Obituary : Janice T. Hull
Janice Tyack Hull died on Thursday, Dec. 4 in Jacksonville, Fla. She was a long-time Vineyard resident, although her last years had been spent in Bonita Springs, Fla. Mrs. Hull, 91, died peacefully after a long illness.
Mrs. Hull was the wife of Daniel Hull, who was the manager of the Vineyard Gazette and later Secretary of the Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce.
Born in Waterbury, Conn. on January 14, 1917, she was the daughter of Hilda and Dana Tyack, a local banker.
Mrs. Hull graduated from The Northfield School in Northfield, Conn., and studied art at the Traphagen School of Design in New York City. Over the length of her life Janice Hull had many, many interests. She believed in learning for its own sake, and she found almost nothing uninteresting. She was active in community politics wherever she lived, and was a national delegate of the League of Women Voters. She was a school board member in Plymouth, Conn., spearheading the building of a new school against considerable opposition, even before she had children of her own.
Before moving to the Island year-round, she was a Cub Scout leader and she belonged to the local mountain's ski patrol. Vineyard people may remember that she was a judge at the fair, and a member of the zany Quansoo yacht club. She kept bees and goats, and was a member of Garden Club.
A good amateur artist in many media, she was the assistant to the local casting director for "Jaws" and "Jaws 2," and local casting director herself for "Jaws 3." She also worked in casting the movie "Silverado." After she retired to Florida, she volunteered as a tutor at the local elementary school.
Opinionated but fully open about her (usually formidable) reasoning, she is remembered for the aphorisms she collected, from the stern: "It's a poor workman who blames his tools", "You had all the time there was" and even "Work, for the night is coming!" - to the philosophical: "Happiness is a butterfly which when pursued is just out of grasp. But if you will sit down quietly, it may alight upon you." - to the hilarious and absurd: "If you don't work you don't eat. Jesus Christ said that, but it's true just the same!"
A lifelong progressive Democrat and member of the American Civil Liberties Union, she relentlessly took the side of the dispossessed and unfortunate, writing letters and otherwise trying to move opinion. She was a fervent opponent of the introduction of casinos to the state, as quoted here from the Boston Globe in September, 1994:
"I feel very strongly that gambling takes money from those least able to spare it. It makes the casino area susceptible to crime, and casinos are horrible places for children to wander around in...if they are brought by their parents."
Though she could, and did, come at these ideas with lots of detail and from many directions in her later years, these two favorite sayings can serve as her epitaph:
"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men to do nothing."
"Must we give the fruit of our bodies for the sins of our souls? No. What does the Lord require of us but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God?"
Mrs. Hull is survived by her sister Barbara Hull of West Tisbury, her son Daniel Tyack Hull of Somerville, and her daughter Stephanie Haviland of Brooklyn, N.Y. Mrs. Hull has three grandchildren: Alexander and Claire Haviland, and Sunday Hull. She is survived also by nieces and nephews, many of whom summered with her as children. Her nephews Michael and Jared Hull live in West Tisbury, as does with her niece Hannah Beecher. Her niece Cecily Hull lives on the Island and in Salem. Her nephew John Beecher, of Thomaston, Conn., was often under her care during his summers on the Island. Mrs. Hull also has a grand-niece, Charlotte Hull of San Francisco, Calif., and grand-nephew Joshua Hull of North Carolina, who both grew up on the Island. A sister-in-law, Rose Hull, nieces Margo and Julia, and nephews Dana and Roger live in California.
A memorial service is being arranged and the date will be announced.