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Judge Boublitz remembered as 'pillar' of judicial community

March 11, 1997

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

Firm but fair were words used Monday to describe the courtroom proceedings when J. Louis Boublitz donned his black robes and took the bench in Washington County District Court.

Boublitz, who retired in 1982, died on Sunday in Florida. He was 83.

"I knew Lou when he first came to Hagerstown," said retired Washington County District Judge James F. Strine. "He was truly a wonderful human being."

Strine said he remembers practicing law with Boublitz, both on the same and opposite sides. Either way, Boublitz was always a gentleman, Strine said.

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A Baltimore native, Boublitz worked at the Cotton Duck Mill Manufacturing Co. while attending the University of Baltimore Law School at night.

He never went to college, but went directly to law school after passing an entrance exam.

When he started the practice of law, he joined the firm of Weinberg and Green. Boublitz said he did most of the trial work for that firm in the late 1930s.

Boublitz stayed with that firm until World War II when he served with Patton's 3rd Army as a platoon sergeant during the Battle of the Bulge.

Just before the war, Boublitz married the former Ethel Lubin. They later had two daughters, Kathleen Amos of Hagerstown and Sharon Munday of BonAire, Va.

After leaving the Army, Boublitz and his wife moved to Hagerstown and he began a law practice.

In the 1960s, Boublitz was Hagerstown city attorney for four years and also served a term as chairman of Washington County Planning and Zoning Commission.

When the current District Court system was established in 1971, he was appointed to a seat on the bench.

Years later, he said he was surprised at his appointment because he was a Republican and Democrat Marvin Mandel was the governor of Maryland at the time.

Not content to just sit and listen to cases, Boublitz threw himself into the job. He rode with police radar units, and he flew with the helicopter and airplane patrols.

"Boublitz was one of the great architects of the District Court in Washington County," said Washington County State's Attorney M. Kenneth Long Jr. "He displayed a special wisdom and grace."

Long remembered Boublitz as always being willing to take the time to listen to what people had to say. But, said Long, "he wasn't someone who could be fooled."

Washington County Circuit Judge Daniel Moylan worked with Boublitz for a number of years in the lower court and he remembered his colleague with great fondness.

"He was a pillar of the judiciary," Moylan said.

District Court Judge Ralph France said he last saw Boublitz about eight months ago in Baltimore at retirement ceremonies for former Judge Robert Sweeney.

"I practiced before him and I remember him as having a very good judicial temperament," France said. "He was a very fair judge."

A memorial service has been planned for Saturday, March 22, at 2 p.m. at Haven Lutheran Church. The family will receive friends one hour before the service.

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