lived.
A former Moody Avenue resident, she was one of the most delightful people to ever grace the earth. Her sense of humor and whimsy came from her humorous father, who owned Brenneman's C 'N Buy Supermarket in New Castle, where she worked from childhood through high school. Her job was to improve the sale of whole chickens and turkeys by giving patrons the impression the birds had been plump and healthy when alive. Her tool was a bicycle pump. You can guess where the valve went.
Her professional life as a kindergarten and grade school teacher in Upton, MA, Upper St. Clair and Mt. Lebanon, PA included creative alternatives to traditional discipline, as she didn't have a mean bone in her body. Some worked better than others. Unwilling to use a paddle, she placed unruly children in a large cardboard box in the front of the classroom, where they were to listen and learn in solitary confinement. However, detainees quickly discovered they could entertain classmates by using their body weight to roll the box around the classroom, blindly banging into desks and walls, resulting in uproarious laughter. Students intentionally behaved badly, hoping to be "sent to the box," a practice she abandoned in favor of the more traditional dunce cap.
She briefly attended Grove City College, which she found to be overly religious, and graduated from Westminster College. She married Jack Lynch (of Hillcrest Avenue), her Ne-Ca-Hi sweetheart, in 1950 and relocated to Pittsburgh. Depending on your age, you'd compare the couple to Gracie and George, Alice and Ralph, Wilma and Fred, Edith and Archie or Marge and Homer. They lived frugally, but she had plenty of spending money due to the small fortune she made from Jack's swear jar.
At last count, she had been the primary caregiver for two dogs, 36 cats, a parakeet, several Easter peeps, turtles, jars full of lightning bugs, goldfish that came home in plastic bags from Kennywood, a baby alligator acquired on a Florida vacation, and hundreds of ants who invaded her house after jailbreaks when ant farms shattered.
When she wasn't cutting a rug to Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey, or laughing with the family to the Smothers Brothers, Woody Allen, Monty Python, Inspector Clouseau or Mel Brooks, she was the head of the Upper St. Clair PTA and implemented several of the carnivals and events that exist today.
Even though it wasn't proper motherly behavior, she made sure our family always had a subscription to Mad magazine, and sang along with us to the "new music" of The Beatles, the Doors and The Mamas and Papas. She absolutely loved friends, family, kids, music, games and life.
The role she may have enjoyed most was being a doting grandmother to Brian, Kevin and Eric Lynch and endlessly supportive mother-in-law to Katie Lynch. She will join Jack at rest in the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, with military honors. In lieu of donations, please honor her memory by telling friends and family members why you love them, or doing something nice for a complete stranger. - Jay Lynch bkefather@yahoo.com.
Published on May 6, 2017
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