Inspiring

Retired teacher loses everything in a fire not knowing former students will help him get it all back

June 8th, 2021

When Jack Lynch’s wife of 30 years died in 2011 he decided to take to the open road in his RV.

“It’s just like it was magic,” he told FOX 13 News. “All I needed was the motorhome, and that summer, I just took off.”

#GoodMorningAmerica features retired #MTHS teacher Jack Lynch, who lost his home (an RV) to an electrical fire on 2/15….

Posted by Montville Township Public Schools onTuesday, April 27, 2021

The only thing salvaged from that RV when it burned down in February was a cross that belonged to his wife.

But there was something else that was left behind that the fire couldn’t take: Lynch’s teaching legacy.

Students who were inspired by Lynch during his 45-year teaching career helped raise more than $55,000 through GoFundMe to help him recover from the fire.

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Marty Wall - YouTube Source: Marty Wall - YouTube

“My jaw dropped and I just stood there the whole time, trying to figure out did I leave something on the stove?” Lynch said of seeing firefights fight through billowing black smoke coming from his RV on his way back from a walk. “People were coming up to me and saying are you alright? Of course, I wasn’t alright.”

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Marty Wall - YouTube Source: Marty Wall - YouTube

The fire at the Sun n’ Fun mobile home park in Sarasota was started by an electrical fire from his refrigerator.

The fire left him with his phone, the clothes on his back, and his wife’s cross.

“I brought it to a jeweler. He cleaned it. But it still smells of smoke,” Lynch said.

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Marty Wall - YouTube Source: Marty Wall - YouTube

Lynch’s former student Kurt Kilanowski, who followed Lynch’s path to become an English teacher, started the GoFundMe page after finding out about the fire.

For Kilanowski, Lynch was far more than your average teacher.

“Every lesson was infused with a life lesson. You weren’t just reading Shakespeare for the purpose of Shakespeare,” Kilanowski told the Daily Record. “Helping people is what he committed his life to. You can tell.”

Posted by Sun n Fun RV Resort onTuesday, January 21, 2020

Lynch says he is just real big on people.

“I look for magic moments and I talk to people,” he said. “Over the years I have connected with some wonderful people.

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GoFundMe Screenshot Source: GoFundMe Screenshot

Lynch never imagined that he would one day need help and that those who he affected would come to his aid.

He said he is “amazed” by all the support he has received.

The RV resort has offered him an apartment where he can stay for a few weeks and friends have also said they can share their RV with him through the end of the April.

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GoFundMe Screenshot Source: GoFundMe Screenshot

“Everyone knows that insurance is going to take forever. I am still waiting for them to take my motorhome away, so the people around don’t have to smell the wreckage. I also don’t want kids stepping into the wreck,” Lynch said.

Retired #MTHS teacher Jack Lynch lost his home (an RV) to an electrical fire on 2/15. Mr. Lynch had 47+/- years in the…

Posted by Montville Township Public Schools onSunday, February 28, 2021

Kilanowski hopes that the GoFundMe donations will help Lynch to buy a new RV.

Many of the donations are from former students who also shared their gratitude.

“Mr. Lynch, I wish this note was sent to you under better circumstances. You are one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. You have influenced my writing, even as an adult. I’m sorry for your losses, and hope you can soon be on the road again,” Sheela Ahluwalia wrote on the GoFundMe site.

Learn more about Lynch’s incredible impact in the video below.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Source: Good Morning America, FOX 13 Tampa Bay, Daily Record

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