Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

Memorial honoring vet, former FBI agent proposed in St. Marys

By Sydney Albert
ST. MARYS - City officials are looking to create a memorial garden to honor a deceased U.S. Air Force veteran and FBI agent from St. Marys.
City safety service director Greg Foxhoven said he had been contacted by an FBI agent in December who had asked if the city would be interested in honoring an agent who had been killed in the line of duty and responded city officials would be open to the project.
Michael J. Lynch was raised in St. Marys before going into the Air Force. He served from 1966-1970 and served a tour in Vietnam after which he received several awards in recognition of his service.
He joined the FBI in 1976, where he worked until he and several other agents were killed in a plane crash in 1982 as they escorted a bank fraud and embezzlement subject to Cincinnati.
Discussion of the project was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Foxhoven said officials had also been unsure of exactly how to honor Lynch. After researching his childhood home, officials realized the city owned a greenspace area just down the street from his former house at 958 E. Spring St. He proposed they turn the greenspace into the Michael J. Lynch Memorial Gardens.
Several FBI agents have pledged to donate money for the project or have already done so, Foxhoven said. Officials from a quarry also have reportedly said they would donate a large boulder, worth an estimated $1,200, to the city and transport it to the site. Foxhoven doubted the project would be expensive, but if others are interested in donating, he said they could make a check payable to the city with a note in the memo line directing the funds to the Lynch Memorial Garden project.
The landscaping has not been completely planned, but Foxhoven said he envisioned putting a boulder between two trees with decorative flowerbeds and a plaque telling Lynch's story. The city would mow the lot and police department staff have volunteered to care for the flower beds because of Lynch's connection to law enforcement.
"We want it to be something that honors his memory and that the family and community can be proud of," Foxhoven said.
Foxhoven didn't anticipate a ceremony or dedication happening soon, as the project still needed to have legislation approved by city council members to proceed.
In other business, committee members recommended the High Street shelter house and splash pad park area be named Mill Park.
City law director Zach Ferrall said people had found some historical information suggesting the area had once been called Mill Park, and the name seemed appropriate as the city restores the old mill across the canal.
Foxhoven said the historical sources had been verified by former city law director and history enthusiast Kraig Noble.
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Compiled by Gary R. Rasberry
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