Marjorie Lynch

Marjorie Lynch
Marjorie Lynch (Republican) represented [the 14th] district of Yakima County in the House of Representatives from 1962 to 1971.

A native of England, Lynch came to the United States in 1945. She became a citizen in 1948, settling in Yakima with her husband, Donald, a physician. During World War II, Lynch was an officer in the British Women's Auxiliary Air Force, serving in an RAF front line station during the Battle of Britain. She also served with the American Red Cross in London and Paris as a home service worker. In Yakima, Lynch was active in many community services, including the Red Cross, Heart Association, Chamber of Commerce, and various other social and medical service groups. In 1952 she served as the chairwoman for Citizens for Eisenhower, and was vice chair-woman of the Yakima County Republican Club until 1956. She also served as the vice-president of the Women's Federation of Washington State Republican Club, and from 1961 to 1962 she was the vice chairwoman of the Washington State Republican Central Committee.

When a vacancy occured in her district's House seat she was the natural choice to serve the unexpired term. After her appointment she campaigned for the position and in 1962 was elected to the position. Lynch's conservative Republican views were very much in keeping with those of her Eastern Washington constituents. She was a champion of farmer's rights and fought against increases in property taxes. She had a sincere faith in the ability of the individual to excercise good judgement in the conduct of their own affairs. Unlike many, she stuck to her ideals even with politically sensitive issues. In 1970 she wrote to her constituents on the abortion issue: "It has been my conviction that the law should not be involved in what should be the individual's moral and religious responsibility. Too often we avoid individual responsibility by asking the law to ease our conscience."

Representative Lynch was vitally interested in education. As chairwoman of the Higher Education Committee for five years, she was instrumental in the development of Washington's new four-year college, The Evergreen State College. Representative Lynch was particularly interested in getting women more involved in business and their communities. She once said, "No longer can women be content to stay isolated in their homes and serve their families. They have a responsibility as citizens to their country and themselves. There can be no more saying 'I'm just a housewife.'"
Politics was not her only area of interest. Lynch highly valued community volunteerism. While rearing three daughters. Lynch donated every spare moment she had to her community. In 1971 she resigned from the Legislature in order to accept an appointment as Northwest regional administrator of the new federal volunteer program, ACTION. In ACTION she directed the regional Peace Corps. VISTA and SCORE programs. In 1975 she was appointed by President Ford to the position of Under Secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW). There she was responsible for the day-to-day operation of what was then the largest federal agency. Suddenly striken by cancer, Lynch's career came to an abrupt end. The only naturalized citizen among Washington's women legislators. contemporaries remembered her as a woman of grace. charm, and wit who will always be a favorite "Washingtonian."

--Political Pioneers, The Women Lawmakers