Ida May Bucher (1918 - 2012)

Obituary
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1918-2012

Passed away on Sunday, September 30, 2012 at the age of 94.

Born Ida May Mahoney on June, 1918 into an Irish Catholic family in Springfield, Mass.

Ida carried on a family tradition by attending Smith College, where she majored in Child Development. She continued her studies at Harvard University in 1939 at the School of Education and completed a Massachusetts Teaching Credential in 1940.

For the next six years she worked as an elementary school teacher before entering Yale University Medical School Department of Public Health where she completed a Masters in Public Health. She also met her future husband of fifty-eight years, Bill, at Yale and they married in 1947 when Bill was a second year medical student.

Ida and Bill raised five children and lived in eight different cities before they settled in L.A. in 1957. Their moves were dictated by internships, studies and residency requirements her husband, needed before he went to work as a doctor and associate professor of Pediatrics at USC/Children's Hospital LA.

Ida left paid work during those years to raise their children, yet continued in her community service as an active volunteer for many organizations.

In 1962 Ida returned to paid work initially, as a substitute teacher for Santa Monica Unified School District, and as a Research Associate for the Children's Home Society Adoption Agency in Los Angeles.

In 1963 Ida became director of the Pre-school and Parent Education Projects of Neumeyer Foundation, in Venice. This project was a forerunner to the Johnson Administrations "war on poverty". Shortly after this, in 1965, Ida became coordinator of Operation Head Start for West Los Angeles County.

In 1967 she was asked to become director of the First Presbyterian Church Nursery School, of Santa Monica, California, a position she held until 1984. This program became one of the leading pre-schools in Santa Monica under Ida's direction. At the same time, from 1969-1985 Ida also was an Instructor of Child Development and Parent Education, three nights a week, at Santa Monica College.

Ida also co-authored, with Docia Zavikovsky and Betsy Hiteshew, two other experts in Child Development, many books on day care and collaborated on the popular Santa Monica College Instructional television show, Time to Grow.

She was also active in the public policy front, becoming an office holder in the California Association of Young Children, and President of her local North Bay Chapter.

Ida helped to found the Child Care Information Services of Santa Monica which provides parents with information about quality child care and referrals to licensed childcare programs as well as administers tuition subsidies to low income working families.

Ida served on many other boards and organizations which are too numerous to list.

In her spare time, Ida was very active in her local Smith College Alumni Club, throughout her life.

Ida, and Bill owned a house at the beach in Ventura for more than 30 years, and had lived there part time during there retirement years. In Ventura Ida was an active Member of the Ventura League of Women's Voters, a volunteer at the Prototype Program and kept busy with book clubs and socializing with many friends.

Ida touched so many lives and what an impact she made on so many people! She was truly one dedicated individual with a passion for working and educating children and their families. Everyone loved Ida, there was simply no one else like her, she was unique. The world may seem a little darker without her. But it certainly was a better one for having had her here for the last 94 years. We will miss her terribly.

Ida is survived by her five children: Dr. Sharon Bucher Stein, Katina Bucher Norris, William J. Bucher, Patrick Bucher and Melinda Bucher Casey, five grandchildren Jessie and Shawn Norris, Alison and Matthew Casey and Rosie Stein. She also has one great granddaughter Annabelle Norris and a great-grandson due this month.

There will be a Catholic service for Ida Bucher at 10 a.m. Saturday October 20 at the Joseph P. Reardon Funeral Home, 757 E. Main St., Ventura, CA 93001. A second service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, November 17, 2012 at The Church in Ocean Park, 235 Hill St., Santa Monica, CA.



Published in Ventura County Star from Oct. 7 to Oct. 10, 2012
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