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Ronald R. "Ron" Bouchard

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Ronald R. "Ron" Bouchard Obituary
Ronald R. 'Ron' Bouchard
of Fitchburg, championship race driver; prominent automobile dealer; 67

FITCHBURG -- Ronald R. "Ron" Bouchard, known nationally as a championship race driver and regionally as a prominent automobile dealer, died Friday, Dec. 10 in Boston, after a long illness. He was a lifelong resident of Fitchburg.

Born Nov. 23, 1948 to Lorraine H. Bouchard and the late Robert H. Bouchard, Ron was the 1981 National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year.

In addition to his mother, he is survived by his wife of 32 years, Paula Flemke Bouchard; son, Gene Bouchard and his wife, Annette Lussier Bouchard; son, Robert Bouchard and his wife, Kimberly Bouchard; daughter, Michelle Bouchard; daughter, Tracey Bouchard DiNardo and her husband, Alphonse DiNardo; and son, Chad Bouchard and his girlfriend, Casey McCaig. Ron also leaves sister, JoAnn Bouchard Bergeron and her husband, Robert Bergeron; brother, Kenneth Bouchard; grandchildren, Joshua Bouchard, Katherine Bouchard, Timothy Bouchard, Emily Bouchard, and Anthony DiNardo; nieces, Courtney Bergeron Spacht, Olivia Bouchard, and Jordan Bowen; nephew, Kenneth Bowen Jr.; and brothers-in-law, Edward Flemke and Kenneth Bowen.

After attending Fitchburg High School in Fitchburg, Ron worked for his father's Red & White Moving Company and spent his weekends developing into one of New England's most decorated racing talents. In Massachusetts, he was a five-time champion at Seekonk Speedway (1968, '69, '70, '71, '78), and the 1975 champion at Westboro Speedway; in Connecticut, he was champion at Stafford Motor Speedway in 1973 and 1979, and the 1978 Thompson Speedway champion. His enthusiasm for the sport and his easy, welcoming personality made him popular with both fans and competitors.

In 1981, Ron jumped to the national NASCAR Cup series, and in just his eleventh start captured the Talladega 500 at the Alabama International Motor Speedway. In addition to that season's Rookie of the Year honors, his six seasons in America's premier racing series netted 19 top-five finishes, 60 top-tens, and three pole positions. His local and national accomplishments led to induction into the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame and the Eastern Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame.

In 1987, Bouchard surprised many by abruptly retiring from racing to turn his attention to a growing automobile business. The previous year he had opened The Honda Store in Fitchburg, the flagship of what is now Ron Bouchard's Auto Stores, a multi-brand enterprise with Massachusetts locations in Fitchburg, Lancaster, and Auburn, as well as Gallatin, Tennessee. As in racing, his natural people skills served him well in the auto business, where employees and customers came to know the winning Bouchard smile.

In 2015, Ron and Paula opened the RB Racing Museum in Fitchburg.

BOUCHARD -- A funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 15th at St. Joseph Church, 49 Woodland St. in Fitchburg. Burial will be at St. Joseph Cemetery, 486 Clarendon St., in Fitchburg. Calling hours will be held on Monday, December 14th, from 4:00-9:00 p.m. at Brandon Funeral Home, 305 Wanoosnoc Rd. in Fitchburg. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Ave., Boston, MA 02215-5450, dana-farber.org

Published in Sentinel & Enterprise from Dec. 11 to Dec. 12, 2015
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