BY SHERI TRUSTY
One of Marblehead’s most passionate supporters will be honored during the Marblehead Peninsula Lions Perch Festival Parade on Saturday, Aug. 26. Robert “Bob” Boytim – a lifelong Marblehead resident, public servant, business owner and preserver of the Marblehead Lighthouse Fresnel Lens – will serve as the parade’s grand marshal.
Mayor Jacqueline Bird issued a proclamation describing Boytim, 93, as a “true native” of the village for his family heritage which dates to the Carpatho-Rusyn
immigrants who founded Marblehead. Bird also honored Boytim as “one of the longest serving elected officials in Ohio history.”
Boytim spent a year pushing local officials to bring water to the village before successfully running for a seat on the Marblehead Council in 1958. He joined forces with then-mayor Robert Bird to successfully bring a Class III surface water system to the village in 1959. The system has been in continuous operation ever since.
“For a year before I got on the council, I went to every council meeting and pushed for a water plant,” Boytim said. “If it wasn’t for Robert Bird, we wouldn’t have water.”
Boytim’s daughter, Bethanne Krynock, gave equal credit to her father.
“Marblehead meant a lot to him. He gave his heart and soul to it,” Krynock said. “I remember, as a little girl, telling him he has more meetings than the president, but the town probably wouldn’t have water if my dad didn’t push for it.”
Boytim’s commitment to providing clean water to Marblehead residents didn’t end with the construction of the plant. He was elected to the Board of Public Affairs in 1960 and remained in the position until 2022 because, he said, “I just loved the water system.”
Apparently, the people of Marblehead entrusted him to care for their drinking water. He was continuously elected to the Board of Public Affairs for 62 years. With his two years on village council, Boytim served as an elected official for 64 years.
“The people voted for him all those years,” Krynock said.
Boytime isn’t just remembered for his public service. He was also a successful Marblehead businessman.
“He owned Boytim’s Grocery from the 1950s until he sold it in October 1987. It was the first self-serve grocery store with carts,” Krynock said. “He’s known as the ‘Ice Man of Marblehead’ because he’s been selling ice here since 1956. The ice machine out by Johnson’s Island is his. It’s all hand-sacked ice, and it’s crystal clear.”
Boytim earned the nickname the “Critter Man of Marblehead” because of his nuisance animal removal business. His work took him across Northwest Ohio, from Fremont to Rattlesnake Island.
“I had a woman in Sandusky call me and say she had a dead sheep. The thing weighed about 200 pounds,” Boytim said. “I dropped a piece of plywood on my tailgate, put a rope around its neck, and pulled it up there.”
Boytim also owned a fish cleaning station at the time, and he would haul the fish guts to a dump in Oak Harbor, where the garbage was continually leveled with heavy equipment. He took the sheep carcass to the dump and covered it with fish guts.
“I don’t know what he thought when he hit that sheep covered in fish,” Boytim said.
As if he wasn’t busy enough, Boytim began working as a charter captain when he was a senior in high school in 1949 and didn’t stop until 2021.
“I enjoyed it,” he said. “When I turned 90 years old, they wouldn’t give me my license again.”