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Former Batavia announcer James Boyd dies

April 11, 2018

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James E. Boyd, of Batavia, N.Y., died peacefully on Thursday, April 5, at the Northgate Health Care Facility in North Tonawanda. He was 83.

Widely known as "Gentleman Jim," Mr. Boyd took over the Batavia Downs track announcing duties from the legendary Max Robinson in 1984 and continued to call races there until it closed in 1996. He was also the announcer at Buffalo Raceway and called races at Finger Lakes racetrack.

Mr. Boyd called the richest race ever held at Batavia Downs, the $268,756 Breeders Crown older mare trot in 1988 won by Armbro Flori, and also Getting Personal's 1:53.3 track record in 1993.

"Jim was known for a very steady voice and very accurate calls," said Todd Haight, director/GM of racing at Batavia Downs. "Even though it's been over 20 years since his retirement, our old-timers still ask about him."

Besides calling the races, Mr. Boyd was also a salesman in the Buffalo area for many years.

Mr. Boyd was born in Batavia, the son of the late Harry S. and Marjorie (Price) Boyd and was also preceded in death by his wife, Josephine (Nevin) Boyd; and siblings, Raymond, Robert, Ronald "Don" and Harry "Jack."

He was a graduate of Batavia High School and Alfred State College and served honorably in the United States Army during the Korean conflict. Upon returning home he became a member of the Glenn S. Loomis Post #332 of the American Legion in Batavia and rose to the position of Post Commander.

Mr. Boyd is survived by his beloved daughter, Deborah (William) Evans; dear friend, Paula (Frederick) Leigh; along with many nieces and nephews.
The family will be present from 10-11 a.m. on Thursday, April 12, at the Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel LLC located at 4120 West Main Street Road, Batavia, N.Y. 14020 where his funeral services will be celebrated by Mr. Boyd's nephew, Rev. David Boyd at 11 a.m. He will be laid to rest alongside his beloved wife in Grand View Cemetery with military honors. In lieu of flowers, memorials in his memory are suggested to Volunteers for Animals of Genesee County. (Batavia Downs)
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