John Edward Lynch, 88, a retired director of personnel for the old Bureau of Internal Revenue, died Saturday at Martin Memorial Hospital in Stuart, Fla. He had pneumonia.

Mr. Lynch was born in trenton, N.J. His family moved to Washington when he was a child and he lived in this area until 1969, when he and his wife, Wilma S. Lynch, moved to Florida.

He began his government career as a clerk in the old Department of Labor and Commerce. During World War I, he served in the Army Air Service. In 1920, he joined the old Bureau of Internal Revenue in the Treasury Department as a clerk in the time and leaves section.

In 1928, he bacame chief of the time and leave section and in 1937 assistant head of the personnel division. He was head of personnel at the bureau from 1943 until his retirement in 1952.

Mr. Lynch had met his future wife when she was an attorney at the Bureau of Internal Revenue. Following their marriage, Mrs. Lynch resigned from Treasury and worked for several other government agencies until after her husband's retirement. She then returned to what had by then become the Internal Revenue Service and was an attorney there until her own retirement in 1969.

In 1969, the couple moved from the Rossmoor Leisure World In Silver Spring to Pompano Beach, Fla. In 1974, they moved to Stuart, Fla.

In addition to his wife, of the home in Stuart, Mr. Lynch is survived by a sister, Marion V. Lynch, of Washington.