Although Mr. Eade losing his right eye to that last bullet, he lived for nearly 57 more years, becoming a highly regarded political campaigning activist, architect, teacher, consultant and commissioner of the Boston Department of Inspection Services.
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Mr. Eade, who had lived in Winthrop for years, was 79 when he died Wednesday in the Lambertville, Mich., Home of his cousin Elaine Bender, a retired oncology nurse. Last autumn he moved to Lambertville, just outside his hometown of Toledo, Ohio, as cancer metastasized through his body and shortened time.
“Everything made him special,” said his cousin.
“Our family is so proud of him and everything he has achieved in his life,” he said. “He could have come back from Vietnam and said, ‘Forget, I’m disabled.’ impact on this world, which it did. “
As a boxer who won a Gold Glove as a teenager, Mr. Eade returned home from the war to study South American economics, sociology, and politics at the University of Toledo, of which he received a bachelor’s degree.
Refused for a job in the business world because of an eye injury, he turned to politics and ran a local Toledo campaign.
His success and instinctive grasp of the work led to larger competitions. Mr. Eade worked on the presidential campaigns of George McGovern and Jimmy Carter, who appointed him head of the National Commission on Neighborhoods.
After that government service, he was a fellow at Harvard Kennedy School and then received a master’s degree in architecture from Miami University in Ohio.
However, Mr. Eade to work on campaigns, including for Bill Clinton, which he helped secure a sad victory in Ohio in 1992.
“We would have put in a phone operation, made over a million calls on Election Day to move the vote,” he told the Globe just days after Clinton was elected president.
Mr. Eade practiced architecture in Vienna before eventually landing in Greater Boston, where he was an architect and taught in what was then the Boston Architectural Center.
In 1994, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino – a friend since working on presidential campaigns – appointed Mr. Eade ran the city’s troubled Inspection Services Department, which he did until 1998.
So at the book at an agency that had known a fair share of corruption, Mr. Eade even fined the mayor’s office for doing renovations without obtaining permits, only to find that the city couldn’t legally fine itself. He and Menino said the episode did not create any bad will between them.
“The mayor is not only a friend of mine, he and Jimmy Carter are the best public servants I’ve ever been around,” Mr Eade told the Globe in 1997.
“John was a free thinker and a free spirit when I met him, and he is now. You will never change John Eade, ”said Menino, who died in 2014, for the same article, adding that he had appointed Mr. Eade because he is a “trainee architect and hard manager. I needed a tough manager and someone who understood buildings. ”
While running Inspection Services, Mr Eade also increased the penalties for employees who used racist gossip, including being fired for a third offense, after an incident which revealed that the department could not impose significant restraint under rules’ r city at the time. on employee for uttering racial epithets.
“The fact is that this has happened before, around here, and not much has been done about it,” said Mr. Eade told the Globe in 1995. “It will not be tolerated in the future.”
The eldest of three siblings, John Eade was born on April 21, 1943, in Toledo and brought up there, the son of Harry Eade, a factory foreman who worked second jobs to make ends meet, and Katherine Houser Eade , who also worked outside. from home.
“John was literally hunting and fishing to help put food on the table,” said Susan Lewis, Mr. Long’s longtime companion. Eade. “He loved it, but it was important. It was necessary. ”
Eade, whose marriage earlier in adulthood ended in divorce, enlisted in the Army about a year after graduating from DeVilbiss High School in Toledo.
He had played high school sports and continued boxing, even when he was a Kennedy School Fellow.
But spending time outdoors was always good for him. An avid hiker who twice completed the Appalachian Trail, he used to retreat to the wilderness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula after the stress of campaigns.
Mr. Eade was up there, dining in a country bar and grill after Carter’s 1976 presidential victory, when two state troopers came in search of him.
“They said, ‘The president wants to talk to you and you’ve been hard to find.’ And then the phone rang at the bar,” said Lewis. Carter had finally found Mr. Eade.
“It’s a classic John,” says Lewis. “If he didn’t want to be found, you had to be the president to find him.”
Lewis and Mr. Eade was a couple for 27 years, meeting when he was library director at what is now Boston College of Architecture. True to form, he didn’t ask her for a date until he resigned from the school’s board of trustees.
“He was the most honest person,” he said, remembering that he had been offered all sorts of helpful ways to bend rules when he was commissioner of Inspection Services, and he refused.
“John was just a good person,” said Lewis. “He enjoyed helping people and didn’t want any recognition for it.”
She is his only direct survivor. A service with military honors, which will be live-streamed, will be held at noon Monday at the Walker Funeral Home in Toledo.
At 11:30 a.m. June 30, a memorial and burial service will be held at Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne. Attendees should arrive by 11:15.
Mr. Purple Heart was awarded to Mr. Eade for his war injuries (he was also burned by a napalm), the Combat Infantryman Badge, and, shortly before his death, a Bronze Star medal.
U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur, a Republican from Toledo, unsuccessfully tried to persuade the army to honor her with a Distinguished Service Cross for fighting heroism. He told the Toledo Blade that officers had refused because eyewitnesses were not alive to confirm Mr. A’s actions. Eade as he struggles to save his fellow soldiers.
On that day in Vietnam, “it was not a matter of living or dying. He took care of each other and did your duty, ”Mr Eade told Jules Crittenden of the Boston Herald years ago.
“The question wasn’t, ‘Am I going to die?’ We all know the answer to that,” said Mr Eade. “The question was, ‘How am I going to die? I’m going to die well. ”
Bryan Marquard can be reached at email@example.com.