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James Robert Boltrom

ASHLEY FALLS — James Robert Boltrom, 75, died Jan. 13, 2021, with his wife, Dorene (Crocco) Boltrom, in a fire at their home in Ashley Falls, Mass.

Mr. Boltrom was born Jan. 1, 1946, in New Milford, Conn., and was a graduate of New Milford High School, Class of 1963. He married his wife on Christmas Eve 1996.

Mr. Boltrom operated Commonwealth Automotive Restoration in Ashley Falls and was a highly respected restoration expert whose focus was on military vehicles, especially World War II era Willys Jeeps. His work garnered top awards in military vehicle shows across the country.

He learned the mechanic, auto body and restoration trades from his late father, John M. Boltrom, proprietor of Candlewood Valley Auto Body on Route 7, New Milford, with whom he worked early in his career.

Mr. Boltrom participated in the Baja 500, an off-road desert race through Mexico, and was a dealer/builder of Meyers Manx Dune Buggies. 

He was a fine artist, builder of dry stone walls and model airplanes — a genuinely funny guy, always ready with a long story to tell.

He is survived by his sister, Jeannie (Boltrom) McMacken of Port Townsend, Wash.; a nephew, Bryan Boltrom of New Milford; an uncle, Francis Boltrom of Thorndyke, Maine; two aunts, Alice Pollard of San Rafael, Calif., and Maryanne Haywood of Pittsford, N.Y.; and several cousins. 

He was predeceased by his father; his mother, Irene (Hudimatch) Boltrom; and his brother, Robert M. Boltrom.

A memorial service is planned for later this year. Donations in his name may be made to the Sheffield Volunteer Fire Department. 

Arrangements are under the care of the Newkirk Palmer Funeral Home in North Canaan.

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