“Today, we all gather to remember and honor The Reverend F. Washington Jarvis, Roxbury Latin’s 10th Headmaster, who for thirty action packed years led and shaped our community,” began Headmaster Kerry Brennan from the lectern of Rousmaniere Hall on Sunday, May 5. Nearly 450 alumni, faculty, staff, trustees, parents, and friends were gathered to honor the life, work, and lasting impact of Tony Jarvis, who died on October 7, 2018. As the bittersweet closing to Reunion weekend, the memorial service included remembrances from some of Tony’s family, friends, colleagues, and students, as well as readings excerpted from his book With Love And Prayers, which—delivered by some of his former RL students—brought Tony’s voice, stories, and important life lessons to the afternoon’s celebration.
“Those of us fortunate enough to work with and for Tony could not have had a better teacher as he modeled for us the transformational impulse of a dedicated schoolmaster,” continued Headmaster Brennan. “So, too, did he take seriously his other compelling calling, for he sought not simply to save lives, but, when all was said and done, to save souls. Tony was caring, demanding, multi-talented, generous, unreasonable, perfectionistic, loyal, hard working, and eccentric. He was a man of few grey areas. He knew what he believed in, what he hoped to achieve, and how to get there. There appeared to be little ambiguity or ambivalence about Tony Jarvis. But, alas, some of us were also allowed to see his vulnerability, and, indeed his humility. When all was said and done, he took none of it for granted, and realized and was grateful for the opportunity to affect positively generations of largely unsuspecting, but ultimately positively affected students. He taught us that knowing and loving boys was our principal task. And he modeled that for us.”
Offering personal, honest, poignant—and often funny—remarks throughout the service were Ned Smith, Tony’s nephew and head of Episcopal High School in Houston; Rick Hawley, former headmaster of University School, Cleveland; Harry Lewis, RL Class of 1965 and former chair of the Board of Trustees; Carolyn McClintock Peter, former head of The Winsor School; Win Bassett, faculty member at Montgomery Bell Academy and student of Tony’s at Yale Divinity School; and Mike Pojman, assistant headmaster of Roxbury Latin.