Concerts, classical musical and recitals in the city were Stuart Boynton’s favorite pastimes.
Enthused by the lavish halls that made New York what it was, Boynton could be found in the audience of many theaters regularly, sometimes even twice a week.
And that was all because of his mother, a vocalist, who ensured her son not only played the piano, but sang as well. It’s a musical legacy that continued with his grandson Tyson, who would later take up the violin.
But the music has gone quiet for Stuart Boynton, who died June 5. He was 90.
A member of the Riverdale Yacht Club since 1977, Boynton didn’t always live in the Bronx. He was born in Chicago on Oct. 6, 1927, where he attended the Francis W. Parker School before heading off to the University of Chicago.
He moved to New York City in the 1950s with his sister Barbara. There he became entwined within a community he would spend the rest of his life a part of.
Barbara survives him, as do his children Robert and Susan, and grandchildren Tyson and Inge. His wife of 55 years, Alice Tyson Boynton, died May 22, 2013.
“I am who I am today because of him,” said daughter Susan Boynton, a music history professor at Columbia University. “I think I’ll probably miss sharing the experience and talking about music with him.”
His children described him as a caring father, but sober in his demeanor. Boynton was not only a music aficionado, but also a culture enthusiast. He enjoyed the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And he made his living as a senior editor of the McGraw-Hill publishing company. And, of course, he enjoyed reading.
Many of his summers and vacations with his family were spent at Cape Cod in Massachusetts. He also frequented Europe and, of course, the Riverdale Yacht Club.
The club was not only a place of summer fun, but also where his family celebrated significant events. Both his children were married at the club, and it was where his wife’s memorial service was held.
The club was not only a source of great memories and fun, but it also kept Boynton extremely active. Between the pool and tennis, Boynton was always on the go, diving in the water to swim laps almost every day.
There was always a kind of competition at the yacht club as to who would get into the chilly pool first, and Boynton always strived to be the first one in, his son Robert recalled. He described his father’s work ethic very much like his dedication to swimming — very disciplined.
Boynton was also active in his garden, filling his patches with flowers, raspberries and even tomatoes. His appreciation for culture extended into food as well. When Boynton wasn’t attending recitals in concert halls, he would create his own food tours and travel around New York City trying different kinds of cuisine from foreign restaurants.
Even in his old age, Boynton never stopped trying new things — even if it always circled back to his primary love, the yacht club. He saw the riverside gathering place as a real community where he had many friends.
Boynton was the kind of person who would volunteer to do the tedious jobs that others would pass over, Robert said, describing his father as a “true citizen.” Without seeking recognition, Boynton gave steadily to local organizations — not because he had to, but because he could.
“Whenever I think about the club, I think about him swimming there and really enjoying the kind of calm there, being close to the Hudson,” Robert said. “And seeing him there doing laps.”