Obituary of James Eldon Boucher
James Eldon Boucher was born on November 22, 1925, in Kenton, Tennessee, to the late John Rice Boucher and Maude Evelyn Gravette Boucher. He passed away on October 25, 2021.
Mr. Boucher grew up in Dyer, Tennessee, and was a member of Dyer Cumberland Presbyterian Church. During his boyhood years, he worked on his uncle and aunt’s farm. His Vocational Agriculture teacher, J.H. Bennett, encouraged him to go to college to study Agriculture and become a teacher. Always a hard worker, he also worked at the icehouse and fruit company in Dyer while in high school.
Mr. Boucher graduated in 1944 from Dyer High School and was Vice President of his class. He enjoyed playing basketball and was a forward on one of the school’s winningest teams.
On October 11, 1944, Mr. Boucher and his friends Ray Baird and Charles Stewart traveled by bus from Gibson County to Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia, for induction into the US Army. Upon completion of basic training at Camp Blanding, Florida, Mr. Boucher was sent to Camp Shanks, New Jersey, the staging area for overseas deployments. He departed for combat duty from Staten Island on the SS Brazil. He was assigned to the 45th Division, 179th Infantry as a combat infantryman. He served under General George S. Patton in the 7th Army and fought across France and Germany. The 45th Division was a liberating unit for the Dachau Concentration Camp. After liberating Dachau, his division captured Munich. He was in training for deployment to Japan at Fort Lewis in Seattle when the war ended. Mr. Boucher was awarded the Bronze Star for his combat service in the war.
Upon his return from the war in 1946, he enrolled at the University of Tennessee-Martin, where he served as a Sergeant in the Tennessee National Guard, Company A,105th Engineer Combat Division. In 1946, he married his high school sweetheart and classmate Carlos Davidson. He graduated from UTM, June 1, 1948, earning his AD in Vocational Agriculture. In 1948, he, his wife Carlos, and his son Tim moved to Starkville, Mississippi, where he would earn his B.S. in Vocational Agriculture in 1950. Upon graduation, he accepted a position to teach Agriculture to returning GI’s and moved his family briefly to Somerville, Tennessee.
In the fall of 1950, Mr. Boucher began his career in public education by accepting a position at Ramer School. In 1958, he earned a M.A. in Education from Memphis State University. He, Carlos and their family made Ramer their home until her death in 1964. Mr. Boucher served his students and community in various positions, including teacher, class sponsor, Principal of Ramer School, and Assistant Principal of McNairy-Central High School. He retired in1987, but his love of education and sports remained. Many remember him taking their tickets at countless high school games. He continued to serve the McNairy Athletic Association until his health would no longer allow.
While living in Ramer, Mr. Boucher served his community in many ways. He was a deacon at Ramer Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He, along with his friend Vester Lee McCullar, made the initial contacts to organize the Ramer Chapter Ruritan Club. He served as Ramer Chapter President and District Lt. Governor. He was active in the Democratic Party and served as Mayor of Ramer. During this time, he and other interested citizens worked to successfully recruit Martin Manufacturing to locate a garment factory in Ramer.
In 1980, Mr. Boucher married Ethel Ann Masson Hacker, and they lived in Selmer until her death in 2015. While living in Selmer, Mr. Boucher was a deacon at First Presbyterian Church of Selmer, a member of VFW Post 248, and member of the McNairy County Retired Teachers Association. After his wife’s death, Mr. Boucher moved to Jackson, Tennessee, where he was a resident at Charter Senior Living until his death. During this time, he became a friend, counselor, and grandfather-figure to many.
Survivors of his legacy of service are his children, Timothy Boucher (Deborah), Amy Massengill (Neal), and Brian Boucher (Aletza). Grandchildren and great-grandchildren include Julie (Jason) and Logan Langley; Brandi, Benjamin, and Henry Lee; Ben (Jessica), Andrew, and Lucas Boucher; Jessica (Stuart) and Marion Crossfield; Josh (Jenny) Boucher. Sister-in-law Earnestine Davidson Argo. Nieces and nephews Edwana Boucher, Terry Overall, Sherry Boucher Corbett, Rick Boucher, Brooke Boucher Wilson, Jacqueline Davidson Taylor, and Deborah Argo McEwen. Stepchildren and grandchildren include Marc Hacker; Misty Cross; Marcus (Kim), Dalton, and Dylan Hacker; and Lisa (Steve) and Dan Vargason.
Preceding him in death in addition to his parents are brother Edwin J. Boucher (Pat); sister Peggy Boucher Overall (George); brothers-in-law Jack Davidson (Mary Francis), Kenneth Argo; and nephews David Argo and Ronnie Boucher.
Gravesite services and burial for Mr. Boucher will be October 30, 2021, at 2:00 P.M., at Oakwood Cemetery, Dyer, Tennessee. Mr. Boucher’s friend, Reverend Jonathan Williamson, will officiate. Memorials may be directed to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, or the American Cancer Society.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Boucher, please visit Tribute Store