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James Boody, active member of painters union; March 18, 1928 -- April 21, 2012

Services for James Boody, a longtime member of the International Union of Painters & Allied Trades, will be at 6:30 p.m. today in Kazmierczak Funeral Home, 3640 Clinton St.

Mr. Boody, a Buffalo native who had lived in Cheektowaga more than 30 years, died Saturday in Father Baker Manor, Orchard Park. He was 84.

His union ties stretched to his father, who worked on the Peace Bridge as a union ironworker in 1927. His son Daniel recently retired as business manager of the painters union after 43 years.

Mr. Boody's mother died when he was 12, and he subsequently left school after the ninth grade to help support his family.

He was a prize fighter for several years in the Buffalo area but never turned pro. He also served in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II.

Mr. Boody joined Local 43, International Union of Painters & Allied Trades, in 1952. He worked for various contractors over the years, including Artistic Decorators, Sam Martin & Sons, Norm Kobel, G&W, C.H. Heist and Alba Painting & Decorating. Among some of the well-known projects he worked were Main Place Mall and M&T Bank Plaza.

"He was a tough guy and a hard worker," Dan Boody told "When he worked in the construction field, he was a job steward appointed by the union, and our members who worked on the job knew they were well served and represented."

Mr. Boody was active in the union, serving as treasurer for more than 22 years, and as a delegate for 20 years. He retired in 1992 after 40 years.

He and Gladys Mary Lee were married in 1949. She died in 2011.

In addition to his son Daniel, Mr. Boody is survived by four other sons, James D., Bill, Charles and Mark; five daughters, Colleen Beckwith, Kathy, Karen, Tracy Roberts and Debbie Farrell; and a sister, Dorothy Gagliardi-Cray.