GLOUCESTER: Prof. Irina B.M. Lynch, 86, died, Friday, August 10, 2007. She was the wife of James J. Lynch.
Born in Yalta, Russia on April 11, 1921 during the Russian Civil War and Famine, she was the daughter of the late Eugene and Nina (Krevchenko) Morosov. The family fled to Turkey 6 weeks later where they were interned. The American Military Mission then in Turkey took her where she was hospitalized for malnutrition, saving her life. The family was given refuge in Yugoslavia where she grew up and attended school. She graduated from the University of Vienna in 1943. She again had to flee from the advancing Soviet Army to the U.S. Zone in West Germany and from there to the United States. In 1947 Irina was accepted to Harvard-Radcliffe University where she obtained a Doctorate in Russian Language and Literature in 1955. During this time she was teaching German at Simmons College in Boston, and Russian at Brown University and Middlebury College Summer Language School in Vermont. In 1950 she received appointments as Teaching Fellow at Harvard University and was lecturer in Russian from 1954-1960.
Irina was also a member of the Harvard Computation Laboratory working in Mathematical Linguistics. In 1961 using five of her nine fluent languages, she worked on the establishment of the Computer Translation program of the European Atomic Energy Commission. These computers were in Brussels, Belgium, Ispra, Italy and Teddington, England. Also in 1961, Irina was appointed Professor of Russian Language and Literature at Wellesley College and retired as chairman of the department in 1991, awarded the honorary appointment of Professor Emerita.
Additionally, Irina was a Franciscan of the Third Order and worked on the early history and beginnings of the Franciscan Order. She collaborated in the translation of the history of the Franciscan Order with Kajation Esser. Irina also researched the causes of the Great Schism and failure of the Council of Florence which split the Eastern and Western Churches.
In addition to her husband of sixty years, she is survived by her son, Dr. James J. Lynch III and her daughter, Natalia A. Lynch. She is also survived by her grandchildren Meagan A. Lynch, U.S. Army SPC Elbert Murphy III, his wife Jamie (Pietragallo) Murphy and a nephew, Peter Morosov. She was also predeceased by two brothers, Oleg and Vladimir Morosov.
Her memorial service will be held at Wellesley College in September on a date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to the charity of one’s choice. Interment will be privately held in the Holyhood Cemetery, Brookline.