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Former county executive Callicott speaks about his friend and colleague Clyde Lynch

Clyde Dorris Lynch, Sr. will forever be remembered as a steward of the land and the public interest.
His elected seat on the Williamson County Commission spanned nearly four decades beginning in the 1970s.
Louise Gillespie Lynch and husband Clyde Dorris Lynch were married 64 years. They raised three children in between careers in public service and farming. SUBMITTED
He considered the decisions he made there to be as important to future generations as the preservation of Williamson County’s farming culture in spite of rapid suburbanization.
Mr. Lynch’s passing last week prompted an outpouring of support for his wife of 64 years, Louise Lynch, his adult children—Jackie, Judy and Buzz and their families.
Two distinguished men were chosen to eulogize his life at a simple funeral service held Monday for a man who did not want his passing to garner much attention.
Retired minister Myron Keith noted that Mr. Lynch’s best decision was marrying Louise Gillespie, a decision he made early in his life.
Keith’s affection was such for Mr. Lynch and his support of Williamson County that he asked the crowd for permission to pause so that applause could be offered to his memory.
Former County Executive and 61st District State Rep. Clint Callicott told a crowd of family and friends story after story of how he grew to respect and understand this maverick leader as the two served together in public office.
“He believed in the identity of this county,” Callicott told those gathered.
As Callicott reflected on the courage it took to establish an Agricultural Exposition Center in the county at a time when other projects tugged at leaders, Callicott praised Mr. Lynch’s financial acumen and personal commitment to the project.
But it was during 1980s, that Clint said he began to follow Mr. Lynch’s decision-making process—one that was all about facts and figures.
When the county needed a middle school in Grassland, Callicott recalled a visit and Mr. Lynch made to a Smyrna school.
“I said ‘Clyde what did you think of that school,” Callicott recalled, adding that Mr. Lynch would smile just before telling you what he really thought.
“He grinned at me and said ‘I wouldn’t have it.’”
This was the moment Callicott asked the elder statesman if Grassland could have a school like Page Middle—Mr. Lynch’s home community.
The promise was made and Grassland Middle School was constructed.
Over the years, Callicott said he maintained a bond with Mr. Lynch that extended beyond the dais of the county commission or interfacing at political functions.
The two men, he said, shared a profound love of farming.
“Clyde grew up in farming. He loved farming,” Callicott emphasized.
“The man loved his cows.”
Callicott recalled taking his sons Clayton and Claude to visit Mr. Lynch’s farm more than a decade ago.
As they were surveying the herd and discussing the best choices for the young men, Callicott jokingly recalled the advice his dear friend gave during the selection process.
“We were out there looking at the cows and one of heifers had gotten her head caught in the gate. He looked at me and said ‘Son, I don’t believe you want that one.’”
Whether farming, heading up a Budget Committee meeting, which he did off and on for decades, or questioning the calculations of a multi-million dollar capital project, Mr. Lynch took the reins of any tough situation before it could create a future problem for the county, much like a farmer protects a valued crop.
“The history of Williamson County really started 37 years ago when Clyde Lynch came on the County Commission. That’s when this county changed more than it did from the beginning.”
Speaking as a resident of a neighboring county today, Callicott emphasized what he has observed about Williamson County and its relationship to Mr. Lynch.
“Other counties would never have survived (the growth this community has endured) in such a short period of time. This county needed one thing, and you know what they all say it was—Clyde Lynch.”

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County leaders and commission colleagues recall a quiet man with a lot to say

Posted on: 2/27/2014


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