BUTTE – As a state legislator in the 70s, Butte’s J.D. Lynch organized such a tight and tenacious group of politicians they were known as the Irish Mafia.
“They were always moving and grooving and trying to make stuff happen, so keeping even track of him was always a challenge,” said former legislative colleague Evan Barrett.
Lynch passed away at 71 Tuesday after a long illness, and friends say his lifetime of dedication and contributions to Butte will be long remembered.
“He was a stalwart supporter of workers and unions and worker rights and so he’s stayed active right to the end in that Legislature. It won’t be the same without him around,” Barrett said.
State Sen. Jon Sesso said Lynch was his mentor and inspired him to go into state politics.
“He taught me so much about being an effective legislator and how to work with people, particularly reaching across the aisle and never letting politics get in the way of good policy,” Sesso said.
During his time with the state Legislature, J.D. Lynch was very proud of his successful efforts in securing funding for some of the buildings at Montana Tech, including the library auditorium.
“Every time you’d see him at this thing he’d say, ‘you know, I brought this library here and this auditorium to Tech along with a bunch of other buildings,’ he was very proud of having done a lot for Tech,” Barrett said.
And proud to be from the Sacred City.