Jack Thomas, California, Obituary, longtime Boston Globe journalist dies at 83

Scott Weisbenner Death, Obituary –  The remarkable length of time that Jack Thomas’ byline was published in the Boston Globe is sixty years. After spending his childhood delivering newspapers, he began his career in journalism as a copy boy at the sports desk when he was a teenager. Thomas served as a police reporter, a national correspondent, and the ombudsman for the paper during his time at the Boston Globe. His tenure at the publication allowed him to wear more hats than just about any other journalist who appeared on its pages.

Who then is more qualified than Thomas himself to deliver the eulogy? After receiving the news that he had a form of cancer that was incurable a year ago, Thomas wrote an emotional piece for the magazine the Globe in which he mused about the end of his life. He wrote about his lifetime love of local newspapers, stating that “every daily newspaper was a wonder,” as well as the many people and experiences that he was going to miss out on.

In his article from the previous year, he stated that “editing the final aspects of one’s life is like editing a tale for the final time.” It is the final opportunity for an editor to make any necessary changes, and the final rewrite before the printing presses begin their work. According to his family, Thomas passed away on Saturday at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He worked as a journalist up until the very end of his life. He was 83.

Thomas, a native and lifetime resident of Boston, entered the publishing industry when he was just 14 years old by delivering copies of the Dorchester Argus, a daily that has since gone out of business. He spent his childhood reading all four of the newspapers that were published in the Boston area at the time, including the Globe.

He worked for the Boston Globe for several decades, during which time he was also a correspondent for Washington, a TV critic, and a features writer. He was never one to turn down an assignment, whether it required him to spend a week living among homeless Bostonians or to profile his cherished Julia Child, to whom he once proposed that they run away together. He was never one to back down. (He also wrote affectionately of tending to his Julia Child roses, which were a kind of flowers with a golden yellow color.)

In spite of the fact that he possessed a natural talent for narrative storytelling, he also contributed to the re-establishment of the Globe’s reputation by publishing stories such as a 2002 article on a disgraced Catholic priest. This article was published around the same time as the renowned Spotlight team’s Pulitzer Prize-winning series on sexual abuse in churches located in the Boston area.

He was also not hesitant to hold his coworkers accountable for their actions: In the late 1990s, Thomas made it known that he disapproved of the homophobic and abusive views expressed by an opinion writer for the Globe. (Thomas referred to himself as a “boring liberal” in the piece he wrote for 2021.)

According to the Globe, Thomas retired in 2005, but he continued to contribute periodically to the paper where he had spent almost all of his working life. However, he kept his mind active by enrolling in classes at Harvard University when he was in his seventies. When he was younger, he had dropped out of Northeastern College before graduating in order to join the Marine Corps Reserve, as reported by the Globe. In addition, he had a passion for jazz, especially the music of the late pianist Dave McKenna, and he enjoyed spending the afternoons on his sailboat, The Butterfly, in Boston Harbor.

When Thomas was nearing the end of his life, he wrote in his journal that he would miss waking up next to his wife Geraldine every morning and listening to the laughter of his three grown children. He wrote in his journal, “I do not know what lies in store for me when I return home, but this has surely been an interesting adventure.” “I truly wish that I could remain here for a little bit longer.”

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