Home in Jacksonville, Florida may be 4,700 miles from Honolulu, but Frances Thompson ’46 Lynch always held Punahou and Hawai’i close to her heart.
Known to all her Punahou classmates as “Flash,” she was born Frances Antoinette Leimamo Thompson in Honolulu, on Jan. 6, 1929, to William F. Thompson Jr. and Helen Niaukololani Antoinette Rosa. Her great-great-grandfather, William Ladd, arrived in Hawai’i around 1832 and started a plantation in Kōloa, and her grandfather, Antone Rosa, was King Kalākaua’s attorney general. Her siblings also graduated from Punahou: older sister Helen LaddThompson ’44 who passed away in June 2018, and William F. Thompson III ’49 who passed away in August 2018.
Frances Thompson ’46 Lynch, third from right, in her 1946 Oahuan. In 1946, the Punahou Girls Athletic Association was restored to pre-war activities with leadership from faculty and students. “Flash” was the PGAA president, joined (left to right) by treasurer Joan Pratt ’47, secretary Julia Sia ’46 Ing, Miss Harvey (faculty), vice president Mandy Blake ’47 Bowers and Mercedes Hutchinson ’46 Bacon.
At Punahou, Frances was an outstanding athlete during the early days of girls sports. She was president of the Punahou Girls Athletic Association during her senior year, excelled at swimming and volleyball, and loved to surf. She turned to golf later in life and won many tournaments in her adopted Florida home. Popular with her classmates, her mane of dark hair was a hallmark, and the Oahuan praised her “graceful hula” as much as her athleticism, and described the “sweet personality and contagious laugh” that “made her one of the best-liked girls in the class.” Husband Hal still marvels at the wide circle of friends that Frances embraced throughout her life.
Her strongest passion from an early age was music, and she was a gifted singer and multi-instrumentalist in the glee club and band. Many years later and far from home, she often called on her musical talent and hula skills to entertain family and friends.
Frances went on to Stephens College and the University of Hawai’i. She married Hal Lynch Jr. in 1951 while he was stationed in Hawai’i in the Coast Guard and they remained kindred spirits for 64 years until she passed away in 2017.Together they had four children: Hal Lynch III (Brian), Helen Lynch Cooper (Charles), William Lynch (Jeanie), and Robert Lynch (Ann), six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Frances and Hal returned often to Hawai’i to visit family, and a case of Carnival chutney was an annual must-have.They were consistent donors for four decades, most recently as loyal members of the Oahuan Society, maintaining that unrestricted giving allowed Punahou to put their funds to best use. When Frances passed away, Punahou received news of her generous bequest for unrestricted endowed support.
Reflecting on Frances’ gifts to the School, Hal believes they were meant as an expression of gratitude for her hardworking parents, who made many sacrifices to send their three children to Punahou. In the spirit of her giving throughout her life, Frances’ bequest expresses her aloha for Punahou and her confidence in the educational experiences it will provide to future generations.