The family of Bevalie Catherine Bouchard (née Bonardi) announces the death of their mother on Dec. 16 at 90 years old in Greeley, Colo.
Bevalie often expressed words of wisdom that she shared with her children and grandchildren. Some of her favorites were: “Never pass up a cup of coffee or a piece of chocolate”; “Eat what you want, leave the rest and don’t talk about it”, “I’ve told you 49 thousand times......” and our favorite, “Put a smile on your face and a song in your heart.” Her full embrace of life led her to live in many states including New Hampshire, Vermont, Utah, Colorado and Alaska. She also traveled the world with her children and grandchildren living in Mexico and Spain and visiting many countries in Europe.
Bevalie was born on Feb. 1, 1929 in Littleton, N.H., the eldest daughter of Mildred (Lee) and Louis Bonardi and sister to Patricia (b. 1931). In her youth she was active in ballet, tap dance, theater and basketball. She is an alumnus of Bethlehem High School (1947) in Bethlehem, N.H., and graduated from Keene (N.H.) State Teachers College in 1951 with a teaching certification in Home Economics.
She married Bernard Roy (Pete) Bouchard (b. 1927, d. 2016) on July 2, 1951. She taught home economics in Chester, Vt., until the birth of her first child in 1952. She had a total of 12 children: Kimberley Anne
(b. 1952), Antonia Lee (b. 1954), Joseph Patrick (b. 1955,
d. 1972), Edward Maurice
(b. 1957), Patricia Laura (b. 1958), Bernard Roy, II (Pete)
(b. 1960), Catherine Anne (b. 1961), Andrew Francis (b. 1963), Frederick Louis (b. 1964), Mary Jane (b. 1966), Norman George
(b. 1967) and Carolyn Margaret
(b. 1971). She has 25 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.
She enrolled at Western State College in Gunnison, Colo., to earn a Master of Arts degree in guidance and counseling which she completed in 1976. Bevalie was divorced from Bernard Roy Bouchard in 1981. She moved to Talkeetna, Alaska in 1982 to teach home economics and serve as the high school counselor at Susitna Valley Junior-Senior High School. She retired from that position in 1997.
Bevalie was an avid reader and supporter of public libraries. She also enjoyed wogging (walking so fast it’s almost a jog for most) and you could find her enjoying the Colorado and Alaska outdoors often. In her early retirement in Gunnison she enjoyed volunteering for hospice and visiting with many of those patients and listening contently to their incredible stories. She supported her love of reading working at the local bookstores.
She returned to Alaska in 2005 where she spent her next 12 years actively visiting and participating in her children’s and grandchildren’s lives. Bevalie continued her life adventures traveling throughout the United States, Mexico and Europe and visiting with her sister, Patsie, at their family home in Bethlehem, N.H. She returned to Colorado in 2017 to reside in an assisted living facility in Greeley which was more central of a location so family could easily visit.
There was an amazing 90th birthday celebration in February 2019 with all of her children, many extended family and friends in attendance. She was an exceptional mother, a wonderful grandma and an incredible friend to many. She left a footprint on many lives and hearts throughout her lifetime and we will cherish those memories for years to come. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to your local hospice in Bevalie Catherine Bouchard’s name. The family will announce celebration of life gatherings once those plans have been finalized.