Joseph Peter Bouchard Sr., 87, loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and great-great grandfather, was called by God to eternal peace and joy on Tuesday, July 22, 2014.
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Joseph was born Nov. 6, 1926 in East Tawas to Leonard and Melina (King) Bouchard. He graduated from East Tawas High School in East Tawas and joined the U.S. Army.
He proudly served his country in World War II as a cryptographic technician, performing duties with the 3159th Signal Service Battalion, Yokohama Japan. He also served in the Korean War, where he continued serving to encode and decode classified military communications.
After an honorable discharge from the service, he later retired from National Gypsum Co., where he worked through the ranks – from labor to management – and also dutifully managed their employees' credit union.
Joseph was a devout Catholic who committed his life to Christ and his family. Counted among the founding families of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Tawas City, he served his parish in many ways.
He enjoyed gardening, camping, and especially cooking. He assembled an extensive recipe collection which he used quite often, especially after his retirement. His handmade Christmas candy and fondues were renowned. His children also remember when, about once a month, they were able to select and help prepare a special meal with him for the family's Sunday dinner – giving their mother a well-deserved break.
He married the love of his life, Helen (Woizeschke), on Sept. 13, 1947, and they enjoyed more than 66 years of life together. Surviving along with his wife, Helen, are their nine children, Phyllis (Kenneth) Spencer of Tawas City, Joseph Bouchard Jr. of St. Charles, Clara (Richard) Martin of Chesaning, William Bouchard of Oconomowoc, Wis., Mary (Chris) Lardie of Winter Garden, Fla., Ann (Steven) Leslie of East Tawas, James (Joan) Bouchard of Fresno, Calif., John (Mary) Bouchard of Raleigh, N.C. and Margaret (Paul) Lied, Kenosha, Wis. His family included 24 grandchildren, 26 great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. Also surviving are his sisters, Cecilia Shillair and Phyllis Walraven; in-laws, Margaret Holmes, Cal Willett and Bill and Dorothy Cronk; as well as many nieces and nephews. He leaves behind a life-long Army buddy of more than 64 years, Larry Johnson, who was like a brother to him. Joe has also left behind many dear "Winter Texan" friends, from the many winter months he and Helen spent in Mission, Texas, during their retirement.
Joe was preceded in death by one brother, Harold Bouchard; brothers-in-law, Virgil Shillair, John Walraven, Andy Holmes and William Ryan Sr.; and sisters-in-law, Carol Ryan and Jean Willett.
Cremation has taken place and a one-day service is planned for Saturday, Aug. 23 at Holy Family Catholic Church in East Tawas. Visitation of family and friends will start at 9 a.m., a Rosary will be held at 9:30 a.m. and mass will begin at 11 a.m. Interment with military honors will follow in Immaculate Heart of Mary Cemetery in Tawas City.
Those planning an expression of sympathy in lieu of flowers may wish to consider Disabled American Veterans or Knights of Columbus, Tawas Council No. 2709.
Published in Iosco County News-Herald and Oscoda Press from July 24 to Aug. 5, 2014