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1973 "J.J." 2017

"J.J." Bovitz

March 17, 1973 — January 11, 2017

Obituary Image

There will be a Funeral Mass held, 11 am, Tuesday, January 17th at St. Charles Catholic Church, 5310 NE 42nd Ave, Portland, OR 97218

JJ Bovitz, 43, of Portland, died January 11, 2017 after a well-fought battle with a brain tumor.  He was born March 17, 1973 in Portsmouth, Virginia, the son of Donna (Jordan) Bovitz and John Bovitz .  JJ spent his childhood in Indianapolis, where he built his foundation of faith and community at St. Luke’s parish.  He graduated from Miami University of Ohio with a degree in Botany in 1994 and later earned a Masters in Biotechnology from Washington State University.

JJ was a loving father, devoted husband, friend to all, lover of the great outdoors, and enthusiastic rappeller, whitewater rafting guide, mountaineer, snowboarder, kayaker, angler, cliff jumper, camper, crawfish trapper, backgammon master and euchre cheat.  His appetite for adventure and affection for the mountains drew him from the Midwest to Portland, where he met the love of his life, Sara Harkness, whom he married in Seattle in 2001.

JJ enthusiastically volunteered at Alameda Elementary as a reading buddy, gardener and basketball coach.  He was also active in St. Charles parish and a beloved member of the community in his Alameda neighborhood and beyond.

JJ’s smile, at times beaming, wry, wise, impish, gleeful, mischievous, comforting, or any combination thereof, could set off a party, end an argument or soothe the distressed in a flash.  Without being prompted, he gladly put in remarkable amounts of effort for a fleeting chance that he might better someone else’s day, weekend or experience.  JJ would haul three boats when meeting two paddlers, eagerly anticipating the opportunity to deliver an unexpected new experience to an unsuspecting new acquaintance.  He’d give you the ice out of his cooler and drink his PBR warm.

JJ was an intrepid, ardent explorer in all ways.  He searched the Pacific Northwest for the best climbs, rapids, campsites and fish runs.  But he also searched for the silver lining in any cloud he came across, discovering and unearthing the elusive treasures and blessings buried in any situation, the brightest needles in haystacks of gloom.  JJ elevated the spirits of those around him in ways both big and small.

JJ is survived by his wife Sara, sons Culby and Charlie, sisters Meggan and Kate, brother Bryan, parents, grandmother Grace, numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins, and a tribe of friends that he always treated like family.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider donations to City of Hope in Duarte, CA and Providence Hospice in Portland, both of which made amazing contributions to JJ’s journey.


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