Dorothy M. Bouchard, 101, formerly of Duluth, died Monday, Oct. 25th at the Villa Marina Health Center, in Superior. Dorothy was born on Feb. 11, 1920, in Duluth, at her grandparents’ home. The family moved to Proctor when Dorothy was three years old. While attending Proctor High School, John Moody, the band director, became her mentor and said that she had great potential on the piano. She graduated from Proctor High School in 1938 and in the same year, she met Eugene Bouchard and they were married in 1941. They lived in Proctor for a few months and then moved to Lester Park. Gene entered the military shortly thereafter and spent five years in the South Pacific, until he returned home. She was employed as a beautician, which in her later years, she became the resident beautician at Dougherty Funeral Home, where she was given the title of Vice President by Tom Dougherty, because she was so very valuable to them and as having played at over 1,000 funerals during her career.
Gene passed away in 1975, so she started using her talents playing at various churches and playing at piano bars at the London House, the Bellows, Hammond, Highland Supper Club, Murphy’s, The Loft in Lake Nebagamon, The Depot in Solon Springs, Top of the Harbor, and many various dinner theaters at Cronstrom’s, The Shack, and the Old Hotel Duluth, where during this time she met Finley Stalvig in 1977, who entitled her with the name of Miss Dorothy. They took various plays on the road in Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.
Dorothy was a member of the Mary Bells, at St. Mary’s Hospital, the Red Hats Society, the Razzle Dazzles, the Over Eighties (which recorded a CD) and the Diamonds. Dorothy also sold pianos at Lindor Wards for quite a few years.
Dorothy was a cancer survivor as having had surgery in 2010. The last few years she suffered from neuropathy, which made it hard for her to live on her own. In 2018, she moved in with her daughter, Deb, and son-in-law Roy in Solon Springs, so they could care for her-but she fought her hard-earned independence after living over 40 years on her own. She grew to love living there and every afternoon she would entertain them on the piano, and even at the Villa Marina continued to play for the residents and staff. She so loved playing. She was always first and foremost a musician.
Ryan Frane, whom she met in Solon Springs, became an inspiration to her. She and Ryan played the piano together and she so loved that. He also wrote a tune for her entitled “Dorothy’s Tune” which meant the world to her.
In 2020, right before the pandemic, Deb threw a 100th birthday party celebration for her, which we will always remember her beauty and love for others. There was a full house, and she was so happy!
She was preceded in death by her parents, Oscar and Lilly Olson, husband Eugene, and her daughter Judy Beck-who passed away from ALS.
Dorothy is survived by her daughter, Deb (Roy) Bulloch; grandchildren Bill (Belinda) Beck and Tricia Swanson; great granddaughter Addison Beck and her grand dogs, Coco and Chanel.
Deb and Roy would like to thank the staff at Villa Marina for their kind and compassionate care of mom. A special thanks to Emily and Jessica. Also, the Hospice folks from St. Luke’s Hospital for their care of mom during her last few weeks.
Visitation will begin at 9:30am Tuesday, Nov. 2nd with services at 10:30am in the Dougherty Funeral Home. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery. Memorials are preferred and may be directed to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105. Sign the register book at www.dfhduluth.com. Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home, 600 E. 2nd Street, Duluth, MN 218-727-3555.