Photography

       


Henry G. Boucher, Jr

January 9, 1922 ~ July 14, 2018 (age 96)

Turners Falls- Henry Boucher died peacefully on Saturday 7/14/18 at the Loomis House in Holyoke, at the age of 96. 

His story began in 1922 in Turners Falls when he was baptized Henry George Jr. Henry’s childhood held warm memories for him and he stayed close to what he had learned throughout his life. He grew up with his brother Bernard, attending parochial school at St. Anne’s and in 1940 graduated from Turners Falls High School. He studied Bookkeeping at Bay Path Institute. In 1942 Henry enlisted in the US Coast Guard. His bookkeeping skills got him assigned to Groton, CT and Norfolk, VA. In 1945 he was assigned to a Coast Guard manned Naval attack transport. He completed two tours in the South Pacific bringing soldiers home and blowing up floating mines. He earned a Good Conduct Medal and was honorably discharged in 1946 with the rank of Store Keeper First Class.

Never one to sit around without a book in his hands, he went back to school and earned his BA in Economics from UMASS, Amherst in 1950. Before the roads were dry from the hurricane of ’55, he married Phyllis, the new Montague Town Nurse, also a native of Turners Falls.

One of the jobs he held in the 50’s was as a supervisor at Strathmore Paper Company. Phyllis recalled that Strathmore would call Henry in in the middle of the night when there was a problem.  Henry lettered in track at TFHS, but he really hit his stride after marrying Phyllis. He began to work in the Treasurer’s Office at UMASS, Amherst as an internal auditor where he later earned his MBA.  While the family grew with Louise, Francis and then Eileen, his personal life and career also blossomed. Henry was a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus. He made a Cursillo Weekend in 1968 and volunteered in their prison ministry.

In 1970 Greenfield Community College enticed him away from the new Whitmore Administration building at UMASS to an old factory building on Arch Street in Greenfield where he became the Business Manager. Writing the story of GCC from 1962-1987, Arthur W. Shaw wrote that Henry was a member of the team that helped to “bring the new campus in to being.”         

Robert L. Merriam, a former Recorder Columnist, in 1978 wrote of Henry:

There are some who believe that Boucher’s ability to understand the idiosyncrasies of state and federal regulations, audits and finances is derived from the occult. There are those who will swear that his wizardry with numbers is unfathomable, for he can ferret out an error and balance an account with the preciseness of a computer.

 

 Merriam was intrigued by the fact that Henry kept a rocking chair among the desks of the bookkeepers, but not in his private office.  “When he needs to establish a new system or provide a correction, he sits in the rocking chair, talking and waving his hands and rocking furiously.  As the rocker travels across the room, the situation becomes clarified.”

His leisure time was often spent on the “rocking porch” of his home on “the hill,” doing the books for others, both for-profit and non-profits. The adding machine, red pencils and account books were ever present. He gave his time and talents on the board of the Carnegie Public Library.

For fifty years Henry sang in church choirs. He loved music, listening to classical music on Amherst Public Radio and singing along with Mitch on TV. Along with love of music, Henry had his mother’s infectious hearty laugh. Still, he took democracy and town government seriously. Henry was a Precinct 3 Warden for over 40 years, into his 80’s. He was a Town Meeting representative and more.  Choir member and lector for his parish was not enough for him. He was, in 1977, among the very first volunteers in the Diocese of Springfield to be trained as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist.

In retirement, Henry found time to travel further than his rocker would take him. He traveled with Phyllis on a pilgrimage to Italy where he made people laugh even without sharing a common language! He traveled with his brother “Bernie” to Quebec where their family originated. He traveled to Lourdes, to Medjugorje, and to the American West. He also traveled up a ladder each year to paint a side of the house. Never satisfied that he had done enough, when he was 89 the family finally took steps to keep him from climbing the ladder!

Henry was predeceased by his brother Bernard in 1996. Henry leaves three children; Louise (Dennis Croll) of Longmeadow, Francis Boucher (Denise), of Sudbury, Eileen (Steve Nikopoulos), of Westborough along with six grandchildren, several cousins, and Phyllis’s cousins, niece and nephews. He leaves many friends.

Funeral Services will be held Friday 7/20 at 9:15am from the Kostanski Funeral Home,  1 Kostanski Square, Turners Falls followed by a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 10am at Our Lady of Peace Church, 90 Seventh Street, Turners Falls.  Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Turners Falls.

Calling hours will be held Thursday evening from 4-6pm at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may be made to Our Lady of Peace Parish, 90 Seventh Street, Turners Falls, MA 01376, to the Friends of Carnegie Public Library, 201 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA 01376 or to the Annual Catholic Appeal, c/o the Diocese of Springfield, PO Box 1730, Springfield, MA 01102-1730. 

     For condolences, please visit www.kostanskifuneralhome.com.

 

 

      

 

   

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