IN MEMORIAM: Charles P. Lord

by Jane Ahrens

Charles P. Lord, died on August 17, 2016 at Mass General Hospital of complications from Alzheimer’s. His spirit was huge and his kindness towards every person he met lasted to the very end. On the last day of his life, one of his nurses hugged his family and said “What a wonderful man.” In the brief time she had known him, he put her at ease, singing ‘You can bring Pearl’ and unleashing his signature puns.

His grandchildren called him “Big Guy” – a reference not only to his height but to his resonant laugh and back-slapping hugs.

That laugh and booming voice are remembered fondly by the women he served as headmaster at St. Timothy’s School and the Holton-Arms School. “Charles P. Lord exemplified grace, honor, compassion and unconditional love, acceptance and truth without fear. He was so good at letting us make mistakes all the while having our backs with his big hugs, twinkling blue eyes and infectious laugh,” said Holli Hallum Roach, a former student at St. Timothy’s School.

Charlie graduated from The Hotchkiss School, Yale University, and received a Master’s of Philosophy in History from St. Andrew’s University. After college, he served in the Air Force. He became an educator in his 40’s after a successful career in international business.

He was a pioneer in issues including diversity in independent schools and equal opportunity for women. His first school job was at Maumee Valley Country Day School in Toledo, Ohio. His devotion to serving others originated from his mother, Mary Pillsbury Lord, a delegate to the UN Human Rights Commission in the 1950’s, appointed by President Eisenhower.

Charlie’s courage to switch careers in his 40’s was an inspiration to his family and to many in his children’s generation. After serving as Director of the Washington Bureau of Children’s Express, Charlie continued to support educational attainment for children of all backgrounds by becoming a Founding Board Member of DreamYard. He also was on the Boards of National Cathedral School and the American College of Sofia.

Charlie is survived by Gay, his wife of 52 years, sons Charles and Thomas, daughter Deirdre, his brother the Honorable Winston Lord, and by his five living grandchildren, Taylor Lord, Annie Lord, Eliza Lord, Mary Lord and Charlie Wright.

A service will take place October 29th in New York at St. Michael’s Church. In lieu of flowers, send donations to Cameron and Hayden Lord Foundation, 110 Riverside Dr., 12-C, New York, NY 10024, a foundation Charlie helped establish to honor the lives of his beloved grandson Hayden and granddaughter Cameron who died of Tay-Sachs Disease or to Alzheimer’s Association, P.O. Box 96011 Washington, DC 20090.

Published in The Boston Globe on August 28, 2016

Holton-Arms Remembers Former Head of School Charles P. Lord

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