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Published: Sunday, 7/20/2003

Lawyer was `tough old Scotsman'

Howard W. Boggs, a local lawyer and founding member of the Toledo Bar Association, died yesterday at the Swan Creek Retirement Community. He was 89.

Mr. Boggs died of respiratory failure, according to his son John.

“He was a tough old Scotsman,” his son said. “He always had a prayer or saying for his kids when we were going through hard times, even up to the end.”

After graduating from Waite High School in 1936, Mr. Boggs went on to attend Denison University in Granville, Ohio, from which he graduated in 1936. Determined to follow in the footsteps of his father, Mr. Boggs then attended the University of Michigan law school, graduating in 1939.

After practicing law with his father for a few years, Mr. Boggs married Mildred Green, of Kent, Ohio, in 1941. Several months later, he enlisted in the Navy and served as commanding officer of a submarine chaser for several years. He later served as executive officer aboard a patrol/rescue craft.

“He didn't talk about the war much,” his son said. “He was affected by it very deeply.”

Upon returning from the war in 1946, Mr. Boggs went back into practice with his father and his brother, Ralph, under the name Boggs, Boggs & Boggs.

Mr. Boggs' son John described his father as “a lawyer's lawyer. He was driven by the whole idea of rule by common law. It was his life, his deep abiding belief.”

Mr. Boggs served as president of the Sylvania Country Club in 1966; was a 33rd degree Mason; and served as secretary of the board of directors of the Otis Avery Browning Masonic Memorial Home in Waterville - a home he was instrumental in creating and funding. Mr. Boggs also served as an elder of Covenant United Presbyterian Church.

Surviving are his wife, Mildred; sons, James, John H., and Richard; brother, Ralph; and nine grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Jeffrey Fretti Funeral Home. Funeral services will be private.

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