Jan L. Boal, a retired Georgia State math professor, ran the Veranda Bed & Breakfast Inn from 1985 until 2005, with his wife, Bobby.
By Michelle E. Shaw
In another lifetime, Jan Boal could have been a professional architect. His wife is sure of it.
“He gravitated to things having to do with architecture,” said Bobby Boal, his wife of nearly 60 years. “Of course he also could have been three or four other things, but I’m pretty sure architect would be high on the list.”
Boal got to see some of her husband’s architectural handiwork in 1985, after they purchased a bed and breakfast in Senoia, just south of Atlanta. The former hotel, turned tea room, and soon to be bed and breakfast, only had one bathroom, and that just wouldn’t do, she said.
“So he found a way to build a bathroom in each room, in a way that didn’t take away from the rest of the room, or the rest of the house,” his wife said. “He was quite good.”
Jan List Boal died Wednesday, after going into medical distress, from complications of leukemia, at the DeKalb County home he shared with his wife. He was 82. His body was donated to the Emory University School of Medicine. A memorial service is planned for 1 p.m. Saturday at Briarcliff Baptist Church, Atlanta.
Most days, for more than 20 years, Jan Boal taught math at Georgia State University. He moved to Atlanta in 1969 to chair the school’s math department, and he retired in 1990, family member said. But before he retired from teaching, he took on the job of greeter and host at the Veranda Historic Bed & Breakfast Inn that he and his wife ran, until they sold the property in 2005.
“One memory we will all have is him, standing at the front, smiling and greeting guests,” said his son, Bob Boal, of Tucker.
“Most people would think teaching math and greeting guests at the inn are two completely different things, but he loved the people who were involved in both,” said his daughter, Ginger Jamieson, who lives in DeKalb County. “He was always interested in learning and teaching and I think he saw opportunities to do both through teaching and working at the inn.”
A native of Canton, Ohio, Boal came to Atlanta to attend Georgia Tech. In 1954 he graduated with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. He furthered his academic studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned a doctorate in mathematics in 1959. He taught at the University of South Carolina and helped teachers in India, before moving back to Atlanta to teach at GSU.
Boal enjoyed his work, whether teaching, greeting guests in Senoia or working in the kaleidoscope shop he and his wife opened after moving back to Atlanta, said his daughter Emily Wert.
“He wanted to share his joy and delight with others,” she said. “And I think he did that very effectively, through conversations with all kinds of people.”
In addition to his wife and three children, Boal is survived by 10 grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.
The fall of Javaris Crittenton, as depicted by prosecutors, is a perverse parody of that most shopworn of sagas: The gifted young athlete rises above the pull of neighborhood gangs and finds salvation in the NBA.