‘He did so much for our school’

January 7, 2019

STAMFORD — If you knew Coach Jon Boone, you probably knew he was once a coach for the football teams at Louisiana State and University of Miami.

Even a man once in the elevator with Boone at Stamford High School where Boone taught learned about Boone’s history when the man made the mistake of wearing a jacket from the University of Florida. Boone spent the elevator ride telling him how LSU and Miami were better teams, to the amusement of his colleagues.

“It exemplified how intense he was, driven and focused,” said Jeremy White, a longtime social studies teacher and coach at Stamford High who worked alongside Boone.

Boone, a history teacher and coach, will be remembered by colleagues as being passionate about everything he did, from coaching to cycling to spending time with his family.

Boone died on Christmas Day of a brain hemorrhage. He was 57 years old. According to his obituary, he is survived by his wife, Lisa, his children Jamie and Taylor and his parents, Jim and Geri, as well as his siblings, nieces and nephews and in-laws.

According to his colleagues, Boone came to Stamford from Florida in 1999. He taught social studies at Stamford High School and was also involved in the summer school program.

“He did so much for our school,” said Stamford High assistant principal Matthew Forker who started at the school on the same day as Boone nearly 20 years ago. “He was such a kind man. The guy was really a pillar of the school.”

Boone coached football at Stamford High before going on to coach the Staples High School and the Police Athletic League teams in Westport where Boone lived.

“I liked Jon very much,” said Staples athletic director Marty Lisevick. “He was our freshman football coach for a couple of years here at Staples and made a positive impact on a lot of kids. He was a man of integrity, class and discipline and instilled those characteristics in our young men here. He was also a good friend and someone who put the kids first in everything he did. He will be missed by many.”

Coworkers remember Boone’s dedication to fitness. His wife, Lisa, would drop him off in the mornings at Stamford High with his bike so he could ride it home to Westport in the afternoon. Boone also loved running 5Ks and marathons.

Stamford High principal Ray Manka said he’s been in talks with Bone’s wife about creating a scholarship in his honor which would be funded by a road or cycling race.

Manka added grief counselors were available for students when they returned from winter break on Wednesday.

“His reach and impact on students was very dramatic,” he said. “He will be missed.”

White added Boone affected fellow teachers, helping them incorporate technology into their teaching. White recalls Boone being the first teachers to walk the halls wearing a thumb drive around his neck.

“Everybody talks about Jon with kids,” White said. “I think one of the things that gets lost is how Jon helped us. He made an impact on younger teachers, showing us how to handle kids and speak to them with honesty.”

There will be a celebration of Boone’s life at the Penfield Pavillion in Fairfield on Saturday, Jan. 5 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to the Jon Boone Memorial Fund which will help Boone’s wife.

On the fund’s web page, Boone’s daughter, Taylor, described her father as a dedicated coach and teacher for the past 30 years who took the time to get to know each individual student and stashed power bars in his desk to hand out as snacks.

“He was the definition of a family man. He was the handyman, the hugger, and the one who always ‘had a guy,’” the page reads. “He had a solution for everything, even if it was duct tape. He worked hard to make his family’s life better. Conversations usually ended with a squeeze and a ‘I love you’.”

erin.kayata@stamfordadvocate.com; (203) 964-2265; @erin_kayata

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