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Posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 11:45 am

Editor's note: This article was updated Thursday, Sept. 21, at 3:06 p.m. to correct a typo.

MOREHEAD CITY — Henry C. Boshamer, former public defender, legislator, lawyer and theater enthusiast, died Saturday at his home. He was 85 years old.

Mr. Boshamer was born on Jan. 12, 1932, in Gastonia to the late Clarence and Mae Shuford Boshamer.

He moved to Carteret County in the early 1960s and served as a public defender for 15 years beginning in 1982. He retired from that post in 1997.

He graduated from Duke University in 1954 and the UNC Chapel Hill School of Law in 1964. As well as being the county’s public defender, Mr. Boshamer practiced law for 34 years.

He also served as a state legislature for one term beginning with the 1969 session, followed by a six-year session on the State Ports Authority.

Though Mr. Boshamer was heavily involved in the serious business of public defense, he was known for his sense of humor.

“Henry was renown for his dry whit. Of particular note was his squirrel speech given while a member of the N.C. House of Representative,” said city attorney Nelson Taylor, who Mr. Boshamer succeeded in the N.C. House of Representatives. “The House was debating the propriety of giving the squirrel state recognition. Mr. Boshamer, in a speech during the debate, advised caution in recognizing the squirrel as a state animal due to it’s natural inclination to bury nuts.

“His humor also resulted in several humorous songs or ditties, one about Carteret County and the other about the legislature,” Mr. Nelson continued.

When not defending the public, Mr. Boshmaer was also heavily involved in the world of theatre.

He was involved with Carteret Community Theatre since first moving to the county.

“Our friendship goes back probably 40 years,” said Carolyn Evans, president at Carteret Community Theatre. “He hired my daughter as a teenager to be his secretary. He helped raise that child. He was certainly Mr. Duke and Mr. Democrat. He was a character and always had a story to tell,” she said.

While at the theatre, Mr. Boshamer was involved in most aspects of the theatre including directing, financially supporting the theatre, selling tickets and passing out programs, but his heart belonged to acting.

He was in several plays, with “Lost Horizons” his first on the community theatre stage. He played Big Daddy in “A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” He also starred in “Rumors,” a Neil Simon play, and “Life Goes On,” which was his most recent performance.

His service is at 2 p.m. Thursday at First United Methodist Church in Morehead City with the Rev. Powell Osteen officiating.

The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. today at Brooks Funeral Home.

A full obituary and online condolences can be found at www.brooksfuneralhomeandcrematory.com.

Contact Megan Soult at 252-726-7081, ext. 228; email megan.soult@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @meganCCNT.

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