Arlan Edward Lynch, 86, a resident of Big Bear City from 1971-2017, passed peacefully on Monday, September 27, 2021, in Tulare, California, at the home of his daughter and son-in-law, Susan and Leonard Houser, who were providing hospice care during his final months. Arlan was born on August 6, 1935, in Brookings, South Dakota, and was raised in Lead, South Dakota. After high school, Arlan enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean conflict, and was honorably discharged as a corporal in 1957.
Arlan married Elizabeth Wendling in 1956 and they moved to Southern California in 1957. He worked as a cement contractor and later co-founded ARCO Construction Contractors before selling his share of the business in 1968 and becoming a Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputy in 1969. In 1970, Arlan helped pioneer the LA County Sheriff Department’s recently established Sky Knight program of the LASD Aero Bureau, where he flew aerial patrol and surveillance operations in support of ground law enforcement operations in Los Angeles County, as well as search and rescue operations, medical evacuation, and transportation missions. Arlan was medically retired from the sheriff department in 1981.
Arlan moved to Big Bear with his eight children in 1971 and became active in the community, particularly with the Big Bear Airport Pilots Association. He was instrumental in developing the Young Eagles youth aviation program, and enjoyed being involved in the annual Big Bear Air Show. He enjoyed being a flight instructor, as well as working as Chief Pilot with the Mountain Air Charter Services from 1982 to 1993. Arlan was also an active supporter of Big Bear High School Football and Cheer Leading organizations during the years his children attended BBHS, from 1974 to 1991.
In 1982, Arlan married the love of his life, Jane Marie (Yurcevich) Baird. They were steadfast, loving partners until her death in 2018.
Arlan was a devout Catholic and an active parishioner at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Big Bear Lake, CA, from 1971 until he relocated to Helendale, CA, in 2017. He regularly assisted with church fundraising efforts and numerous annual parish events. He was a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus, and completed the cement work for the 1969 construction of the St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Hacienda Heights, CA, and the 1972 relocation of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Big Bear Lake, CA.
Arlan was a loving, stalwart patriarch to a large, extended family. He was preceded in death by his father, Elmer Edward Lynch; step-father, Carl Burnett Sinjem; mother, (Elsie) Marie Sinjem; first wife, Elizabeth Kathryn Lynch; second wife, Jane Marie Lynch; brother, Dale Lynch; son, Gregory Lynch; step-son, Thomas Baird; and grandson, Daniel DiBenedetto. He is survived by his sisters, Rita (Sinjem) Rose and husband Dennis of Rapid City, SD; Mona (Sinjem) Murphy and husband Brad of Billings, MT; brother, Darrel Lynch of Rapid City, SD; sister-in-law, Barbara (Neumeyer) Lynch; his children: Teresa Lynch of Big Bear City, CA; Tammy (Lynch) Kearn and husband, Kevin, of Huntington Beach, CA; Susan (Lynch) Houser and husband, Leonard, of Tulare, CA; Anthony Lynch and wife, Kristin, of Enterprise, AL; Sean Lynch, of Juneau, AK; Kevin Lynch of Big Bear City, CA; Terrance Lynch of Claremont, CA; and his step-children, Susan (Baird) DiBenedetto of Helendale, CA; and Eddie Baird and wife Monique of Tomball, TX. In addition, he is survived by thirty grandchildren, twenty-one great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews, and countless friends and extended family members.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, October 23 at 8:00 a.m., St Joseph Catholic Church, 42242 North Shore Drive, Big Bear Lake, CA. Relatives and friends invited.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Arlan’s memory may be made to City of Hope or to the charity of your choice.
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