James Jefferson Bogard
March 15, 1936 – January 31, 2019
James Jefferson Bogard
James Jefferson Bogard, a musician, artist and educator passed away on Thursday, January 31 at the age of 82 at Central Florida Regional Hospital. He leaves behind his beloved wife, Janet E. Bogard and his two cherished children of whom he was so proud, James “Jim” Bogard, Jr. of Highland, MD; and E. Meagan McCutcheon of Lake Mary, FL. He also leaves his sister, Deborah DeBiase; two granddaughters, Kayleigh and Hope; as well as 11 nieces and nephews, and many grandnieces and grandnephews. He was preceded in death by his brother, William F. Bogard.
Affectionately known to family and friends as “Jim” or “Bo,” he was born on March 15, 1936 in Fayette, Alabama, to the late W. Fletcher and Lorraine (Maxwell) Bogard. Raised in Reform, Alabama, James began his life-long pursuit of music at an early age, winning talent shows from the time he was a child. James graduated Pickens County High School in 1954. He then pursued higher education at Montgomery Junior College (MJC) and the University of Maryland (UM). He earned the title of College Boxing Champion in 1955 and 1956 at MJC and was later a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity at UM.
Following college, James became an illustrator for Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. While there, he joined the company’s pistol team, and was recognized as a U.S. Champion Marksman, sponsored by Remington. He eventually took his love for illustration and art to the Montgomery County, Maryland school system, where he served as an elementary art teacher. While teaching at Germantown Elementary, James met his wife, Janet Bogard, whom he married in 1987. He retired from Laytonsville Elementary in 1991, when they moved to DeBary, FL.
During his teaching career and into retirement, James coupled his love for art and good humor by teaching himself how to be a caricature artist. He spent many a summer drawing caricatures on the boardwalk in Ocean City, MD. After moving to Florida, he immortalized faces from around the world at many Central Florida attractions including, Gatorland, Disney Springs, the Daytona 500 and multiple Disney resorts. That personalized artwork now hangs on walls around the world.
Beyond his talents as an illustrator, calligrapher and artist, James was an extraordinarily accomplished guitarist who spent his evenings playing with the likes of Linda Ronstadt, George Morgan and Mike Auldridge. James had a number one hit in 1961 with Shenandoah as part of The Deauville Trio. He also did commercial work, composing a jingle for KFC and touring with Colonel Sanders. In more recent years, he was a member of Happenstance, The Ranch Hand Band and The Elderly Brothers. James could play any and every song by ear, mastering the fingerstyle of guitar play, similar to Chet Atkins, Les Paul and Doc Watson. Those who heard him play knew his idol Chet would have named him a “Certified Guitar Picker.”
James’ music, artistry and good humor struck a chord in the hearts and souls of everyone he encountered. His family and friends will forever think of Bo when they hear a beautiful guitar riff, spot a talented caricature artist or belly laugh at a funny joke.
James’ life will be celebrated on Friday, February 8 at 1 PM at Deltona Memorial Gardens. Immediately following the service, family and friends will sing him home with a celebratory jam session.
- Memorial Service Friday, February 8, 2019