James Franklin Bostdorff, age 85, of Bowling Green, OH, passed away peacefully in the early morning of January 2, 2023, at St. Luke’s Hospital where he had been treated for influenza.
He was born on August 8, 1937, in Bowling Green, OH, to Charles “Earl” and Lucy Ann (Ollige) Bostdorff. The youngest of six, Jim grew up with nephews who were like brothers to him and a brother John and sister Margaret who were like another set of parents. From a young age, Jim attended what is now Haskins Community Church and worked on the family farm. He also learned plumbing and electrical skills working for his brother Chuck.
On May 25, 1957, Jim married Nancy Marie Spitler at Plain Congregational Church. They built a life together, first on Hannah Road and then, in 1969, on the farm they purchased on Haskins Road north of Bowling Green. Although Nancy passed far too early in 2014, she and Jim had many happy years together, raising four children and participating actively in their community. They were honored with the Farm Beautification Award by the Wood County Soil, Water, & Conservation District in 1976, the Blue and Gold Award for their support of FFA in 1985, as Wood County Honorary 4-H members in 1991, and also received the FFA Distinguished Service Award.
A farmer all his life, Jim first farmed with his dad, brother John, and nephew Chuck, and later with his own son, Jim, and grandson David.
Jim served as a 4-H advisor for 35 years, on Wood County Farm Service Agency (Agricultural Stabilization Committee) for 20 years, Board of Directors of Mid-Am Bank for 30 years, and Farm Bureau County Board for a number of years, as well as filling many roles at Haskins Community Church, such as trustee and council president. Jim was elected as Middleton Township Trustee, where he served for 29 years.
In 2002, Jim was honored with the Spirit of Wood County Award for Outstanding Service in Agricultural Leadership by the Wood County Board of County Commissioners. He was inducted into the Wood County Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2015.
Most of all, though, Jim was known for his outgoing nature and his personality. He never met a stranger, always had stories to tell, loved to laugh, and said while he never went to college that he still had a B.S. degree. Jim liked John Deeres, Chevrolets, and mules, and often gave out peppermints — “mule mints” — to animals and people alike. Jim had a knack for creating gadgets that made life easier and a competitive streak in playing cards. His home was known even to passing strangers for its manure spreader full of flowers by the pond and the witch running into the electric pole at Halloween. He loved taking his grandkids on golf cart rides around the farm when they were young and enjoyed being at the center of every gathering.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife Nancy, his parents, and his siblings: Margaret (Elmer) Lang, Gertrude (Joe) Carpenter, John (Edna) Bostdorff, Charles Bostdorff, and Joan (Fred) Vetter. He is survived by his children Denise (Dan O’Rourke) Bostdorff of Wooster, OH; Jim (Selene Scott) Bostdorff of Bowling Green; Johnna (Dan) Jennings of DeKalb, IL; and Joy (Tom) Bils of Harpster, OH. He also leaves ten grandchildren — Valerie Post, Kaley (Chrys) Nicholson, Hannah (Jordan) Victor, Morgan O’Rourke, Adam (Rachael) Bils, Jaylene Jennings, Devin O’Rourke, Brian Bils, David Bostdorff, and Justene Jennings — along with five great grandchildren.
Memorial contributions in Jim’s honor can be made to Haskins Community Church or Wood County 4-H. While he will be greatly missed, Jim would tell us that this is not “good-bye”; it’s “later.”
Visitation will be held on Thursday January 5, 2023 from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Peinert-Dunn Funeral Home, 18620 Washington St, Tontogany, Ohio 43565. The funeral will take place on Friday January 6, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. at Haskins Community Church, 209 W. Main St. Haskins, Ohio 43525. Pastor Jennifer Jackson will officiate. Interment will follow at Union Hill Cemetery.
To leave an online condolence or share a fond memory with the Bostdorff family, please visit dunnfuneralhome.com.