James Henry Bohlmann

July 3, 1929 ~ August 11, 2018 (age 89)
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James Henry Bohlmann, 89, a lifelong resident of Defiance, Ohio, died on Saturday, August 11, 2018, at Twin Rivers Nursing Home in Defiance.

Jim was born on July 3, 1929, in Defiance, the son of Frederick Bohlmann and Freeda Shock Hoppel Bohlmann Hovey. He was a 1947 graduate of Defiance High School, where he excelled at athletics-football and track. In 1946, he ran an exhibition race against Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens in Kingsbury Park. He was a member of the Ohio National Guard, which was activated during the Korean War. Jim was attached to the First Cavalry Division of the U.S. Army, and served on Koje Island, in South Korea. He was honorably discharged from the Army as a First Sergeant. After his return from service, he attended Bowling Green State University. In 1954, he purchased and operated Bohlmann’s Flowers. He was self-employed his entire life, and later began operating Bohlmann’s Nursery and Bohlmann’s Homes. He owned various properties in Defiance, sold mobile homes, developed several mobile home parks, and bought and developed land in Defiance.

Jim was an avid golfer and bridge player, and enjoyed boating and water-skiing with his family at Clear Lake, Indiana. He also enjoyed traveling with his family and his many friends. Jim liked getting together weekly with friends for Wednesday evening dinners, and being a member of a group of former Defiance High School athletes. He was always actively involved in his community. Jim was a member and past trustee of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church; a member and past president of Kettenring Country Club; past Master and 50-year life member of Tuendawie-Omega Masonic Lodge; a 32nd degree Mason; member of Scottish Rite, Ensawacsa Chapter, and Occanoxie Council; lifetime member of Defiance Commandry; past Worthy Patron of the Order of the Eastern Star; lifetime member of Defiance Rotary Club; member of the Zenobia Shrine of Toledo; former member of the Defiance Chamber of Commerce; and member of the Elks Lodge, the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Jim was a devoted family man. On August 27, 1950, he married Betty Lou Overly, who survives. Also surviving are his three children: Rebecca (Bruce) Gabriel, of Shaker Heights, Ohio; Cynthia (John) Hoffman, of Sylvania, Ohio; and Dr. Thomas (Rosalie) Bohlmann, of Pacific Palisades, California; six grandchildren--Sarah (Vincent) Musco, of Washington, D.C.; Anne (Jared) Jones, of Seattle, Washington; Daniel Hoffman, of Washington, D.C.; David Gabriel, of New York City, New York; Laura Hoffman, of Gahanna, Ohio; and Katharine Bohlmann, of Pacific Palisades, California; and one great-granddaughter, Eleanor Musco. Also surviving is Jim’s sister, Ann Bohlmann Grant, of Defiance, two step-granddaughters, Mary (David) Williams of Mesa, Arizona, and Amy Hoffman of Gilbert, Arizona, and three step-great-granddaughters, Elizabeth Williams, Kathryn Williams, and Hailey Kinsey.

Preceding Jim in death were his parents; a brother, Frederick Bohlmann, and a sister, Mary Bohlmann Snyder.

Visitation will be held from 2:00 to 8:00 pm on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 at Schaffer Funeral Home in Defiance, with a Masonic Service scheduled for 7:00 pm.  Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am on Thursday, August 16, 2018 at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Defiance, with additional visitation before the service from 10:00 to 11:00 am. Rev. Dr. Douglas Widdowson will officiate the service. Entombment will follow at Riverside Mausoleum, with military rites accorded by VFW #3360.

Memorials are suggested to the American Heart Association, St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Clear Lake Township Land Conservancy, or the Defiance Masonic Lodge. Online condolences can be given at

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