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Joseph Louis Boland, born to the late Joseph L. and Dorothy (French) Boland, passed away on Sunday, June 2, 2019 in Grand Rapids after a long illness. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Mary Kathryn “Kati” Boland, his children Christopher Boland of Hudson, NY, Courtney (Robert) Muraski of Bellingham, WA, granddaughter Grace Muraski, sister Dory Boland Skemp of Warren, Rhode Island and his nephew, Carter Skemp of Rockport, Maine.
Born in Englewood, New Jersey, he attended schools there and in Westport, Connecticut. He was an Eagle Scout, and a graduate of Staples High School, where he and his tennis partner were the Connecticut State Doubles Champions in 1955. He graduated from Middlebury College with a BA in 1959 and was a member of Alpha Tau Omega. In 1960, he moved to Alaska where he worked as the Director of Public Relations for Alaska Methodist University in Anchorage. He later returned to New York City and served as President of Boland, Briggs and Varley Advertising Agency. After moving to Grand Rapids in the '70s, Joel joined Stevens Advertising and continued to work in the advertising, communications and marketing industry for 20 years before retiring to pursue his love of cooking and fine arts.
Joel was a Board member of the Alliance Francaise USA Grand Rapids, and was widely known for his famous Mardi Gras gumbo. He served as a docent at the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park for over 20 years and was a member of the University Club of Grand Rapids. Joel also authored the book, Boland at Home on My Range, a collection of favorite family recipes. He was a member of Grand Valley Artists and in recent times devoted much of his time to watercolor and pastel. Joel's many interests included gardening, golfing, photography, travel, opera and entertaining. Joel will be greatly missed as a wonderful husband, father, brother, grandfather and a generous and gracious friend.
A celebration of Joel's life will be held at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park on Thursday, June 13. Visitation from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm and a Celebration Event of his life from 1-4 pm including refreshments. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park or Middlebury College Financial Aid Fund, Middlebury, VT 05753.
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
1000 East Beltline Ave. N.E., Grand Rapids MI 49525
Middlebury College Financial Aid Fund
Middlebury VT 05753