Cohoes - James A. Bovair, 90, a longtime resident of Brunswick, died peacefully Thursday, October 12, 2023, following a short illness. Jim’s final days were spent with his family by his side at the Eddy Village Green in Cohoes, where he lived for the past year and a half.
Born in Queensbury, December 27, 1932, Jim was the son of the late Leo and Blanche (Suprenant) and, for over 51 years, the husband of Marilyn M. (Bonesteel) Bovair, who predeceased him November 17, 2008.
Jim enlisted in the United States Navy in October 1951. After basic training and Airman School, he served as an air traffic controller during the Korean Conflict until being honorably discharged January 26, 1954.
Once out of the navy, Jim attended HVCC in Troy, studying mechanical engineering and earned an Associates Degree in Civil Engineering while working part time as a gas station attendant.
In 1957, Jim married Marilyn and moved to Boston to work as an air traffic control operator. After a short stay, the couple returned to Brunswick, where they purchased a home and started their family. Jim accepted a position as a designer with the former Clarkson Engineering Co. and was quickly promoted to Chief Highway Engineer. During his 12 years with the firm, he worked on the design of the Watervliet-Troy I-787 interchange ramps and several other area construction projects, as well as working part-time as a real estate salesperson for the former Jensen Realty in Brunswick. He later began a very successful career as a real estate broker and managed two local offices for Bryce Real Estate. He additionally partnered with his good friend and business associate, Wally Bryce, to purchase and sell investment properties. One of his many projects was a subdivision in the Town of Sand Lake, where he named a street “Chaundray Lane” after his oldest daughter. Jim retired from real estate sale in 1980 but continued to buy, sell, and manage investment properties, including the Kindle and Adult Mobile Home Park in Brunswick, for many years.
Jim was a member of the Sand Lake Kiwanis Club. He was a very gregarious and generous man, very handy in projects, independent, and will be well remembered for his special gift of telling jokes and stories. He built a boat, which he sailed, and an airplane that he flew out of his backyard and later donated to RPI in Troy. His many hobbies included building all types of things, boating, flying, cooking, golfing, roller skating, and appreciating antique cars.
In his later years, Jim and his partner, Betty, spent much of their time surrounded by their friends at the German-American Club in Albany.
Jim is survived by his children, Chaundray (Randy) Smith of Troy, Cheryl Bovair (Michael Ardman) of Brunswick, Cherie Bovair of Brunswick, and Todd (Gina) Bovair of Poestenkill, two sisters, Leona Kasner and Marge Pollard, both of Florida, seven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, several nieces and nephews, his loving partner of 13 years, Betty Friedland of Guilderland, and his aide and dear friend, Ann Calabro of Grafton.
A graveside committal service with U.S. Navy Honors for Jim will be held on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Veterans Cemetery. Family and friends are invited to gather at the Howard B. Tate and Son Funeral Home Inc., 2237 NY Route 7, located in Raymertown at 9:45 a.m. to process to the cemetery at 10:00 a.m.