A funeral service for Kathryn Lynch, 97, of McVille, ND, formerly of Dunn Center, will be 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at Stevenson Funeral Home, Killdeer, with Pastor Karen Dvirnak officiating. Burial will take place in Halliday Cemetery.
Visitation for Kathryn will take place one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.
Kathryn was given her wings and joined her Lord on September 10, 2017 at the Nelson County Health System Care Center in McVille.
Kathryn was born July 5, 1920. She was born southwest of Killdeer, ND in a country home, the fifth child and first daughter of eight children born to Jack and Mary (Sayhaydak) Dvirnak.
Kathryn attended her first two years of school in the Rich Loam #1 country school. She then attended the Oakdale #1 School after her parents purchased the Diamond C Ranch in 1929. She graduated from Killdeer High School in 1939. The Oakdale #1 was located about 3 1/2 miles from the Dvirnak home and Kathryn stated that, “Papa had a man build a little room on top of the sleigh for winter, and it had kind of a window for the reins, and my brother would drive the horse and that is how we got to school in the winter.”
Kathryn worked at the ranch and she would say, “my middle name is Work, with a capital W!” Her mother became very ill with cancer and passed away the year Kathryn graduated, so she continued to work at home and help to raise her younger siblings until 1942.
She was the oldest daughter so while she helped to raise her siblings, she also helped with the ranch work, milking cows, gardening, canning, cleaning and cooking. And after her mother passed, she did all of the cooking so her brothers gave her a nickname. It was Cookie, and that has stuck with her, as a family nickname.
Kathryn met her future husband, George Lynch, when he came to see her brothers on the Diamond C Ranch to bring some mares to be bred by their good stallion. When asked what she thought of George on first sight, she laughed and said, “Oh, he’s so handsome, I bet he has a girlfriend!” George was then drafted into the Army in 1941 and they corresponded by mail for the next 3 years.
In 1942, Kathryn moved to Hawthorne, CA, where she went to work for Northrup Aircraft as a Rosie, The Riveter during WWII. She helped build the P-61 Black Widow Aircraft, which was a night fighter. She worked in the upholstery department. She was also honored by Northrup Aircraft for buying the most war bonds while employed there. She worked there until 1945.
In 1944, during WWII, George was severely wounded in the Pacific on the island of Leyte. He arrived in the US on Christmas Eve 1944. He was honorably discharged in the spring of 1945. George then traveled by train to CA where Kathryn worked, and they were married April 7, 1945, in her aunt’s living room. A few days later, they took the train back to ND. Their first home was on the river bottom north of Dunn Center, ND, until that place was to be flooded by the building of Garrison Dam. They then purchased their ranch northeast of Dunn Center. At the time they did not know of the historical significance, or that it would one day be named a national historical landmark, The Lynch Knife River Flint Quarries.
Kathryn and George worked hard and raised their children on their ranch. They were very proud of their three children; Allan, born in 1946, Kathleen, born in 1949, and David, born in 1950. George passed away February 22, 1985.
Kathryn had a lot of grit and enjoyed going moose hunting with George in Canada. She was a great shot, and she also hunted her own deer each year. She raised an amazing garden, and did a lot of canning. She carried on her Ukraine heritage and made great Easter bread and cheese pockets. The cheese pockets were a tradition for all holidays. She loved her flowers, knitting, and crocheting; and she loved to read, and read something every single day. She also walked every day that she could, and did so, well into her 80’s. She was also instrumental in preserving the Lynch Knife River Flint Quarries.
Kathryn looked at the good in everyone, and her faith was very strong. When asked what she wanted to be remembered as, she said, “as a kind and loving Christian woman, and a good Christian mother.” In September 2012, she left her ranch and moved to McVille, ND to an assisted living apartment near her daughter and son-in-law, Kathleen and Doug Messner.
Kathryn is survived by her son-in-law, Doug Messner; daughter-in-law, Gail Lynch; grandchildren, Scott (Cherri) and Mike (Jan) Lynch, Chrissy (Neil) Johnson, Brandi Lynch (Wade French), and Ashley (Brock) Johlfs; great-grandchildren, Brienna, Macy and Kade Lynch, Gus and Savanna Ridgway, Nolan Johlfs; brothers, Alick and George Dvirnak; sisters, Alice Starnes and Nadia Maxwell; and many nieces and nephews.
Kathryn is preceded in death by her husband, George Lynch in 1985; her son, David and his wife Susan Lynch in 1976; her son, Allan in 2015; her daughter, Kathleen in 2015; her grandson, Brian Lynch in 1973; her parents, Jack and Mary Dvirnak; stepmother, Lizzy (Kostenko) Dvirnak; and brothers, Albert, Elmer, and John Dvirnak.
Kathryn was asked, “When you meet God what do you want to say to him?” Her reply was, “Maybe I haven’t done exactly what God wanted me to do, but that I think I tried to do my best.”
Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at www.stevensonfuneralhome.com.
Stevenson Funeral Home, Killdeer