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Office of News & Public Affairs

Obituary: Lynch School of Education Professor
Emeritus John F. Travers, 1927-2011

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (June 2011) - Professor Emeritus John F. Travers, Jr., an alumnus who was a faculty member in Boston College’s Lynch School of Education for more than 50 years, died on May 27 after a long illness. He was 84.

John F. Travers
John F. Travers

Professor Travers, who was also the author or co-author of a number of books on child development and educational psychology, joined the Boston College faculty in 1957. He retired from full-time teaching in 1995, but continued to teach on a part-time basis for several more years.

In 2004, he and his wife, Barbara, a librarian, wrote a reading skills and development textbook, Discovering Children’s Literature in the 21st Century - one of dozens of books and essays he authored on increasing children’s learning skills.

“He was well recognized as a scholar, a distinguished academic,” said Professor Emeritus John Mahoney, Sr., who attended Boston College High School and Boston College with Dr. Travers and served as a fellow BC faculty member for many years.

“He was also an outstanding classroom teacher,” Professor Mahoney said. “As a teacher in the School of Education, he was a model for those who studied with him.”

Professor Travers has the rare distinction of being colloquially termed a "Quadruple Eagle" – having graduated from BC High, Boston College in 1950, and earning both master’s (1952) and doctoral (1960) degrees from the University. He also served in the U.S. Navy at the end of World War II.

He is survived by his wife Barbara MEd '82; children Elizabeth Eagan '79, Ellen Roche, John Travers III '84, MA '85 and Jane Travers '85; and seven grandchildren.

A funeral Mass for Professor Travers was held on Wednesday, June 1, at St. Agnes Church in Arlington, with burial at Wildwood Cemetery in his hometown of Winchester.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to VNA of Middlesex East & Visiting Nurse Hospice, Sawtelle Family Hospice House, 607 North Ave., Suite 17, Wakefield, Mass. 01880. Condolence message book here
--Reid Oslin is an associate director in the Office of News & Public Affairs; reid.oslin@bc.edu