James G. Boulger, PhD, age 81, of Eden Prairie, MN. Formerly of Duluth, MN. Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth Campus, passed away January 14, 2023.
Jim was a caring father and husband who loved his family, good music, and the UMD Bulldogs.
He was a Distinguished University Teaching Professor at the University of Minnesota and a member of the Department of Family Medicine and Biobehavioral Health on the Duluth Campus of the University of Minnesota Medical School. He earned his B.A. degree from University of St Thomas in Psychology/Sociology and his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota.
His professional academic journey began as Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at the Medical College of Ohio, in Toledo. Dr. Boulger returned to Minnesota as Associate Dean, Curricular Affairs at the new School of Medicine, now the University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth Campus. There, he worked for nearly 50 years in countless positions including Acting and Interim Dean, Assistant and Associate Dean positions, Directorships, and department leadership positions.
Dr. Boulger was known nationally and internationally for his innovative preceptorship programs, placing medical students to live with and learn from family doctors. He spent many weeks each year traveling Greater Minnesota to visit students during their rural clinical experiences; and was a welcome face for many practicing doctors when he made his periodic rural rounds.
During his career, he received multiple esteemed national awards for his dedication to improving rural health education. His impressive mind carried memories of student details, including graduation years and dates of important life events. He found time to be with students in times of joy and sorrow.
His work always reflected the mission and vision for the Duluth medical school and he held his colleagues to this path, as he lived the school’s mission until his death. Dr. Boulger’s place of remembrance is in rural Minnesota and in the many physicians in non-rural areas that are better because of him and the values for which he stood. There is a touch of Dr. Boulger in each of the rural medical programs in America.
He is survived by wife Dee Sampson Boulger, sons James G. Boulger, Jr., Pete Boulger and his wife, Michelle Hajder; Brothers, William Boulger and John Boulger. Sisters, Anne Skahen, Catherine Magnuson (David), Sisters-in-law, Muriel Sampson, Laura R. Smith, Mary Carlson Higgins (Bob), and Catherine McNeill. Brothers-in-law Clifford Sampson, Roy Sampson (Jenny), many nieces, nephews and grand nieces, nephews and cousins.
Predeceased by Father, William J. Boulger, Mother, Eleanor Marchessault Boulger, Father-in-law Webb Sampson, and Mother-in-law Ruth Furlong Sampson; Sister, Mary Andrews, Brothers-in-law Dan Callanan, Dan Skahen; Gary Sheldon Carlson, James W. Sampson, and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
A private family Mass of Christian Burial will be held, February 4, 2023.
A public Celebration of Life will be held 11am – 3pm Saturday, May 27, 2023 at McNamara Alumni Center at the University of Minnesota, 200 S.E. Oak Street, Minneapolis, MN.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to:
The James Boulger, PhD, Endowed Scholarship
Attn: Elizabeth Simonson, Director of Development
University of Minnesota Medical School,
University of Minnesota Foundation
1035 University Drive, Suite169 B
Duluth, Minnesota 55812-3031.
Huber Funeral & Cremation Services
Eden Prairie Chapel 952-949-4970
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