Photo365: March 4, 2009

Ecclesiastes 3:2

Ecclesiastes 3:2

RIP Matthew P. Boylan, 1932-2009

Matthew P. Boylan was New Jersey’s Director of Criminal Justice when I first met him. As a news reporter, I covered his work and a trial or two that he personally handled. Later, when I started turning up some interesting information about the acquisition of land for a commercial project, I was able to team up with him for some investigative reporting when I was with the Daily News. When I got sued for libel, I didn’t trust the paper to represent me and got him to do it.

A few years later, when he found out I was going to law school, he hired me to work for him while I was in school. I worked for him all the way through school and then before and after my clerkship. We worked together, we fought together, we parted ways professionally when I went to the US Attorneys Office. He didn’t like the decisions I was making for my career (I suspect he had an old-fashioned attitude about women litigators), but over the many many years I knew him, he never stopped being a supporter, a confidant, a teacher, a mentor, a friend. He helped me out in more ways than I could ever begin to describe.

And Sunday afternoon Matt lost his battle for life after a massive heart attack. He would have been 77 in June. His funeral was today.

Matt was never an easy person to be around. He was a typical black Irishman, brash, bold, loud, larger than life. He was funny, he was challenging, he was opinionated and intolerant, he was kind and frustrating and infuriating and occasionally even sweet. He was demanding beyond all reason and supportive beyond all reason. I have often cherished being his friend at the same time I have been grateful that I wasn’t his child. He could be his most difficult self when he was trying to be most helpful. Being around him was never dull, never ordinary, never calm, never quiet.

He leaves a big hole in the lives of everyone who ever knew him.

One Response to “Photo365: March 4, 2009”

  1. Martha says:

    My condolences. Do you happen to have a photo of Matthew Boylan? We would like to run an ad in NJLJ and do not have any high resolution photographs. Please let me know @ Thank you.