Danvers — Augustus B. Bouchie, 90, passed peacefully on Tuesday, February 5, 2013, at the Beverly Hospital with his loving family by his side.
Gus was born on January 22, 1923 to the late Thomas A. and Emily Jane (Boudreau) Boucher in the little fishing village of Arichat, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Born one of 12 children, Gus was the last in the clan to be called to rest by God. The son of a fisherman, he came to Gloucester by train when he was just five years old, speaking only French. As a boy, he spent much time on the Gloucester waterfront, learning to fish, mend nets and navigate the harbor in a dinghy, but he wasn’t ready to make fishing his vocation.
Instead, after attending St. Ann’s High School, Gus enlisted in in the U.S. Army in 1943 and became a combat engineer for the 27th Division, 102nd Engineer Battalion. After 4 months of Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, Gus and his battalion traveled to Hawaii to learn combat maneuvers and prepare for war. From there Gus would go on to fight in two of the greatest battles of the Pacific Theatre: Saipan and Okinawa, where he fought alongside U.S. Marines on the front lines to capture the islands. In September of 1945, after the Japanese surrendered, Gus and his division moved to occupy Japan’s mainland. He was honorably discharged in December of 1945, arriving back in Gloucester just 2 days before Christmas.
Even though Gus didn’t take to the sea, he did go on to make his living by working in several of Gloucester’s fish processing companies, most recently for O’Donnell-Usen Seafood Kitchens, where he was forced to retire from in 1986 because of an accident that badly injured his right hand. He will also be remembered as a long-time custodian for the Rockport Art Association, and in later years, as a dependable newspaper carrier for the Gloucester Times. And by yet others, he will be remembered for doing odd jobs and lending a hand to anyone in need.