Margaret “Peggy” Rybnikar Lynch, 100, of Austell, died Monday, Oct. 5, 2020.
Peg Rybnikar Lynch was a determined woman who lived life her way right up until her death. Peg died 17 days after her 100th birthday, an anniversary she celebrated with friends who had come to know and love her through her work with her church, the American Red Cross, and, of course, with the Foster Cats and Kittens at the Cobb County Humane Society, and her 45 years of service at the emergency clinic of Grady Hospital as a Red Cross nurse’s aide. At the hospital, she helped at blood drives and over the years donated 13 gallons of blood.
Peg died in hospice, where she was comforted by caring people who, her family hopes, told her before she passed that her beloved Alabama Crimson Tide football team had routed Texas A&M just days before. Alabama football, golf and her beloved cats were among Peg’s passions and she never shied away from talking about them with friends and family. And in recent years, she had spent more and more time with family members, traveling back to New Jersey, where she spent her early life after her birth in New York City, to visit her sisters, Catherine Rybnikar Lanigan, and Connie Rybnikar Bennett, and her nieces of whom she had become extremely fond and who often went to Georgia to visit her.
Peg had a busy life. Along with the Red Cross and Humane Society, she participated in the life of St. John Vianney Parish. In congratulating her on reaching her 100th birthday, the parish bulletin said, “if there was an activity at (St. John Vianney), be it religious, service project, or a social, you would more than likely see Peggy Lynch among the members, “because active would somehow understate the involvement of Peggy upon joining St. John Vianney in 1973.” At the church she participated in altar services, was a hospitality minister, sang in the choir, set up for the Seder Meal, served wine at the International Dinner and fed homeless people on Saturday mornings at the St. Francis Table.
When she left New Jersey in the mid-1940s, she settled in Chattanooga, Tenn., where she worked for an engineering company. She later moved to Atlanta, Ga., where she worked in sales for All State Insurance, retiring in 1987. Her love of football brought her into contact with Joseph “Red” Lynch, football coach at Notre Dame Catholic High School in Chattanooga, whom she married in 1956. When they moved to Atlanta, Red coached at the Georgia Military Academy, now Woodward Academy, and Peg became the school’s head golf coach and parlayed that into serving as a volunteer with the Atlanta Golf Classic for nearly 30 years. She took her love of golf to another level, working with professionals as a “walking marker” to benefit Egleston Hospital for Children in Chattanooga.
After a celebration of her 100th birthday, Peg was remembered by friends and fellow Red Cross volunteers, who had honored her in 2018 as Volunteer of the Year for her 69 years of service. They recalled that she insisted on getting the schedule for blood drives at least a month in advance so she could prepare to help at three-to-five of them, posting the schedule on her refrigerator. In its tribute to Peg, the Red Cross recalled that one year a major snowstorm was expected in Atlanta and Peg had scheduled a blood drive. Another volunteer suggested she might want to stay home because of the weather, but Peg refused, saying the Red Cross recalled, that she was determined to go, “because the donors needed her and would be expecting her to be there for them.” And she was. That determination kept her going at the end when she knew she wasn’t well but was determined to celebrate that 100th birthday and to do it with her loving friends.
Two weeks later, Peg went to the hospital and from there into hospice where she died on Oct. 5, 2020. Besides her sisters, Peggy is survived by her beloved cats, Angel and Midnight, and by many loving nieces and nephews.
A Mass in Peggy’s memory will be held on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, at noon at St. John Vianney in Lithia Springs, Ga. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Cobb County Humane Society and the American Red Cross.
White Columns Chapel & Cremations.