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Leo Lynch obit pic
Leo Watson Lynch, 86, of Waterford, CA, passed away peacefully on August 31, 2020, in Turlock, CA.
He was preceded in death by: his parents, Leo Gray Lynch and Mildred Louise Watson Lynch, sisters, Edna Lynch Scott and Marilyn Lynch Morrison, brothers-in-law, Donald Morrison and Jess Scott, son Leo Timothy “Tim” Lynch, grandsons, George M.L. Learmonth, and Tyler R. Price.
Leo is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Barbara Andreasen Lynch and children: Melinda Lynch of San Luis Obispo, CA; Coreen and (Alan) Price of Waterford, CA, and Nancy and (George) Learmonth of Montgomery, TX. He was deeply loved by his seven grandchildren, Nicolette and (Andrew) Benson, Cody and (Julie) Price, Kaitlin Price, Jennifer and (Matthew) Lesniewski, Mitchell Learmonth, Julia Learmonth, and Sarah Lynch, as well as six great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Leo’s ancestors were among the first to settle in the San Ramon Valley of California. His great grandfather, Leo Norris, built the first framed house in the valley. Leo’s father was a very successful civil engineer who built roads, bridges, and canals in the Western U.S. and Afghanistan.
Leo was born in Phoenix, AZ on February 27, 1934. Growing up, his family lived in Danville, CA, in a home that was always filled with family and friends. He discovered his love for farming and ranching very early on while spending time on their 200-acre family ranch in Tassajara. This affinity for adventure, nature, and cultivating the earth would stay with him throughout his life. Leo graduated from San Ramon Valley High School, in 1951. He then attended UC Davis, where he made First Team All-Conference in the 1952 Far Western Conference for the Aggies. Leo married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Elinor Andreasen on June 13, 1954. Following their marriage, Leo and Barbara established their ranch in Waterford, CA in 1959 where, in addition to raising four children, they grew almonds, walnuts, and raised beef cattle.
On the side, Leo was a much-beloved postal carrier for 20 years, retiring in 2000. The families on his route came to know his warm smile and friendly wave quite well. Leo found immense joy in woodworking projects of all kinds – but especially creating imaginative holiday displays for his neighborhood’s mailbox station. From holiday décor to outdoor furniture, he had a knack for making something spectacular out of seemingly nothing. He held a reputation amongst his family as the ultimate handyman. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t figure out how to fix! An avid golfer, Leo was a member of the Oakdale Country Club for many years. It wasn’t unusual to see him out on the course, iced tea in hand, wearing his signature visor with the fake hair on top – a favorite accessory of his grandchildren. Leo was in his element in the outdoors. Whether fishing in the local creek or on his annual deer hunting trip, spending time with family, friends, and wildlife was always his favorite place to be.
Leo was very community-minded and served with a variety of organizations over his lifetime. He was a member of the Waterford Lions Club – where he was past president, a Young Farmers of America member, where he was Stanislaus County’s Young Farmer of the Year, and a Waterford School Board member for 12 years. Perhaps his most creative endeavor was on behalf of the Girl Scouts of America, for whom he created a beautiful, rustic Girls Scout Camp on the family’s ranch for them to stay at and enjoy. He was also active in the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation – Class 1, La Grange Rodeo Association, Oakdale Masonic Lodge, and the San Ramon Historical Society. He was a founding member of the Waterford Education Foundation.
Leo’s legacy will surely be one of integrity, dedication, resourcefulness, and razor-sharp wit. His family will forever miss his firm handshakes, big hugs, and corny jokes.
A celebration of Leo Lynch’s life will be held Sunday, September 20, 2020, at 11:00am at The Price Ranch, 1583 Old Tim Bell Road, Waterford, CA. Donations (in lieu of flowers) may be made to the Waterford Education Foundation, 501c, PO Box 491, Waterford, CA 95386, or please visit
The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader
The Riverbank (Calif.) News
Sept. 16, 2020