James M. Bablitch, 71, a Stevens Point attorney and former president of the Stevens Point Area Board of Education, died at his Division Street home on April 23, 2013.
His wishes were for a memorial service followed by a pig roast picnic that will be held Sunday, June 16, in the All Purpose Lodge in Iverson Park. The service will begin at 1 p.m. followed by the picnic. Everyone who wishes to attend is welcome.
Memorial contributions in his honor can be sent to JusticeWorks, 1547 Strongs Ave., Stevens Point, WI 54481; the Portage County Humane Society, 3200 Iber Lane, Plover, WI 54467; or the Stevens Point YMCA, 1000 Division St., Stevens Point, WI 54481.
Boston Funeral Home assisted with arrangements. Condolences may be offered online at bostonfuneralhome.net.
Mr. Bablitch was born in 1941 in Stevens Point, a son of the late Robert and Ruth Bablitch. When he was 10 years old, he contracted rheumatic fever and spent a full year in recovery with the radio, and sports and political events, as his companion.
He graduated from Marquette University and was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School.
He was married to his wife Judy 43 years ago.
They served as Peace Corp volunteers in Botswana, Africa, where he was an attorney, helping the newly independent country develop policies for the fair distribution of land.
He served as the district attorney for Rock County and was also a U.S. assistant attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin.
Returning to Stevens Point, he joined a practice that included Louis Molepske and current Portage County Circuit Court Branch 2 Judge John Finn. His primary work in private practice was as a criminal appellate lawyer, dealing with people receiving major sentences of 25 years and more.
He served on the Stevens Point Area Board of Education, including a time as president, and felt his proudest contribution on the School Board was helping start the school social work program and the Alternative High School.
After surviving quadruple bypass surgery later in life, Mr. Bablitch discovered the joy of exercise and became a familiar face at the Stevens Point Area YMCA, where he was named “Member of the Month” in 2009.
After his surgery, he began an extensive hobby of collecting complete team outfits – from hats to shoes, and became a familiar figure walking his dog around the city while sporting a different team’s apparel each day. He also was a season ticket holder for Milwaukee Brewer games.
He was an active member of the Democratic Party.
Survivors include his wife; his siblings, Liza, Bob, Mike, Mary and Heidi; nieces; and nephews.
He was also preceded in death by one niece, Rebecca Bablitch.