Lancer community remembers Lancer legend Ed Boyle

Please note: Tributes to Ed Boyle keep coming in, so we will continue adding them to this post as we get them.

Mary DeWinkeleer
Click on photo to read Ed Boyle’s obituary.

Ed Boyle, beloved Assistant Principal at LHS for 20 years, passed away on Oct.7, 2019.

When members of the LHS community heard Boyle had died, they began to share their memories of him with one another through email or social media or in person. They laughed together remembering something he said or did in the halls or cafeteria. They cried together remembering all those times he inspired them and pushed them to be better people.

There have been so many tributes pouring in these past few days that it seemed only right to create a space for them, so they could be read all at once.

For those of you who were lucky enough to know Ed Boyle, may the tributes gathered below bring you comfort as you remember him through other people’s eyes and hearts.

For those of us who never got the chance to know Ed Boyle, may these tributes inspire us to be a little kinder, laugh a little more often and push ourselves to be a little better, remembering how the life of one person truly can change the lives of many.

From Steve Tallo, math teacher at LHS

Ed Boyle will continue to be inspirational to me in all that I do with kids.  He and Carol taught us SO much about our “Yutes” and connecting with them all.  He HELPED me so much with the RIGHT way to go about things and even HELPED me with MY ongoing Principal issues.

I will NEVER forget one day with him in the Lobby, when he said to me it is going to be a GREAT Day because ALL of the so-called “Troubled “ kids had chosen to come to school that day.  He saw each and everyone pass him by on their way to class.  Our job was to then reach that kid in whatever way we could in our classroom.  REST in PEACE my Friend……..

Photo taken from the 1982 LHS Lancer Reflections Yearbook teacher superlatives section.

From Tom Ciccarello, woodworking teacher at LHS

I’ve known Ed and Carroll Boyle ever since they started here in the early days.  I was a young teacher then. They both played a huge role in forming me as a teacher. They were a team. You could not talk about one without talking about the other. Carroll was the ISS teacher where she was the southern bell type Mom to every problem child that strolled through her room, Kids were not allowed to talk for most of the day in ISS and if they did she would threaten to give them a big motherly kiss on the cheek. If they called her bluff she would pull out her red lipstick and start applying it good and thick and run over to them all puckered up. That was usually enough to call them into line! They all confided in her and when they could talk they would brag and tell her everything including when drugs were due to arrive in town, who pulled the fire alarm or where the big parties were going to be on the weekend. They would forget that Ed was the Assistant Principal. Carroll would pass along key info to Ed and Ed would round up the troublesome children and “redirect” their path. The last thing any kid wanted was to be called down by Mr. Boyle!

Ed was a Marine’s Marine. He almost never smiled and if he did it was usually only a half-smile. He rarely ever raised his voice but if he ever got in your face you usually needed a change of underwear afterwards! When Ed Boyle walked into a room (even the caf.) the noise level would always drop.

One day I was supervising a study hall in the back caf. I had just finished taking attendance and sat back down to record who was absent. Just then Ed walked in through the side door. I looked up and saw a large paper airplane sitting in the middle of the floor (so it appeared that I was not in control of the study if they were throwing paper planes!) He spotted it and walked over and stood right over it and without looking down he bent down picked it up and slowly crushed it all while look at all of us with his stern eye. I figured I was in trouble. I was not walking around supervising the kids, paper planes on the floor… I was sure I would be called to his office about this! By the end of the day I couldn’t stand it anymore so I went to his office on my own. I asked him if he was upset with me about the airplane and he laughed (a rare occurrence!) He said he wasn’t upset with me; he was just cruising the caf. trying to put the fear of God into the students!

Photo from the 1997 LHS Lancer Reflections Yearbook

Even though the students (and some staff) feared him, they also respected him and knew he cared about each one of them. The Boyles would often hire me to do remodeling in their home in Manchester and even in the summer students and former students would often stop by to seek them out for advice or thank them for some guidance they had received.

Many parents sought them out as well. They had an evening class that they ran for parents of troubled teens. Many parents were helped by the Boyles through these classes.

Even as teachers, he had so much wisdom for us. I remember at one faculty meeting near the end of the year when we were all running on empty and couldn’t wait for the year to end. He walked in and in his Major Boyle voice he said to us “Drop your packs, smoke em if you got em” We all laughed then he reminded us that we have one of the few careers where we reach an end, get a chance to recharge and start fresh again for the next year. Those pearls of wisdom often got us through the tough times.

I’ve known the Boyles and their daughter Shelley for over 30 years and have got to know them on a professional and a personal level. They were loving, wise and consistent. I learned how to love students even when they were causing problems. They showed me how to be consistent with my discipline but to also understand that their behavior was often very related to things going on at home or the result of bad decisions they had made. My job was not just to teach them my subject matter but to help them make good life decisions too. I’m sure they made me a better parent as well. The lessons that I have learned and the wisdom I have gained will be part of me forever. The world is a better place because of the Boyles. We will miss you Ed.

From Sue Provenzano, Computer teacher at LHS

Great man. So fortunate to have worked with him.

From Janice Burk, Learning Disabilities Specialist

My memory of Ed Boyle is personal rather than professional….but still comes from the heart.

It was April, 1996.  My son was 7 years old and very sick. We had spent many days at Elliot Hospital and still no diagnosis.  It was a Saturday night and I went to the hospital cafeteria, feeling so overwhelmed and anxious with worry. Who did I see but Ed and Carroll Boyle. They explained that they often went to the hospital cafeteria for dinner on weekends as they enjoyed the food.  All I knew was the relief I felt to see familiar faces.

Weeks later, my son had recovered (it was a ruptured appendix) and I was back at school. Mr. Boyle found me to inquire about my son. I thanked him for his concern, and his response was, “Kids, they’ll drive you crazy.”  It was perfect. Mr. Boyle…he was one of the good ones.

From Joanne Ouellette, counselor at LHS

Mr. Boyle is a  true LHS Legend. Nobody could ever take his place.

Photo from the 1989 LHS Lancer Reflections Yearbook

From Barbara Marzik, social studies teacher at LHS

One of my most vivid recollections of Ed was that he could simply walk into the full cafeteria, and the room became silent. Everyone had such respect for him. Thank you, Ed, for your amazing legacy.

From Brian Courtemanche, social studies teacher at LHS 

Anyone who didn’t know Mr. Boyle truly missed out.  Ed Boyle was one of the three or four most influential people I’ve ever met.  He was a mentor and a role model.  He had a way of making those around him feel both safe and empowered.  He embodied everything that LHS should stand for.   He was compassionate, yet held people accountable.  He cared deeply for every student he encountered and pushed them to be better people.  He was not afraid of a good fight and if Ed Boyle was on your side you knew you were going to win that fight.    Ed was both feared and respected by both the staff and the students.   The fear was not terror though, it was fear of letting him down.  The man knew everything.  Lying to him was not an option because he knew everything.  This is because people trusted him and so they always confided in him.

Photo from the 1987 LHS Lancer Reflections Yearbook

Ed was the second person I interviewed with at LHS.  We both went to Saint Anselm College so we had something in common right off the bat which helped put me at ease.  One of the first questions he asked me was to describe my worst experience I had while student teaching.  I told him the story of how this girl, Colleen McCarthy, had flipped off the video camera on the day I had to film myself teaching.  I gave the whole story and then Ed says to me “Colleen is my grand daughter.”.   I sat there for 10 seconds, stammering and in shock when he finally says, “Got you.” with this grin that I will never forget.  He had that playful side that was like comfort food when you were down.  For those that knew him, you knew that Ed would get your back when it mattered most and that he would chew you out behind closed doors when you screwed up.  I wish everyone I knew did that.

For those that knew him, you knew a man who was a marine who was on the USS Maddox during the Gulf of Tonkin Incident in Vietnam.  For those that knew him, you knew a man that universally was revered like nobody I have ever met.  For those that knew him, you held him and awe and when you found out he had passed it hit you like a ton of bricks.  For those that knew him, truly knew him, there was nobody you respected more.  Ed Boyle was the only person I have ever considered my hero.    There will never be another Mr. Boyle.  Rest in peace my friend.

From Elaine Kennedy, former secretary at LHS

I was fortunate to have worked at LHS during the time that Mr and Mrs Boyle were there. It is NO exaggeration to say that we were a family. Shelley Boyle Malone also worked with us for some of the time while her parents were there.

Mr Boyle started as a teacher at LHS after his retirement from military service and then became a beloved assistant principal. He was soft spoken, compassionate, had high standards combined with humanism which was a rare combination Carole Boyle was a mother to all of us and loved to bargain shop. So many times she would tell us where she would be shopping on a given weekend and asked if we would like her to bring us back treasures (dishes, glasses etc) from that particular shopping spree.

While the Boyle’s were LHS their daughter Shelley was diagnosed with a very serious disease. The Boyle’s focused in on helping her in every way and during that time Mr Boyle would go to St Jude’s Church to light a candle for the recovery of his daughter. God listened because today (many years later) Shelley is healthy

Another story. A senior prank where goats were brought to our school’s grounds. Mr Boyle and Mr Thibodeau we’re discussing their plan of attack in the principals’ office. As he left Mr Thinodeau’s office his daughter Shelley happened to be in the main office. She said “dad, are you having a baaaad day”. The grin that ant Boyle gave her was priceless!

RIP Ed. You made a big difference in our world.

Photo from the 1996 LHS Lancer Reflections Yearbook

From Chris Pantazis, ISS monitor at LHS and LHS alum

You’ll have no trouble finding folks who knew Ed who say that, while he was short in stature, he was absolutely a GIANT of a man….I first met him when he served as a substitute history teacher during my own LHS student days from 1979-1983….you didn’t NEED Mr. Boyle to tell you he was ex-military, you could feel it in his presence and see it his body language….ever stone-faced and speaking in a soft monotone, you felt that everything Ed said was important because he rarely spoke freely and used few words….but you could SEE that he cared, in expressive eyes and face….and if you were fortunate enough to make this stoic man smile or perhaps even laugh, you felt like you’d won a gold medal in life….in these times when substance abuse is, alas, rampant, I don’t need to go any further than to my own nuclear family and remember the substance abuse there and its powerful sting….I’m incredibly proud – beyond any words really – of my brothers for taking on the challenge of beating substance abuse and leaving it in their dust years ago….that was made possible, as was the maintenance of my dear mother’s sanity – by the presence and words and caring of Ed Boyle….I ran into Ed and Carroll perhaps a dozen times, usually at sporting events, over subsequent years, and every time the reunions were warm and enjoyable, just what you’d come to expect from the Boyle’s….Ed Boyle was quite a man….a Giant of a man…

From Jim Cardello

Educator. Disciplinarian. Teacher. Friend. All these words come to mind when I hear Mr. Boyle’s name. I was blessed to have been influenced by him in each of these ways, though I’m not sure I truly appreciated it while in High School as much as I have since.

I learned a lot from how he treated me and as I read people’s posts all over Facebook he was the same with everyone. I feel the greatest compliment I ever receive is that I am genuine, and the same person to anyone I meet. That much I believe I gained from low king Mr. Boyle.

His influence on me was sorely needed in those days, I definitely needed his firm guidance. He had a large role in ensuring I graduated and he never even knew how much I knew about that. He saw in me what many didn’t and as I type my heart is heavy and eyes are watery.

Rest In Peace Mr. Boyle, your life is one that no one can ever say wasn’t worthy of entering heaven. God now has the best soldier by his side and pretty sure the Devil is on high alert.

Great man.

Photo from the 1984 LHS Lancer Reflections Yearbook

The 1984 LHS Lancer Reflections Yearbook was dedicated to Ed Boyle.

From Leon Guertin, math teacher at LHS and LHS alum

When I was a student here at LHS, Mr. Boyle was the assistant principal for the freshmen and senior classes.  Because I was never in trouble, I never really knew him until my junior year.  My junior year, the wood working shop was trying to raise money to purchase a large sanding machine.  As a way to raise money, we had a work night where faculty members could come in during the evening and students would help them complete unfinished projects.

I was assigned to Mr. and Mrs. Boyle.  While working with them, I had some very good conversations with Mr. Boyle.  The conversations started that night continued at the start of my senior year.  Some of the conversations, we would joke about the Marine Corps and how he was always watching and ready to strike like a cobra. Some of our conversations were about my future outside of LHS.

Photo from the 1985 LHS Lancer Reflections Yearbook

About midway through the year, he pulled me aside and asked me what my final plans were for after high school.  I told him that I was going to Manchester Community Technical College (now MCC) in the fall.  He then asked me if I could use a scholarship to help with the cost of school.  I told him I would love to get a scholarship but did not think I could get one because I was not one of the top students in my class.  All Mr. Boyle said to me was “ok” and then walked off.

I did not give that conversation a lot of thought after, because I was enjoying all the perks of being a second semester senior.  Then the day of graduation came.  Graduation, back then, the scholarships that students earned were announced at graduation.  While sitting in the crowd of my classmates dressed in blue and white caps and gowns, I was watching all the top students in my class receiving their scholarships.  Then all of a sudden, I heard the Principal call my name.

So I went up on the graduation stage and received the scholarship envelope from Principal Thibodeau.  I then sat down and opened the envelope and saw that I had received a $1000 scholarship.  I was so excited to have received a scholarship.  A few moments later, I got called to the stage again to receive a second scholarship.  I again climbed the stairs of the graduation stage to receive my second scholarship envelope.  When I returned to my seat and opened the envelope, I saw that I had received another $1000 scholarship.  Because of the these two scholarships, my first year in college was paid for with scholarships.

While sitting at my seat, I was wondering what I had done to earn two scholarships.  I was not a top student in my class.  Then, I remembered the conversation I had with Mr. Boyle earlier in the year.  After graduation, I stopped him to thank him for nominating me for the scholarships I had received.  He then told me “you work hard and you deserve it.  Now you have to keep working hard in college to prove that you truly deserved those scholarships.”

I then went onto Manchester Community College where I had the highest GPA amongst my building construction class.  I still live by those words every day.  I have many more memories of Mr. Boyle, but I will say this has always stuck in my memory.  I said it then at graduation in 1996 and I will say it again today, THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING MR. BOYLE!!!

Photo from the 1996 LHS Lancer Reflections Yearbook

From Chrystena Ewen, science teacher at LHS

My favorite memory is my first year teaching when I saw him come out of the caf barking at a kid as only a Marine could.  “You go down to my office and you wait for me…!” The kid: “Okay okay. I don’t know why you are so angry!” Mr Boyle replies, “Angry? I’m not angry! You want to see angry I’ll show you angry!”  And as the kid heads off down the hall, he turned to me and winked.

From Edward Belbin, former LHS teacher

Mr.Boyle was a perfect model of tough love both for students and teachers. He had a tremendous positive impact on my early career and I still think of him when dealing with a struggling kid – “there’s always a story behind how a kid is behaving” he told me. Then he showed me how to form a relationship with kids and provide the guidance they needed. Our toughest kids were tough – loved by him so much that they didn’t want to let him down. That said, when he walked into the cafeteria silently and purposefully looking for someone, a hush fell on the student body. I simple understated finger point and a come here finger wave was enough to call any kid out of the caf and into his presence.

I’d want him in my fox hole.

From Ann Gonyea, LHS FACS teacher

Mr. Boyle was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. He cared for all and inspired anyone who was fortunate enough to meet him. He and his wife Carroll made a terrific team and gave their all to the students, faculty and staff. They led by example, and the impact they made will be here forever.

From Liz Juster, LHS English teacher

Many of my memories of my first years here at LHS involve Ed and his wife, Carroll. Since my dad had been a proud member of the USMC from before I was born and until I was in college, I felt an immediate kinship with him; as I spoke with him during my interview, I could just sense that Londonderry would be a good place to start my teaching career. I can’t walk down the hallways of Phase I without trying to look past renovations and changes so I can pick out just where his office had been and where Carroll’s ISS room – the pink room- had been.

I remember one time when I had had a rough day. It was my first year of teaching and I was trying to figure out what had gone so wrong with one of my classes. I spoke to Ed. He asked me how my other classes had gone. I told him that they had actually been great. He then asked if I had taught the same lesson in any of those other classes. I had. He then smiled and said, “Well, that’s easy. It’s not you.” As I stood in front of him, slack-jawed, he reminded me that I need to cut myself a break now and then and remember that I’m not the only person in the classroom. All of us enter with baggage – pain, joy, fatigue, fear, excitement. I never forgot that. He taught me how to relax – imagine that- a Marine taught me how to relax.

From Ann MacLean, LHS Phys. Ed teacher

Since Mr. Boyles’s passing, I have been reflecting back on so many memories. I just loved his presence in the school, a tough man with a big heart. He taught all of us to teach with respect and for the students to be respectful. Manners were important, trying your best, becoming a good citizen and doing for others in need, those were important to Ed Boyle. A funny memory I have of Ed Boyle ,was one year the senior class played a senior prank and had put live goats in the hallways of the school. The goats had to be escorted down to the field where they chased the students doing the mile run. Ed was trying to gain control, and 1 goat IN particular wanted to play with Ed. Mr. Boyle was not seeing the humor in this as this same friendly goat started to chew his tweed jacket(Mrs. Boyle made sure that Ed was a fashionista with his taste on clothing.) In a professional and stern matter, he found the culprits who organized the stunts and the situation was quickly rectified. And you could here him say” In my office”. Not sure what came out of that meeting, but I am sure they never did anything like that again.
The world was a better place with you in it. The heavens have gained an angel for sure.

From Tammy Harrington Greenough, Class of ’92

Former student class of 92. Was both Mr.&Mrs. Boyle Student Ad for my years in school. I never got into trouble but sure loved sitting in the office or in the pink room (detention room) and hearing the stories that they told us or life lessons or goals to achieve in the world. Since I graduated in ’92, I was still lucky to see both of them time after time. When I worked at Avandi’s in Londonderry for many years, I had the opportunity to see them more. 🙂 It was like a reunion every time they would come in with the rest of the staff that helped run his office. I had lost my grandfather when I was younger and Mr. Boyle took that emptiness of a grandfather without him even knowing he was helping me every time I saw him. I love seeing that man every time he came into the restaurant. Mr Boyle is my hero as he is to others. I love that man and will never forget him.

So here is one of my favorite picture of the group of people that I love so much. Once a Lancer always a Lancer!! Thank you Mr.Boyle for being in my life. Love you.

Photo courtesy of Tammy Harrington Greenough

From Karen Robinson, LHS video and multimedia teacher

I knew Ed years ago when I spent a lot of time in the building in the late afternoon and evening because the access center was located here. I wasn’t a teacher, I worked for the cable company and was hired to start up and run Public Access in Londonderry. I had students come after school a couple days a week and we produced some shows in the TV Studio that we had at the time. One of my early students, class of ’85 I think, wasn’t exactly academically motivated, but he really enjoyed working in the studio. Ed’s office was just down the hall from where we were located. One day he said to me “Tell Scott not to bounce when he walks”, and he walked away. So later that day I told Scott “Mr. Boyle said to tell you not to bounce when you walk”. He gave me a huge grin, and that was that – some inside joke between the two of them. Scott was no angel, but no matter what Mr. Boyle may have said or done in the past when discipline was necessary, this high school kid knew that Ed Boyle cared enough to think of him and ask me to share their joke. That told me a lot about Ed, and reading these tributes only reinforces that he was one of a kind and will never be forgotten by Lancer Nation.

From Kelly Giguere, English teacher at LHS and LHS alum

Mr. Boyle was my assistant principal when I was a student here at LHS; then he became the colleague I sought advice from as a new teacher.  Mr. Boyle taught me just how important character, integrity, compassion, and empathy are.  His expectation was that I would not only model those characteristics to the best of my ability, but that I would also do everything I could to instill them in my students.  Today, my CP 10 classes finished reading Tuesdays with Morrie. As we discussed the end of the book, I took a moment to recall my memories of Mr. Boyle with my students.  Ed Boyle was my Morrie—a wise man whom everyone revered and who exemplified what it means to live a meaningful life.

From Mark Sullivan, LHS Class of ‘84

I recall having Mr. Boyle as a teacher for a Western Civilization class.  It was probably the only time I enjoyed a having a  History class. He would often tell stories of life experiences.  My favorite was when he was flying on a commercial airliner and the woman sitting next to him asked if it was his first time flying as she could tell he was a bit nervous.  I think she may have even tried to assure him planes were very safe.  Mr. Boyle politely told the lady it wasn’t flying that made him nervous; he had been in airplanes many times previous to that flight……It was the thought of landing that had him nervous as this would be the first time he would be on the plane when it landed.  All the other times he had jumped out of a perfectly good airplane with his parachute on.

Mr. Boyle had a way of getting all types of kids attention and would use life experiences to reach them so that he could pass on all sorts of knowledge.

He will be missed by many.  I hope the stories can comfort the family he leaves behind.

From Stephen Secor, LHS Class of ’94 and current assistant principal at LHS

For me, high school was the best of times in many ways as well as the worst of times in others.  I was blessed to have had many role models and father figures here at LHS when I needed them most.  Mr. Boyle was one of those influential people in my life.  I looked up to him and sought him out for advice.  He kept me in line and comforted me at the same time; no easy task.  Thank you Mr. Boyle, for everything.

From Barbara Dion, Ed Boyle’s secretary of 12 years

There is thousands of stories in the 12 years I was Ed Boyle’s secretary and what I was privy to.

It was the summer of 1986, and my part time job was in the I.A. dept. but I now was ready to work full time and there was a job opening in Ed’s office.  As I was going by the high school, I decided to go in and ask for an interview for the secretary position and so went to Ed’s office.  A little intimidated, after all he was a former marine and  looked so stern and unapproachable, but I proceeded with my request.  How wrong I was, greeted with a smile, always a  gentleman, a good listener, warm demeanor, soft spoken, he made me very comfortable.  When I got up to go, he stood too, he said that was your interview.  I was a little embarrassed because I was in shorts and unprepared.

The Class of 1984 yearbook was dedicated to him, and says a lot of how the kids respected and loved him. Ed at that time was fairly new to LHS.

This is not a somber time, Ed wouldn’t stand for that, for he’d say, I lived a long and adventurous life.

Photo courtesy of Barbara Dion, who was Ed Boyle’s secretary at LHS for 12 years.