John B. ‘Jack’ Hynes Jr.
John B. “Jack” Hynes Jr. passed away peacefully on February 13, 2018 after a long illness at the age of 88 at Linden Ponds in Hingham. Jack first gained fame as one of Boston’s first television news anchors for a career that spanned 50 years. He was often referred to as “The Dean of Boston TV News” where he broadcasted from 1957 through 2006.
He was predeceased by his wife of 41 years, Marie (Kelly) Hynes in February 1998 and is survived by his four children, John B. Hynes III and his wife Tracee from South Boston, Kelly Hynes McDermott and her husband Scott from Medfield, Barry T. Hynes and his wife Kristin from Beverly and Shauna Hynes-Baler from Yarmouthport. In addition, he leaves behind 10 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, several nieces, nephews and cousins and his dear friend Mary Mahoney from Chatham.
The eldest of five children, Jack leaves behind two brothers, Barry T. Hynes from South Boston, Richard W. Hynes from Brookline and a sister, Marie Gallagher from Falmouth. He was pre-deceased by sister Nancy Downey from Cambridge.
Jack’s father, John B. Hynes, was a three-term Mayor serving from 1949 to 1959. He passed away in January 1970. John B. began as a stenographer for the telephone company out of high school and then became a civil service worker for the City of Boston rising through the ranks to become City Clerk during World War II. Ultimately he ran against and defeated James Michael Curley for Mayor in 1949—and to this day the 1949 election had the largest voter turnout in the City’s history, as well as the tightest margin of victory ever.
Jack was born, John B. Hynes, Jr on April 15, 1929 in the St Brendan’s Parish section of Dorchester. As the family grew, the Hynes’ relocated a mile up the street to 31 Druid Street near St Gregory’s Parish, where Jack attended grammar school. He attended Boston College High School in the South End and graduated in the Class of 1948. He was an avid student and is recognized today as a member of the BC High Hall of Fame. Jack went onto the University of Notre Dame and majored in Journalism graduating in 1952. He also completed the Officer Candidates School program and upon graduation, he immediately enlisted in the US Marine Corps. He served with the USMC for three years during the Korean War conflict and received his Honorable Discharge as a 1st Lieutenant. Later in life, he became one of the founding members of the USMC Semper Fi Annual Luncheon, which is held in Boston every November.
His active duty with the Marine Corps ended in 1955 and he landed a job at a local radio and television station, WNDU in South Bend, Indiana, where he did the morning news, sports, weather and traffic reports. Two years later, a similar position opened up at Boston’s WBZ-Radio and Jack moved back home. He met his future wife, Marie Kelly in 1956 while he was doing radio broadcasts at WBZ and Marie became the first model for Breck Shampoo. They married in June 1957 and moved to Hingham to start a family. By 1959, Jack was offered a new position by WHDH as an evening anchor for a new concept – local TV broadcasts for both the 6 pm and 11 pm news. Jack’s on-air colleagues between 1960 and 1972 were Don Gillis on sports and Bob Copeland on weather.
In 1972, he transitioned to WCVB-TV with its local TV programming in Needham. Around the same time, he and Marie decided to raise their family in the town they had grown to love, Chatham. They converted their summer cottage into a year-round home, with Jack commuting to Needham and the children attending Chatham Public Schools. Local TV programming began to change and the anchor desk was now being shared by two or three anchors, which continues to this day. From 1972 on, Jack co-anchored the Channel 5 desk with great local talents like John Henning, Tom Ellis, Chet Curtis and Natalie Jacobson and many others.
In 1984, he headlined the “News at Ten” at WLVI-TV (Channel 56 until his retirement in 2006. During this time Jack became an accomplished road runner completing six Boston Marathons and several other national running events, including the New York City and USMC Marathons. He became so immersed in the running world that he went on to serve for many years on the Board of Governors of the Boston Athletic Association.
In 2008, Jack was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame. He spent his later years reading extensively, writing and traveling. In general, he loved to spend time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren---and most of it, in his beloved home of Chatham. He was a great conversationalist and was an encyclopedia of knowledge and wisdom. He leaves behind a tremendous legacy of inquiry without judgment or contempt and telling a story straight. The facts around the daily news came first. There was no concern for, nor a desire to embellish, exaggerate or grandstand. He loved his profession and was recognized as one of the best in the country. Most of all, it was his love and devotion to his family, friends and his faith that will never be forgotten. He will forever be remembered by Bostonians as a class act who made a difference to every life he touched over the years.
Family and friends attended Visiting Hours on Sunday, February 18th at Our Lady of Good Voyage Shrine, 51 Seaport Boulevard (corner of Sleeper Street), Boston, from 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm.
A Funeral Mass was held on Monday, February 19th at 10:30 am at Holy Redeemer Church, 57 Highland Avenue, Chatham. Interment at Union Cemetery in Chatham.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in the name of Jack Hynes to the “United States Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation” at The Semper Fidelis Society, PO Box 6359, Boston, MA 02114.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Cartwright-Venuti Funeral Home, 845 Washington St., Braintree MA 02184. For additional information or to leave a sympathy message visit our website at www.cartwrightfuneral.com