Remembering Rex Boda
When I woke up this past Saturday, I awoke to a world that was a little less kind and a little less gentle. My friend, former boss and adviser, Rex Boda had entered into the presence of His Lord and now we have to deal with the void which he left.
For me, back in 1989, it was Rex who contacted me to see if I would be willing to come and serve my alma mater (Nyack College) as the director for church and alumni relations. Rex gave me the opportunity to get back into ministry.
Over the course of the next five years I was privileged to travel with Rex throughout the Northeast and down the East Coast as we visited pastors, alumni and donors. Listening to the many stories that Rex would tell, about his children or life situations where he depended completely upon the Lord for wisdom and had to draw on his life experiences to make those critical decisions, was fascinating. And there were often stories about wrestling that would help him make his point. Throw in some very dry humor and it was a recipe for someone that I wanted to be like when I grew up.
Rex loved education and he loved Nyack and the students loved him as well. Rex was an educator. He was passionate about the history of the church and rarely did he miss an opportunity to teach, whether it was in a classroom, behind a pulpit or in a car driving throughout the countryside of New England. He wanted the Nyack students to have an impact upon their world and he did everything he could to make that happen. People were what was important to Rex. Even though he was president of Nyack College, he always had the time to have a meaningful conversation with whomever he ran into. When you were with Rex, he was with you one hundred percent!
Rex’s love for his wife Jean, the true love of his life and for his children was an example that was hard to miss. Family gatherings, birthdays and anniversaries were the ‘stuff’ that Rex was all about.
Rex had a tremendous impact upon my family in both his actions and words but more importantly, by how he reflected the love of Jesus to us even when he was going through difficult times. The influence that he has had for eternity will never be known until we all join him in the midst of that great throng of witnesses.
While I grieve the passing of my friend, I rejoice in the knowledge that he is now complete and able to worship the King of Kings whom he dedicated his entire life and ministry to.
Rev. Dennis Whalen
The Christian and Missionary Alliance
With Rex Boda’s passing we have lost a dear friend and colleague. Since Rex was a farm boy from Ithaca, New York and I was a farm boy from Pennsylvania, we had similar backgrounds and we both wrestled so this was a common discussion for us. Rex always had a big smile on his face. He truly loved people and I always felt a close kinship with him. He had a very sharp mind and could remember incredible dates and events—often sporting events but also historical events. I recall an exceptional Nyack College Founder’s Day Chapel when, as president, he spoke enthusiastically about the history of Nyack—the way it was and the people involved. We felt we missed something by not being there during this special time in Nyack College’s history. We appreciated his leadership as president at Nyack College. Even in more recent years, Rex was active at Good Samaritan Village serving as chair of the search committee for the new pastor. Ministry always was part of Rex’s life and calling. He loved God, he loved his family deeply, and he genuinely loved people. Rex, we thank you for the way you enriched our lives.
Duane A. Wheeland, Vice Chair
Nyack College Board of Trustees
President Boda opened the door for my return to Nyack College as the director of admissions. He was a scholar who loved God and people. As a historian, he was a passionate herald of the heritage of Nyack College. Through our conversations he ignited in me a deep love for the many people who have come through our doors and so unselfishly served God across the globe. He and Jean showed a kindness to me, Belinda and our children that impacted our lives. As much as anyone, he made me feel I would always be a part of Nyack, he made me want to do the same for every student I have encountered. I know he is enjoying the Lord and the larger reunion of alums in heaven!
Miguel Sanchez, Professor of Sociology
Whether he was discussing deep theological issues, recanting the batting averages of the entire lineup of the 1927 Yankees, or speaking of his beloved Nyack, Rex Boda was a man of deep passion, love and conviction and a heart for reaching the world with the gospel.
Jeff Cory, CFP, ChFC, AEP
Executive Director, The Legacy Foundation
Shell Point Retirement Community
Rex Boda was a family man. Along with being a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, and uncle, he was a man who nurtured a sense of family wherever he went. He loved his extended Alliance family. He could talk to Alliance people from around the world and find the common point of connection that made them feel "related" in service or in experience. He loved his campus "families" at Canadian Bible College and Seminary, at Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary and at Westminster Theological Seminary. He touched each of those communities in important ways. Here at Nyack, under his presidency, Rex welcomed young people from diverse backgrounds, not just to a school or a campus, but to a family. In doing so, Rex helped "father" a culture that would position Nyack as a recognized leader in diversity in higher education. In his own way, Rex takes his place among the great patriarchs who have left behind powerful legacies that will make a difference for generations to come.
Jeff Quinn, Vice President for College Relations