Bill Lynch (Beaky) was born on January 2, 1932 in his family’s modest home on Pioche Street in Pioche, Nevada. His parents, Angelo Lynch and Rose Succetti Lynch, had eight children, and Bill was the youngest. However, four of his siblings died in childhood before Bill was born. That left his older sisters, Eva and Thelma and his brother, Don. When Bill was only six years old, his father, Angelo, died suddenly of a heart attack. Bill and his older brother, Don, were raised primarily by their mother with help from their older sisters and extended family members.
As a young boy, Bill spent his time with friends Bruce Condie, Phil Hulse, Bob Condie, Frank Delmue, Ken Lytle, Bob Garity and his brother, Don. Manufactured toys were hard to come by so they invented games using different materials for miniature horses: bones, bottles and sticks. Bill often told his own children about playing “bony” horses, and they tried those games out, too.
Other activities that occupied these young boys’ time were marbles, chasing donkeys, playing cowboys and Indians, and running the hills around the town of Pioche.
Bill had a life-long love of cars, and at about 15 years of age, he and Phil Hulse found an abandoned 1919 Model T Ford in the hills outside of town. The two spent many hours getting it to run. But it was worth it as it gave Bill, Phil and Keith Stever many great hours of riding around town. Their dogs usually rode in the back, barking at everyone and everything. In 1949, Bill purchased a 1931 Model A Ford Coupe for $150, and the fun continued.
As a young man, Bill held several different jobs. His first was when he was 15, and he worked at the Mendha Mine. Because his own father wasn’t alive, Bill developed a deep admiration and love for many of the older men in Pioche, who were mentors to him. Later he helped build a service station, which is now A&B Services. Once built, his duties included delivering fuel oil and working at the station.
At Lincoln County High School, Bill excelled as an athlete. He also pitched, played shortstop and third base on many of the local ball teams. He played football and basketball in high school, but his real talent was in baseball. He was awarded a baseball scholarship to Dixie College in St. George, Utah but had to leave due to financial hardship and to help his mother, who had been widowed since Bill was six.
Bill’s entire life, until 2003, was spent in Pioche. He only left his hometown for an extended period of time at the age of 20 when he as drafted into the army. He was stationed in Occupied Germany during the Korean War. Bill attended mechanic’s school in the service and was responsible for keeping the battalion vehicles running. He was also the driver for the battalion commander and the assistant battalion commander. While in Europe, Bill traveled to northern Italy and met some of his relatives for the first time.
When Bill returned from the service, he went back to work in the big mines in and around Pioche. Bill Lynch was considered one of the best hard rock miners in the area. He worked in the Caselton Shaft, Bristol Mine, Number One, and Salt Lake Pioche, He also worked outside of Pioche at Kennecott in Ruth, Nevada; at a uranium mine in Beaver, Utah; and the Linka Mine in Austin, Nevada. He also worked briefly at Mercury (Nevada Test Site) in the tunnels. He was so particular about everything that when putting timber in one of the mines, his partner, Rufus Hurst, told him “you aren’t building a piano!”
When Bill returned from the service in 1955, he met and fell in love with Melba Ann Cameron, a girl from the nearby town of Caliente. They were married on October 29, 1955. The couple had three children: Marla Lynch Edwards, William Craig Lynch and Jeffery Angelo Lynch.
In April 1962, Bill took a job with the Lincoln County Power District, and the family moved ten miles out of town near Caselton to live in employee housing provided by the Power District. Bill’s position required that he live on site to be available for power outages or emergencies that could happen at any time.
Bill primarily worked in the Power District Office, but because he was skilled in so many areas, he also ran the grader, surveyed lines, drafted maps, did some mechanic work, welded and made sure the yard and shop were always clean.
In 1973, Bill was promoted to General Manager. He held that position for 19 years before retiring in May 1992. One of his greatest accomplishments was in 1987 when the Hoover Dam Power contract ended and was up for renewal. Lincoln County Power District, Overton Power District, Valley Electric, Boulder City and Nevada Power Company formed a coalition and were able to negotiate an even larger allotment than they had in their previous contract. Bill’s skills and knowledge were critical in the negotiation of the new 30-year contract.
In 1973, Bill and Melba purchased a home on Tonopah Street and moved their family back into the town of Pioche. One of Bill’s top priorities was giving back to his hometown. He coached Little League and Pony League baseball teams. He served as a school board member, was on the TV district board and was a member of the volunteer fire department. Bill also continued to play softball on local teams until the age of 50.
Many of Bill’s contributions to his beloved Pioche can be seen throughout the town. He was responsible for the construction of the Veteran’s Memorial in the town park and the Bell Tower at the Episcopal Church. He was also adamant about replacing the wooden cross on Lime Hill after vandals burned it down. Bill built the replacement out of steel, and the structure still stands today.
Bill also helped plan the John and Mary Louise Christian Memorial, drew the plans for the mine trestle and helped acquire some of the track and mine cars that were placed in the town park. He also obtained the horse whim, an old piece of mining equipment, for the mining display at the same park.
While at the Power District, Bill, his employees and their families constructed floats for the Labor Day parade. Those floats always won an award.
A man of strong integrity and ethics, Bill took great pride in whatever he set out to accomplish. He taught his children the importance of honoring your family. By his own example, he also taught his children the importance of giving back to your community. He was a self-taught man in many, many areas. He could plan, draw, build and fabricate almost anything.
Bill was incredibly proud of his eight grandchildren, whom he loved very much. Each grandchild knew that they were loved for who they are as individuals, and they all have wonderful memories of vacations and holidays spent at their “Pioche” grandparents’. He was also thrilled when he became a great grandpa.
Bill and Melba left Pioche in 2003 and moved to Northern Nevada to be closer to their family and medical care for Bill. Bill passed away peacefully on January 15, 2017 at his home in Sparks, Nevada.
He is survived by his wife, Melba, three children and their spouses: Marla Lynch Edwards and Michael Edwards, William Craig Lynch and Kathy Melton Lynch, and Jeff Lynch. He is also lives on through his eight grandchildren and their spouses: Abbey Edwards Hill and Mark Hill; Dylan and Katie Krebs Edwards; Curry and Jordan Lynch; Kyle Lynch; Kevin Lynch; Kurt Lynch; Lacey Bongiovanni and Justin Cunningham; and Derrick Leigh Lynch, as well as two great grandsons: Masayon Edwards Hill and Connor John Edwards.
He is preceded in death by his parents: Angelo Lynch and Rose Succetti, siblings: Louise Katherine Lynch, Alva Angelo Lynch, Kelman Kenneth Lynch, Peter Paul Lynch, Eva Lynch Heidenreich, Thelma Lynch Riding, Donald Dean Lynch, and twin great grandsons: Jude Angelo Hill and Quinton Ellis Hill.
A graveside memorial service will be held in early summer at the St. Lawrence Cemetery in Pioche. A notice will be posted prior to that time.
In lieu of flowers,the family asks that donations be made to a favorite charity.