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Published: Saturday, 4/9/2005

Contractor was passionate golfer

James L. Boulton, 78, a longtime contractor who laid water and sewer lines for subdivisions and public works projects throughout northwest Ohio, died Tuesday in a New Smyrna, Fla., nursing home, where he'd been for about two weeks.

He had a severe stroke about seven years ago and suffered complications thereafter, his daughter, Dee Phipps, said.

After Navy service during World War II, he joined his father's contracting business, Leon Boulton & Son.

The firm became involved in water line and sewer line work as Mr. Boulton increased his involvement.

"They grew very large after Jim got with his dad," said Joanne Shank Boulton, his first wife.

The firm also bid regularly on public works projects following the suggestion of his father-in-law, then-Lucas County Commissioner Waldo Shank.

Mr. Boulton, formerly of Sylvania Township, retired from the business in 1980. His son, Bradford, took over the business for several years before it closed.

Mr. Boulton grew up in West Toledo and was a graduate of DeVilbiss High. He received a bachelor's degree in business from the University of Toledo.

He hunted pheasant as a young man. An avid golfer, he was a member of Highland Meadows Golf Club and the Inverness Club.

"He was quiet and a good listener. He was very intelligent," his daughter said. "He was a very motivated individual. He loved his friends - he had a lot of friends - and he loved golf."

His marriages to Joanne Shank Boulton and Faith Boulton ended in divorce.

Surviving are his wife, Fran; daughter, Dee Phipps; son, Bradford Boulton; stepdaughters, Renee and Gina Manning; stepson, Edward Kennedy; 10 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

There will be no visitation. Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. today in the Baldwin Bros. Funeral Home, New Smyrna Beach, Fla.

The family suggests tributes to the American Heart Association.

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