Robert Lynch ( May 28, 1925—Jan 14, 2019)
Lynch’s membership with the Guild began in 1955 and lasted for decades until his death in 2019. His membership in the DNG was part of a passion he had for maritime history and practical nautical experience. His daughter, Cerina, encapsulated this passion by saying, “The ocean was in Bob’s heart.”
Lynch gained his appreciation for the sea early in his life from his father, whom he idolized, who served in the United States Navy. Lynch, too, enlisted in the Navy, entering during World War II in 1943. Early in his service, during his training days, he earned a distinction unique among Guild members—an authentic sailor’s experience: for a uniform violation, his commander gave him two days in the brig with bread and water only rations. This also resulted in his transfer to a Navy research lab for mines in Chesapeake Bay where he served as an electrician’s mate (Em). Through it all, he treasured his United States Navy service.
He separated from service in 1946 and shortly thereafter entered Principia College and earned his degree in history. Continuing his education, he moved to California when he was accepted into Stanford University where he studied and was awarded his master’s degree in maritime history. From there he furthered his nautical education with study and hands-on experience in maritime operations at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut. Lynch eventually returned to California and went on to a career as a high school teacher in rural California, teaching at Gridley Union High School.
Lynch was a stickler for facts in his research practice—and also in that done by others. With his demeanor as one who seemed to always teach, Lynch was an important contributor to Guild inquiry, writing articles relating to the nautical ventures of Drake other mariners of the era.