Late last week, I received word that our beloved board member, Dr. Jack Lucas, passed away at age 93. Jack served on our board of trustees for more than two decades. When you include his service to the Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District and the Monte Sereno City Council, he dedicated nearly 70 years of his life to improving our community.
Jack was the true definition of a gentleman and a scholar. Preternaturally optimistic and cheerful, he had clever witticisms for days and so enjoyed recounting the stories of a life well lived. He relished the personal relationships he forged throughout his career in public service and took great pride in sharing the details of others’ successes. He liked to put people at ease and have a good time, so much so that he used to call me before district events — which he never missed — so that he could test his jokes on me. Almost every email he sent me had a humorous subject line like his favorite, “Idle thoughts from a pattering mind.”
However, his easy-going nature belied an educational administrator of exceptional wisdom and experience who thoughtfully reviewed every decision with integrity and acumen. Jack understood each side of an argument and unfailingly demonstrated the courage to do the right thing for our students. You only needed to take a tour of his home to witness the central role his students played in his life as a teacher, principal, and trustee: Every corner was graced by student artwork, photos, and other mementos gifted to him by those he mentored, coached, and cared for.
Jack was a devoted family man in every sense of the expression to his late wife of 56 years, Frances, and their three children, Kathy, Janet, and John. I was with Jack at his home a couple of days before he passed, and one of the last things he told me was that he missed Frances so much and couldn’t wait to see her again.
Jack was my boss, mentor, colleague, and friend. I will miss him very much, but every day I set foot on our campuses, I am reminded of his impact and inspired to do more for our students, employees, and community.
We will coordinate a celebration of Jack’s life with his family. We will share details in the coming weeks. Beginning tomorrow, those wishing to leave flowers or cards may do so under a picture of Jack in the lobby of the chancellor’s office. We will share all notes and cards with his children, who are grateful for the support of the West Valley-Mission community.
Take good care,