Legacy – that which is handed down from a predecessor

John McDonagh

Tuesday of this week, in addition to being Election Day, the results of which are unknown to me as I write this, was the day we honored the young rising stars in our community at our annual Accomplished Under 40 luncheon. We also honored one of our community’s Legacy Builders, Ed Lynch, a man whom I believe each of our Accomplished Under 40 honorees admires and aspires to emulate.

This week, eight years ago, Kyle Corwin lost a valiant battle and our community lost one of its most prestigious business people, grass roots philanthropists and loving family men. He was also one of the first to encourage us in our pursuit of the Journal.

Interestingly, somewhat tongue in cheek, we would annually get calls from a few of those who were no longer “Under 40” and wondering what recognition they could qualify for. We couldn’t think of a higher standard than the life of Kyle Corwin against which to measure ones legacy.

Kyle grew up in the beverage industry taking the helm of Corwin Beverage from his father, Hal, only after working in virtually every aspect of the business. Along the way he figured out that when you are willing to give much, much is returned to you. Over the years, Kyle guided the growth of Corwin while becoming a fixture at virtually every community event and youth sports league in two counties – but his involvement didn’t stop there. He brought his business experience to the Vancouver School District Board of Directors and later to the Civil Service Commission of the city of Vancouver. He knew how to build a legacy and as a community we get to reap the benefits of his efforts and contributions.

This week we had the honor of recognizing another legacy builder, Ed Lynch. Ed, like Kyle, is a person who balanced his family, work and community contribution throughout his career. Though Ed retired nearly 30 years ago, he continues his passionate focus and support of his family and steadfast pursuit of building a community of which we can all be proud.

Ed celebrates his 94th birthday on the 14th of this month, yet he continues to demonstrate philanthropic leadership with sharp business acumen. He is still active with Fort Vancouver National Trust, Identity Clark County, Vancouver Methodist Foundation, Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center and the I Have a Dream Foundation, to name a few.

We’re not the first to recognize Ed’s contributions and likely not the last. A few of the acknowledgements he has received include:

  • Skill, Integrity and Reliability Award from the Associated General Contractors Oregon/Columbia Chapter (1993)
  • Bishops’ Award for Christian Service to the Northwest Conference, United Methodist Church (1995)
  • Rotary International’s Paul Harris Fellowship Award (1996)
  • Ed and Dollie, his late wife, were inducted into the East Vancouver Rotary Hall of Fame and were the first couple to receive the First Citizens of Southwest Washington Award.

We are proud to add Ed Lynch to our growing list of Legacy Builders in Southwest Washington. The list includes Ron Frederiksen (2008); Tony Bacon (2009, posthumously); Stan Friedberg, MD (2010); Pat Sheaffer (2011); Mark Matthias (2012); and Roma Bergstrom (2013).