Jack Hontz, SHHS Band Director, has passed away

Posted on June 23, 2017 in Havenfootball.net.

Penncrest 8

Jack Hontz, with the band that he loved. Photo by Bob Quinn

By Havenfootball.net Staff

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the sudden passing of our legendary band director, Jack Hontz.  He believed that anyone who was willing to hold an instrument and make an effort could play in his band.  He took tremendous pride in the fact that Strath Haven took the home team advantage wherever they went.  We have broadcast well over 100 games and no matter how the Panthers did no one ever had a better band than Haven!

Strath Haven High School Principal MaryJo Yannacone released this email late this evening:

Dear Parents, Staff, and Students of the WSSD Community,

The Strath Haven High School community has suffered a devastating loss today.  Mr. Jack Hontz, the man who built our music program and led our students for 34 years, passed away suddenly from a heart attack this afternoon. Despite our collective grief over a such a tremendous loss, we have a sense of gratitude for being part of a school community that included a man who was so generous of his time and talents, so compassionate in his leadership of students and staff, and so dedicated and warm in supporting our entire student body. 

Jack served a vital role at Strath Haven High School and indeed, across the Wallingford-Swarthmore community.  He was a mentor, friend, colleague and inspiration to us all, and in him, we witnessed the very best a person can be. 

Jack’s family is extremely appreciative of the entire school community. His wife Cindy, and children Jack, David, Matthew, and Emily will need all our love and support in the coming days.  We will share information about Jack’s service and ways our community can support Jack’s family and each other early next week.

Mr. Shankweiler and Mr. Pearlberg believe that Jack would have wanted our district’s children to continue to learn and develop a love for music. As a result, our Summer Band and String School will continue as scheduled on Monday.  

For members of our school community, including alumni, the high school will be open on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Counselors and staff will be here to share in your grief and to provide support. Times for additional support will be identified and communicated to the school community.


MaryJo Yannacone, Ed.D.

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