James B. Lynch, a psychiatrist who dedicated his life to medicine, died at St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson. He was 86.

Lynch died Thursday after a brief illness, his family said.

Lynch, of Middle Island, was born June 5, 1923, in Brooklyn, the seventh of nine children of Julia Finnegan and James S. Lynch.

He graduated from St. Augustine High School in Brooklyn and attended St. Peter's College in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and New York Medical College in Manhattan, where he graduated in 1948.

During World War II, he was drafted into the Navy as a medical officer and was stationed at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in New Hampshire until 1951. He also served during the Korean War.

Lynch married Bette Cullen in October 1946. They raised five children. She died in 2000.

After his Naval service, Lynch and his family moved to Antwerp, Ohio, where he practiced general medicine.

In 1958, Lynch came to Long Island and opened offices in East Northport and Commack. He also was on the staff of Huntington Hospital.

"He did anything for anybody at any time, whether they were family or not," said Brian Lynch, his son. He said he felt like his father delivered "half the babies" in Northport in the 1960s, before he began specializing in psychiatry.

After completing his psychiatry residency in 1969, Lynch joined the staffs at hospitals in Central Islip and Kings Park. He later was unit director at Northport VA Medical Center, and medical director at Sagamore Children's Psychiatric Center in Dix Hills.

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He specialized in treating alcoholism and autism.

Lynch, who retired at 71 in 1994, belonged to the Knights of Columbus and was a director of Plus Group Homes Inc.

In 2002, he married Frieda Rosen. The couple spent winters in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Besides his wife and son Brian, other survivors are sons James Brendan Jr., of Charleston, S.C.; Gregory, of Durham, N.H.; and Daniel, of Acton, Mass.; a daughter, Kathleen Gaffney, of Brooklyn; three stepchildren, and seven grandchildren.

A wake will be held Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9:30 p.m. at Giove Funeral Home in Middle Island. A funeral Mass will be said at St. Frances Cabrini Church in Coram Monday at 9:45 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the National Alliance on Mental Illness; the Alzheimer's Foundation, or Plus Group Homes Inc.