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James Boland

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James Boland, Jr, age 93, died on June 13, 2013 at home in Chestnut Hill, PA after a brief illness. James was born on August 9, 1919 in Germantown, PA to James and Ellen (Mullin) Boland. He graduated from Ambler HS in 1937. During WWII, he attended OCS at Fort Sill, OK where he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army field artillery; after commissioning, he volunteered for aviation training where he earned the Army aviation pilot designation. James served in the 30th Infantry Division in the armored support group as forward air observer. His unit deployed to France four days after D-Day; he was awarded the Silver Star for his heroic actions in the Battle of the Bulge. Following the war, he remained in the reserves while working for Philadelphia Electric Company, from which he retired in 1982. James married Mary O'Mara Downing in 1977. After retirement, James and Mary spent their summers in Cleggan, Ireland at the Mullin family homestead, Ballynew, and visited the many Boland relatives in Clonmel, Ireland. Jim's love of aviation was a hallmark of his adult life, and he would attend air shows from FL to PA. Reading was another passion as was his deep faith and attendance at daily Mass. James was one of eight children: John (Virginia Lobb) deceased 1988; Julia (Benedict) Paparella; Joseph (Rita Walsh) deceased 1996; Francis deceased 1971; Thomas (Kitty Betz) of Winder, GA; Eileen (John) Long of Winter Park, FL; W. Kevin (Carole Carter) of Annandale, VA. He is survived by many nieces and nephews. Also surviving are his stepsons Daniel (Barbara Manion), Michael (Laurie Allan) and Christopher (Karen Connor); stepdaughter Mary Robinson; grandchildren Katherine, Patrick, Trevor and Connor Downing; Keven, Daniel and William Robinson; great-granddaughter Geneva Vereen. James was a wonderfully kind, loving and gentle man who will be missed by those that knew him. Funeral mass at 10am Saturday June 22, 2013 at Our Mother of Consolation Church (Chestnut Hill, PA), followed by internment at St. Anthony's Church (Ambler, PA).

Published in Montgomery Newspapers on June 21, 2013
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