LACONIA — Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Maurice Boucher, U.S. Army (Ret.), known to family and friends as "Mun," died on Aug. 9, 2019, at age 88.
He was born on May 21, 1931, in Milan, the son of the late Edward "Pete" Boucher and the late Dora (Laflamme) Boucher. He attended Milan schools and St. Patrick's school in Berlin, and was a 1949 graduate of Berlin High School.
He entered the U.S. Air Force in June 1949 and served during the Korean Conflict in a Special Atomic Weapons Squadron. He was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant in December 1952 after serving 3 1/2 years.
He returned to Berlin, trained under the G.I. Bill, and became a journeyman carpenter.
He enlisted in the N.H. National Guard in 1956, again earning the rank of staff sergeant prior to receiving his Army Commission. Between 1956 and 1961, he served with Guard units in Berlin, Lancaster, Somersworth, Dover, and Portsmouth, and as the senior tactical officer and instructor at the N.H. Military Academy in Concord. He was recalled to active duty with the U.S. Army in June 1961 and remained on active duty until his retirement as a lieutenant colonel in May 1977.
Highlights of his military career include being the recipient of the outstanding Hawk Missile Battery Commander's trophy for three consecutive months while stationed in Germany in 1962-65. He was picked to be a member of General Westmoreland's staff at the Military Assistance Command HQ (MACV) in Saigon, Vietnam, in 1966-67. He received a special civilian clothes assignment in the Pentagon in 1967 where he served as the daily personal military intelligence briefer to the Secretary of the Army, the Army Chief of Staff, the Army Vice Chief of Staff, and several other senior general officers on the Army staff in the Pentagon in 1967-69. He received an early selection to the prestigious U.S. Army's Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1970. After successful completion of that college, he then served a second tour in Vietnam, serving in the Intelligence Division of the U.S. Army Headquarters, (USARV) in Long Bien, Vietnam, in 1970-71. Returning once again to the Pentagon, he took command of the Army's largest Special Security Group until 1974, when he was assigned to the Alaskan Command's Intelligence Division until 1975. After the Alaskan Command was disestablished in 1975, he served as the senior Army intelligence officer in Alaska until his retirement in 1977. He served in field artillery units, air defense units and for the last 14 years of his career he served in counter-intelligence units as a strategic and tactical intelligence analyst. He was decorated seven times for exceptional meritorious service, including two awards of the Joint Service Commendation Medal and the Army Commendation Medal.
Joe/Mun moved to Laconia in 1977 and was employed by the Allen-Rogers Corp. for five years as production control manager; by the Laconia Malleable Iron Foundry for four years as production control manager; and by the Margate Resort for eight years as superintendent of maintenance.
He was a member of Wilkins-Smith Post1, American Legion, and Post 1670, Veterans of Foreign Wars, in Laconia. He was the past president of the Military Ski Club and the Military Snowmobile Club in Anchorage, Alaska, and was active in Boy Scouts for many years.
Joe/Mun enjoyed fishing and camping. Over the years, he has owned several four-wheelers, motorcycles, and motor homes, and has traveled the entire country and been to all 50 states. His favorite hobby was making wooden quilts. He would take a traditional quilting pattern and translate it to wood, cutting out and gluing together all the individual pieces to make a beautiful piece of art. He was also an active member of the Winnipesaukee Harley Owners Group, Chapter 2529, in Meredith, since 1999, serving as the chapter greeter, historian, road captain and liaison. There is no doubt that he lived a life full of adventure, never waiting for "someday" to live out his dreams.
He was a wonderful, social, witty man who loved his family very much. He adored his grandchildren and great-granddaughter and spent many a happy hour playing with them. He always looked forward to our annual family reunion and in the last 20 years developed a taste for performing, both in sharing stories, telling jokes, doing lip sync and other skits. His motto was "Life is good!"
Family includes his wife of 65 years, Shirley (Goyette) Boucher, currently living in Laconia; two daughters, Debra (Boucher) LaPierre and Kathy (Boucher) Nyman, currently living in Tilton; one son, Alan Boucher, and his wife, Melissa (Ruth) Boucher, currently living in Winchester; three grandchildren, Lucas Nyman, currently living in Brighton, Massachusetts, Kayly Nyman and partner Chris Wendelboe, currently living in Ashland, and Adam LaPierre, currently living in Tilton; one great-granddaughter, Eleanor Wendelboe, currently living in Ashland; and a sister, Louise (Boucher) Durant, currently living in Arcadia, Florida.
He was predeceased by his parents, Pete and Dora (Laflamme) Boucher; a brother, Ernest Boucher; and two sisters, Pearl (Boucher) Fysh and Lorraine (Boucher) Harriman.
Calling hours are 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 15, at the Bryant Funeral Home, 180 Hillside Avenue, Berlin.
There will be a Mass of Christian Burial on Friday, Aug. 16, at 10 a.m. at St. Anne Church of Good Shepherd Parish, Berlin, followed by burial in St. Kieran Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his memory to the LRGH Community Wellness Center, 22 Strafford St., Laconia, NH 03246.
Online guest book at bryantfuneralhome.net.
There will be a Public Celebration of Life Reception at the Laconia VFW, 143 Court St., on Saturday, Aug. 24, from 2 to 5 p.m., and everyone is welcome to attend.