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Family, friends mourn Boulder County man found dead in Fourmile Canyon homicide case

Jeffrey Lynch, 57, was "a friend to everybody," family said

Jeffrey Lynch, center, with his sons Michael, left, and Mark.
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Jeffrey Lynch was not a handshake guy, or a waver. For a man who “was a friend to everybody,” there was only one greeting he would accept.

“He was the best hugger on the planet,” Lynch’s sister, Shelly Ahl, said. “If you were standing there and made eye contact with him, he was going to hug you.”

It’s those warm embraces and that cheery attitude toward all the people he met that Lynch’s family will be remembering in the coming days, as those who knew him are in mourning and a community is in a state of shock following the apparent murder of one of its own.

Lynch, 57, was found dead Tuesday at a vacant Fourmile Canyon home where he was working as a handyman. Detectives are investigating his death as a homicide.

“Jeff, a happy-go-lucky, fun-loving, patient, generous, sincere, kindhearted, sports-loving, accomplished contractor, foodie, friend to all, and peacemaker, has tragically passed away before his time,” his family said in a statement. “Jeff will be desperately missed by all who loved and knew him, but he will always stay close to our hearts. We pray for God’s peace and grace upon him.”

Crime scene tape surrounds a home where Jeffrey Lynch’s body was found.

‘Why did it have to happen to the nicest guy in the world?’

The oldest of four siblings, Lynch moved to Colorado almost 40 years ago with his high school sweetheart, Stephanie, with a plan not unheard of for Colorado transplants.

“He wanted to be a ski bum,” said Ahl, who added that her brother’s personality suited Colorado. “We’re all from Minnesota, and the rest of the family, we’re city people and a little high maintenance. But he was just the complete opposite. He was a low-maintenance guy who didn’t judge anyone.”

Lynch married Stephanie and the two began raising their two sons, Michael and Mark, in the Fourmile Canyon community.

“He was the good neighbor, and very few people are that anymore,” said Naomi Rachel, who has lived next to Lynch in the foothills of Boulder County for pretty much his entire time in Colorado. “Jeff always had time to talk to people and help people. Jeff was always the guy you went to.”

Unfortunately, Lynch’s time in Colorado was marked by tragedy. They lost their home in the devastating Fourmile Canyon in 2010, and a year later Stephanie Lynch died of cancer at the age of 47.

But Rachel said she never saw Lynch’s personal tragedies affect his outlook on life.

“I never heard Jeff complain, which is weird, but he never did,” she said.

Sure enough, Lynch, a contractor, built a new home.

“He was an incredible builder, and a real craftsman,” Rachel said. “If Jeff did it, he did it incredibly well.”

Knowing how much he and his family had been through, it only made it that much tougher when Rachel heard the news.

“You cannot believe that one family has had this much happen to them,” she said. “It just didn’t seem to be possible that it happened to the Lynch family once again. Why did it have to happen to the nicest guy in the world?”

For a small community, news of the murder has shaken residents. An affidavit said the suspect in the case, Stephen Wolf, was found at the property with Lynch’s body after Lynch was reported missing. But so far, investigators have not revealed a possible motive in the case.

“It’s one of those things you just don’t believe,” Rachel said. “We’re kind of blase about violence in this culture. But you don’t expect it in your neighborhood of only a few houses.”

Wolf, who is facing charges including first-degree murder, is set for a hearing on Friday morning in Boulder District Court, and is being held at the Boulder County Jail without bond.

‘The family is wrecked right now’

Lynch is survived by his two sons, including one who is severely autistic for whom Lynch was caregiver.

“We’re completely devastated,” Ahl said. “We’ll never get over this. The family is wrecked right now.”

The family will be holding a celebration of life for Lynch at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Hotel Boulderado, 2115 13th St. Ahl said in the time the family has been in Colorado, they have already had people coming out to talk to them about Lynch and the impact he had on their lives.

Ahl said a man who had previously been homeless talked to the family and said it was Lynch who helped him get back on his feet.

“Jeff is the one who turned his life around, because he taught him to love himself,” Ahl said. “That’s the kind of guy Jeff was.”

Lynch’s family hopes that people who want to honor him will do so by living his mantra: “Be kind, and be kind to others.”

“For all the tragedy that happened in his life, Jeff was always the peacemaker, he was always the one paying it forward,” Ahl said. “At the end of the day, that’s what we’re going to try to do for him. We’re going to try to remember him that way.”

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