WYANDOTTE, Mich. - The legacy of longtime Detroit Red Wings public address announcer Budd Lynch was celebrated and remembered during his visitation and funeral Saturday.
Family and friends gathered at a funeral home and St. Joseph Catholic Church in Wyandotte.
Lynch, 95, died Tuesday following a brief illness at a Detroit-area rehabilitation centre. He worked for the Red Wings for 63 years ? the longest tenured employee in the NHL club's history.
University of Michigan football and Detroit Lions broadcaster Jim Brandstatter called Lynch "one of the most unforgettable characters" he ever met, according to the Detroit Free Press.
"He was an unabashed supporter of the city of Detroit and the game of hockey," Brandstatter said during Lynch's visitation. "When you heard him and listened to him on the radio, you got to like him. When you got to meet him, you liked him even more.
"The loss of Budd Lynch has left a big hole in the fabric and history of hockey. It's sad we won't have those stories any more from Budd's lips, because nobody told them better."
Lynch began broadcasting in 1936. He served in the Canadian Army, losing his right arm and shoulder in a rocket attack following the World War II D-Day invasion of Normandy.
Beginning in the 1949-50 National Hockey League season, Lynch began calling televised Red Wings games for WWJ in Detroit. He became the play-by-play announcer for the Red Wings on the radio starting in 1960 and held the job for the next 15 years.
He then served as the team's director of publicity and became the public address announcer at Joe Louis Arena in 1982.
Lynch was honoured in 1985 by the NHL Broadcasters Association with the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award at the Hockey Hall of Fame and was enshrined nine years later in the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.
He is survived by his daughters: Janis, Valerie, Mary, Francey, Patricia and Lori.