James Oliver Bozdech passed away on Saturday, June 28, 2014, after a brief illness.
Who was Jim “Boz” Bozdech? For those who knew him, this article will not do the man justice; but for those who didn’t know this wonderful human being, here’s a bit on his wonderful life:
Jim was born on July 27, 1942 in St. Louis, Mo., was a proud graduate of Chaminade College Preparatory School in St. Louis and a graduate of The University of Dayton (B.A., M.A. in Language and Literature) and earned a Doctorate of Arts from St. Louis University in Modern Linguistics.
“Jim fell in love with Dayton the first time he saw a trolley bus and never turned back,” Vicki, his wife of 30 years, said.
He was an important part of the connective fabric of Dayton’s culture and dedicated to his Five Oaks friends and community. That’s where I met him – in the neighborhood we shared.
He thrived on meeting, planning, creating at local café’s; he enjoyed sitting on his front porch, talking, laughing, reading and listening to music. He enjoyed daily talks with his daughters and silliness with his grandchildren, and kept photos, personal notes and keepsakes near as a tribute to those he cherished.
Jim worked in newspaper, local radio and television outlets (WVUD-FM, WAVI-AM, WKRC-AM, WCSU-FM, WPTD-TV). That’s where current WDAO owner Jim Johnson first met Boz.
“I met Jim Boz over 30 years ago when he was a News Man for WAVI/WDAO radio,” Johnson said. “While working in the same building, I found him to be a dedicated broadcaster, one who loved the business, not just for what it could do for him, but what it could do for others and the community as well. Over the years, he would stop by and chat with us at WDAO radio. His departure will take some getting used to.”
Former long-time local radio talk show host Mike Scinto owes his career to Boz.
“I was a young sales rep at WAVI in 1977,” Scinto remembered. “I actually took that job hoping to do a talk show. I was not a salesman. I told Jim [then Program Director] I was quitting because I hated sales. He asked if I’d be interested in trying a talk show. That was 37 years ago and had it not been for that approach from Jim, I’d probably be working in an office somewhere rather than my nearly four decades of being a talk show host.”
Scinto added, “Jim will be remembered as one of the rare radio bosses who really ‘got it.’ On air or off, he was always pleasant, respectful and soft spoken, but firm – a rare combination in any career field. He truly loved the industry and those he worked with over the years.”
After Boz’s career in radio, which included being an on air personality, program manager/director, promotions director and spending time in news and public affairs, he became a college professor at the University of Dayton, Central State University, Wilberforce University, Wright State University and Wilmington College.
He mentored many students and kept track of their lives after college. Boz would also give his time and talent saying “yes” when the phone rang. One committee member from the many boards and groups he volunteered with said recently, “Jim was not the type to want the spotlight, but always willing to stand behind it, seeing the best in us all.”
Boz was a kind, gentle man who believed in and inspired the best in others. He loved the process and the connections and believed that life is a journey, not a destination. He believed in the communication between hearts – as such, his love for others and his joy for life will live on in his family and friends.
Just two weeks ago, Boz reached out with another one of his ideas how we could work together. Regretfully, we didn’t get that chance.
I’m a better person for meeting Boz. His love of Dayton, sense of getting involved in the community and passion for the Five Oaks neighborhood was infectious.
I hope and pray Jim made it to his destination because his journey was an awesome one.
Sleep well my friend, until we meet again.
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