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Dr. Richard J. Bouchard, MD


Obituary for Dr. Richard Joseph Bouchard, MD, Ogdensburg native Dr. Richard J. Bouchard, a retired cardiologist, passed away May 18 fromnon-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium, Md. He was 84.

The son of railroad conductor Joseph Henry Bouchard and the former Emma Boyer, Dr.Bouchard was born in April of 1929 in Ogdensburg before the family moved to Alberg, Vt. for abrief period. They returned to Ogdensburg in the 1930’s and lived on Rensselaer Ave.

Dr. Bouchard’s father Joseph died in 1941. His mother Emma remained in the family home onRensselaer Ave. until her death in 1986. Dr. Bouchard’s sister, the late Elizabeth Lockwood,retained residency of the home until her passing in 1997. The home has since been razed and itsformer location now serves as a parking lot for the Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center.

Dr. Bouchard graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in 1946 and earned his bachelor’s degree atManhattan College in 1950. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine in 1954,where he earned his medical degree.Dr. Bouchard completed an internship in internal medicine in 1955 at the University ofCalifornia San Francisco General Hospital before fulfilling his military obligation by joining theU.S. Public Health Service. Hevolunteered for sea duty and served as the ship’s doctor on aCoast and Geodetic Survey Ship, charting harbors in Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. Anexperience he called “great fun.”What started as a two-year stint became a 22-year career in the U.S. Public Health Service,where he completed his residency in internal medicine at the U.S.P.H.S. Hospital in SanFrancisco. From 1963 to 1964, he completed a fellowship in internal medicine at the Universityof Maryland Medical School. He returned to the West Coast, where he completed a cardiologyfellowship in 1970 at the University of California, San Diego.Dr. Bouchard began his professional medical career in 1960 as assistant chief of medicine at theU.S.P.H.S. Hospital in New Orleans, and from 1963 to 1965 was an instructor in medicine atTulane University. He was deputy chief of medicine at the public healthhospital in New Orleansfrom 1965 to 1969, and was associate chief of medicine from 1970 to 1971. That year, he wasnamed assistant chief of theclinical investigations department at the old U.S. Public HealthServices Marine Hospital in Baltimore, Md., where he established a heart laboratory and cardiaccatheterization laboratory. When medical services ended at the hospital, he joined the staff at St.Agnes Hospital in Baltimore as associate chief of cardiology and established and served asdirector of the cardiac catheterization laboratory.From 1989 until 2012, Dr. Bouchard served on the board of the St. Agnes Cardiac DiagnosticCenter and practiced non-invasive cardiology until retiring in 2012 at the age of 83. “His main interest was heart catheterization, and he was very good at it. His patients loved himand he was an extremely honorable man,” said Dr. Ronald H. Gillilan, a semiretired cardiologistand director of the cardiac rehabilitation program at St. Agnes Hospital.“He also loved to teach and had very good clinical judgment. He was clinical all the way and didnot like administrative duties. He was just a delight to work with,” said Dr. Gillilan, a friend fornearly 40 years.

“Dick was probably the best teacher I ever had. He had the ability to take the most difficult topicand could make you understand it,” said Dr. Stephen J. Plantholt, a cardiologist who works atMaryland Cardiovascular Specialists at St. Agnes Hospital. “During the last 30 or 40 years, Dick taught thousands of physicians cardiology and how toexamine the heart and use their deductive reasoning to arrive at a treatment,” said Dr. Plantholt. “He did this without fanfare. He was devoted to his patients and teaching. Those were his twopassions.” “He was known for his work at [the Public Health Service hospital in Baltimore], and hisopinions were accepted throughout the cardiac community,” said Dr. Raymond D. Bahr, a retiredSt. Agnes cardiologist and longtime friend. “We would do catheterizations in the morning and then we would sit down and go over theresults and discuss how we were going to treatthe patient,” Dr. Bahr said. “He had commonsense, wasdown-to-earth and easy to get along with. He was a very compassionate man. Andwhen I had difficult cases, he was always willing to sit down and discuss them.” Dr. James H. Gault, a retired cardiologist, got to know Dr. Bouchard in the 1960s at the NationalHeart Institute in Bethesda, Md. “Dick was an excellent cardiologist, and he’ll be remembered for being an exceptional humanbeing and for his humanity,” said Dr. Gault. “He was not only engaged with the patient but withall who worked with him. He was a very steadying influence.”

Marie V. McGinn worked as a technician at St. Agnes for 32 years before retiring in 2011. “Working with Dr. Bouchard was absolutely wonderful. He was caring, loving and always opento questions. He always had time for you,” Ms. McGinn said. “He treated everyone equally andmade you feel important and that your job was significant. He so enriched my life.”

“Dick lived in a world of moral consequences and choices. He had no talent for indifference,” said Dr. Gault. “His death is a great loss for us.”

Dr. Bouchard was a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, a Member of the AmericanMedical Association, a Member of the Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S.P.H.S.,Professional Member of the Maryland Heart Association and a Fellow of the American Collegeof Cardiology. He authored 26 articles that appeared in various professional publications.

Dr. Bouchard was a baseball fan and an avid runner. He ran three to five miles before worknearly every day and participated in many 10K races.

“Once he couldn’t run anymore, he rode a stationary bike religiously until just three weeks ago,” said his son, Marc Richard Bouchard of Phoenix, Md.He also liked fishing – a craft he learned on the waters of the St. Lawrence River – gardening,traveling and reading.“In many ways, he never left Ogdensburg,” said Marc Bouchard. “His modest, family-focusedupbringing there stayed with him throughout his life and endeared him to his patients, studentsand colleagues.”

Funeral services for Dr. Bouchard where held on Wednesday at Nativity of Our Lord JesusChrist Roman Catholic Church in Timonium, Md., where he was a parishioner for over 40 years.He was buried at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium.

In addition to his son, Dr. Bouchard is survived by his wife of 53 years, the former CleonePeters; two grandchildren, Emma Elizabeth Bouchard and Lillian Lee Bouchard; an uncle,Vincent Boyer of Ogdensburg; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

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