|Wonderful mother, faithful wife, dedicated Christian, and tireless worker, are but a few of the adjectives that describe the life of Josie Stoudenmire Lynch. Her early decision for Christ formed the foundation for her life of ministry. She graduated from Livingston Normal College (Alabama) and Centenary College (Louisiana). In 1931, she helped pioneer hot school lunches in the elementary school where she taught and used her homes an additional classroom for the school that was next door. She taught school to help her husband attend Birmingham Southern College and Westminister Seminary in Maryland.
On April 14, 1922 she married Rev. Wesley Otis Lynch, Sr. They served Methodist Protestant Churches in Alabama, Maryland, and Haynesville, Louisiana. After Church Union in 1939, they served Logansport, Park Avenue (Shreveport), Jonesboro, Blackwater (Baker), Jena, Oak Grove, and Pleasant Valley. She was a leader in the Women’s Society of Christian Service (now United Methodist Women), Epworth League (now Methodist Youth Fellowship). She played an integral part in the conference camping program. For thirty years, after her husband retired, and until she was 90 years old, she taught Sunday School at Lakeview United Methodist Church, Shreveport, where she renewed friendships formed with the former Park Avenue parishioners in the 1940’s.
Josie was born August 23, 1900 at Deatsville, Alabama. She departed this life June 19, 1999 in Ruston, Louisiana and was buried at Century Memorial Cemetery, Shreveport, Louisiana, beside her husband. She resided in Shreveport for the last 36 years (following retirement) living independently for nineteen years after her husband’s death in 1976. Failing health forced her to spend the last 5 years of her life in Longleaf Care Center in Ruston. Her mind remained clear until the last, so that in her final week she was still singing her favorite hymns, especially “Abide With Me.”
She was preceded in death by her parents, Annette Alice Alabama Strock and Josephus Milton Bullock Stoudenmire; her husband, Rev. Wesley Otis Lynch, Sr.; a sister, Olivia Stoudemire Hicks; and a brother, James Milton Stoudenmire. Her sister, Hallie Lee Stoudenmire (a missionary to India), survived her by one month.
She is survived by a daughter, Phoenell Lynch Gingles and husband Claude N. Gingles of Shreveport, Louisiana; two sons, Rev. W.O. Lynch, Jr. and wife Jeanne Hall Lynch of Ruston, Louisiana, and Joseph S. Lynch and wife Nancy Richardson Lynch of Ruston, Louisiana; 12 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, p. 255 By W.O. Lynch, Jr|