John L. “Jack” Tyrer, of Fort Myers, FL, and Cashiers, NC, passed away Jan. 24, 2018, at age 90. Jack was born in Brockton, MA, to the late Dorothy and Lloyd P. Tyrer, and grew up in nearby West Bridgewater.
He is survived by wife, Jeanne Dunning Tyrer and children Alison Tyrer (William Jones), Atlanta; John Tyrer Jr., Thibodaux, LA; David (Carol) Tyrer, Williamsburg, VA; Jill (Gary Bracken), Atlanta; grandson Troy Tyrer (fiancée Simone Sattler), Los Angeles; Jeanne’s twin, Jane (Robert) Carpenter, and several nieces, a nephew and great nieces and nephews. After serving in Germany in the Army of Occupation, 1st Infantry Division, as a chaplain’s assistant, Jack returned and graduated from Bowdoin College in Maine, and later completed his master’s degree at Middlebury College’s renowned Bread Loaf School.
A career educator, Jack taught at Wilbraham Academy in Springfield, MA, and at The Hill School in Pottstown, PA. He then accepted a position as headmaster of The Asheville School in Asheville, NC, where he led the way to racial and gender integration in the 1960s and ‘70s before retiring in 1992 after 28 years. He held leadership positions with National Association of Independent Schools, Southern Headmasters Association, Southern Association of Independent Schools. Jack was immensely proud of the countless young men and women he guided toward higher education in the US and abroad. He held leadership roles with student- and teacher-exchange programs, including English Speaking Union and ASSIST, and he spent seven summers with Jeanne teaching at the Olomouc (Czech Republic) Summer Leadership Institute. A one-time student of ornithology, he loved bird-watching as well as music and choral singing. He was active in numerous arts and social organizations, including the Community Concert Association (board president in Asheville, secretary in Fort Myers), Southwest Florida Symphony Chorus, Covenant Presbyterian and Faith Presbyterian choirs. He also volunteered at Edison and Ford Winter Estates. He was a loving and devoted husband and very proud of his four wonderful kids. A service of remembrance will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, Faith Presbyterian Church, Cape Coral. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes contributions to The Jeanne D. and John L. Tyrer Scholarship Fund at The Asheville School.