Jack Boyle

“Do not go gentle into that good night; rage, rage against the dying of the light.” – Dylan Thomas

Jack Boyle left this life June 9, 2018, after three courageous battles with renal cell cancer, which began in 2003 with the first diagnosis. He passed peacefully, surrounded by the love and warmth of his wife, Marti (Martha Turner Boyle), at Community Hospice & Palliative Care’s Warner Center for Caring in Fernandina Beach, Fla.

Jack was born 80 years ago in Titusville, Pa. He graduated with honors from Titusville High School and went on to receive his Bachelor of Arts from Allegheny University, where he became a member of the Alpha Chi Rho fraternity. He attended the University of Pittsburgh, receiving a Master of Arts in Teaching from the School of Education. He pursued a Doctorate in Theater Arts at New York University, studying with many well-respected and talented people from the theater world. He also completed a two-year program at The Circle in the Square School in Manhattan, which was the only accredited training conservatory associated with a Broadway theater, offering hands-on training in both acting and musical theater.

Jack served in the United States Army’s Intelligence Corps during the early Vietnam War days. He received an honorable discharge after his service and then began his career in teaching. He became a member of the faculty at Ridgewood High School in Ridgewood, N.J., where he worked for 26 years teaching English, theater arts, speech and television production. In 1968, he founded and served as first director of The New Players Company, which opened the door to all aspects of acting and theater to hundreds and hundreds of students through the years and proudly continues on to this day. Knowing that so many of his students went on to pursue their careers in the world of theater or “the silver screen,” whether as actors, directors, production managers, artistic directors, costumers, and so on, was a great source of pride to Jack. He remained in contact with many of his former students, and that, too, brought him happiness and satisfaction, especially in the waning years, necessitating his confinement.

In 1994, Jack and Marti took an early retirement and relocated to Florida after a six-month trip around the USA to get to know our incredible country better. It was the trip of a lifetime, but they both were happy to settle into their new Floridian lifestyle when they returned. As expected by Marti, time grew heavy on Jack’s hands and riding his bicycle, playing tennis and serving on homeowners association boards wasn’t enough to fill up his days satisfactorily. He returned to teaching, this time at the college level at the University of North Florida, where he served as visiting professor of speech and also at Florida State College at Jacksonville, Beaches Campus, where he worked as instructor of theater. He greatly enjoyed interacting with the students as well as his colleagues at UNF and FSCJ, just as he had at Ridgewood High School, and often said how fortunate he felt having had such outstanding venues in which to practice his profession.

Jack was a member of both the Pitt and Allegheny Alumni Associations, The National Education Association, The Ridgewood Retired Teachers Association, The Bergen County Retired Teachers Association and The New Jersey Retired Educators Association.

Jack was a zealous reader, enjoying several books a month, when health allowed. When he could no longer ride his bicycle, he was usually seen sitting out on the front porch, reading and relishing the day. He was a “book-purist” and would not even consider reading anything but a hard cover, even when holding the book in his hands became a challenge. While at RHS, his favorite books for his students to read were A Cry of Angels and To Kill a Mockingbird, and these books were always at the top of his “required reading” list for his English classes. The bookshelves in Jack’s den literally spill over with many hundreds of books, all in excellent condition, and it is his wish they be donated to the Fernandina Beach Branch Library for the enjoyment of our community.

Jack will be remembered for being strong in his soft-spokenness, gentle in his wisdom, kind in his criticism, much too modest about his talents and altruistic in his relationship with humanity. He did not waste words, and people sometimes noted that for a communications teacher, he seemed so quiet. Jack’s response was always the same – to remind us that 50 percent of communication involves listening, and that no one ever really learns anything while they are speaking. “The biggest communication problem is that we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.” (A Buddha quote)

Besides his devoted wife of 36 years, he leaves five children, Kimberly, Terry (Marjorie), Tammy, Scott Pope (Samantha) and Matthew Pope (Harlen). Jack also leaves six grandchildren, Colin and Caitlin, Justin and Jason and Christopher and Jessica. Jack loved animals and he and Marti made a home for many over the years, including the current family member he now leaves behind, his wonderful cat, “Smokey.”

Per Jack’s wishes, final plans will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations to the scholarship set up in Jack’s name would be sincerely appreciated. Kindly make contributions to “The New Players Company Association,” designated for “The Jack Boyle Memorial Scholarship,” and sent to Margaret Schaeffer, Artistic Director of NPC, Ridgewood High School, 627 E. Ridgewood Ave., NJ 07450.

Our heartfelt gratitude goes to the compassionate and dedicated people comprising the East Nassau Team of Community Hospice of Northeast Florida. Their guidance, support and empathy through a very long and difficult time were immeasurable.

“Though wise men, at their end, know dark is right; wild men, who caught and sang in the sun, in light.”

Please share your memories and condolences at www.oxleyheard.com.

Oxley-Heard Funeral Directors

News-Leader

Mailing Address:
PO Box 16766
Fernandina Beach, FL 32035

Physical Address:
511 Ash Street

Fernandina Beach, FL 32034

Phone: (904) 261-3696
Fax: (904) 261-3698