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James Everett Bodwell, Sr

James Everett Bodwell Sr., 92 of Ipswich, loving husband of the late Geraldine J. (Day) Bodwell passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at the Kaplan House in Danvers following a brief illness.

Born on December 20, 1926, Jim was the son of the late Frederick and Lena (Pappas) Bodwell. He lived in Ipswich for all his life, where he was proud to be born and raised. In 1943 Jim joined the United States Navy where he served his country during WWII. When he returned home from the war, Jim went to work for his uncle Andrew Gianakakis fishing for tuna. He was also an Ipswich clammer and was employed with Ipswich Shellfish as a truck driver as well.

At the age of 23, Jim went to work for Rudy Hetnar Construction as a bulldozer operator. He remained a bulldozer operator for the next fifty-five years, spending the last 20+ years of his career working for his long-time friend Ronnie Strong at RB Strong. At the age of 78, Jim “lowered” his blade and officially retired.

Married on July 3, 1953, the Bodwells raised their children from their home on Appleton Park. He and his wife enjoyed family cookouts and attending concerts such as Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash. Jim had a deep love for Ipswich sports and was a sponsor for the Ipswich Football Boosters. He also enjoyed auto racing, particularly the “midgets”. But the most important part of his life was his loving family. He enjoyed going to and being a part of his grandchildren's many activities. 

In retirement, Jim along with his longtime friend Sharky Markos would start their mornings (4:30am) sipping coffee and eating turnovers at the Agawam Diner. The rest of his day consisted of visiting Marty’s Doughnut Land, Williams Bakery and the last stop of the day was visiting his good friends of Art’s Auto.

Mr. Bodwell is survived by his daughter, Diana L. Taylor of Ipswich; son, James E. Bodwell Jr. and his wife, Nancy of Haverhill; and four grandchildren, James E. Bodwell III and his two sons, Kendall and Kellan, of Alpharetta, GA, Matthew Taylor of Ipswich, Allison Papaefthemiou and her husband, Sam and children, Kaiden and Lilliana of Haverhill, and Ryan Taylor and his wife, Jessica of Ipswich. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Emma Shea of Gloucester, and many nephews and nieces. He was predeceased by his wife, Geraldine J. (Day) Bodwell, son-in-law Myron Taylor, brother-in-law Robert Shea of Gloucester, brother-in-law Fredrick Day and his wife Mary of Gloucester, sister-in-law Margaret McGrath and her husband Robert of Essex, sister-in-law Dorothy Rizzotti and husband Frank of Essex, sister-in-law Kathleen Surette and husband Lloyd of Rockport.

Visiting hours are Friday, April 5 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home, 6 High Street, Ipswich. Family and friends are respectfully welcomed. Interment in the Cowles Memorial Cemetery in Ipswich will be Saturday, April 6 at 11am, all are invited. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his name may be made to The Kaplan Family Hospice House, 78 Liberty Street, Danvers, MA 01923. 

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