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Obit: James Wynne

by jmaloni
Fri, Jan 31st 2014 07:20 pm

James Wynne, a resident of Grand Island, died Friday, Jan. 24, of complications of cancer. He was born July 24, 1937, and was 76.

He rowed competitively throughout high school at St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute, winning many national and Canadian medals, and he rowed at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1956, he took a leave of absence from college to row a four-oared shell with coxswain at the West Side Rowing Club that competed in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. He also rowed in the European Games in 1960.

In 1963, he married Judith Ryan, and they moved to Boston, Mass., where he worked in personnel for United Parcel Service and spent his weekends watching rowers on the Charles River. He was appointed lightweight crew coach at Yale University in 1964.

Mr. Wynne and his family in 1970 returned to the Buffalo area, where he pursued a career in hospital administration, working at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. During this time, he was instrumental in writing a major grant application and procuring federal funds for a new mental health center. He was a member and served on the board of the National Council of Mental Health.

He returned to coaching in the 1990s, first at Nichols School and then at the University at Buffalo as assistant coach for women's rowing. He retired in 2004.

He enjoyed painting, especially charcoals and oils, and history, especially the Civil War. As a cook, he was known for his pear and leek soup.

Survivors include his wife Judy, two daughters, Elizabeth Killian and Molly (Daryl) Ehlenfield; a son, James Wynne Jr.; and seven grandchildren. He was the son of the late Michael and Margaret Wynne of Ireland.

Visitation was held Tuesday, Jan. 28, at the Kaiser Funeral Home. Funeral services were held Wednesday at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church. Interment was in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Tonawanda. Memorials may be made to the West Side Rowing Club.

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