He was born December 23, 1948 in Rome, the son of Alfred G. and A. Frances Houston Boardman. Joe graduated from Rome Free Academy (1966), Cornell University (1974), and Binghamton University (1983). He first served his country as a Sargent in the United States Air Force from 1966 to 1970, including a tour in Vietnam. Joe was united in marriage to Joanne Griffith on January 18, 1975, and they soon began a life together dedicated to his public service.
Joe enjoyed a very successful 40+ year career as a transportation executive. He served the City of Rome, City of Utica and Broome County before starting a private firm-Progressive Transportation Services. Joe served as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation, Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration then served 8 years as President and CEO of Amtrak. The people of Amtrak credited Joe with “creating a culture of honesty, integrity and forgiveness” while he was their leader. The people of Amtrak became part of Joe’s family and he never forgot them. He worked tirelessly on their behalf and on behalf of all the people in our nation who need affordable, reliable public transportation. Joe Boardman was a humble, honorable, courageous and kind human being with great personal integrity. He never forgot his roots and relied heavily on the common sense learned on the family dairy farm to guide decisions. He loved God, our nation and his family. Joe Boardman was a Statesman in every sense of the word.
Joe is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Joanne; two sons, a daughter, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, and four grandchildren; Joseph and Kathryn Boardman (Syracuse), Emily and Scott Craft (Winfield, AL), Philip Boardman (Rome), and grandchildren, Bridget, Rhys, Evelyn and Allan; three brothers and two sisters and their spouses, James and Deborah Boardman (Blossvale), David and Missy Boardman (Rome), Anne and Denis Hartman (Westmoreland), William and Rose Boardman (Taberg), and Kathryn and Kenneth Duell (Taberg); three sisters-in-law, Joan Boardman (Taberg), Louanne Boardman-Densmore (Taberg), and Kathryn Griffith (Vestal); an aunt, Lucille Houston Wick (Rome), his Amtrak brother, Brian Gallagher; many nieces, nephews, cousins; his Amtrak family and many close friends. He was predeceased by his parents and two brothers, Alfred Jr. and John Boardman; his mother-in-law, Helen Griffith and his sister-in-law, Barbara VanDish.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 AM on Friday, March 15 at St. Paul’s Church, Rome. Interment will be in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Taberg in the spring.
Relatives and friends may call at the Barry Funeral Home, 807 W. Chestnut Street, Rome, NY on Thursday, March 14 from 2 to 4 PM and 6 to 8 PM.