National Optometry Hall of Fame inductee James A. Boucher, O.D., passes away Sept. 20

September 22, 2020
James A. Boucher, O.D., 83, founded his practice in Laramie, Wyoming, and served the community for five decades. Dr. Boucher specialized in cornea and contact lenses practice.
James A. Boucher, O.D., M.S.

Photo courtesy of Snowy Range Vision Center.

James A. Boucher, O.D., M.S., who practiced in Laramie, Wyoming, for 50 years and was inducted into the National Optometry Hall of Fame in 2012, is remembered by doctors and staff as a visionary, leader, mentor and friend.

Dr. Boucher, 83, died Sept. 20.

In private optometric practice in Laramie from 1966 to 2016, he retired from Snowy Range Vision Center, which he founded. Sue Lowe, O.D., practiced with Dr. Boucher for 40 of those years.

“His wisdom, words of perspective and kindness of heart were consistently moral and ethical in our business practice,” Dr. Lowe says. “He was humble, optimistic, forward-thinking, a scholar and a true gentleman. His family, colleagues, friends, as well as patients and our community, were blessed to have had him in our lives. He lives with us in our hearts.”

Dr. Boucher specialized in cornea and contact lenses and general practice. He received his doctor of optometry degree from Southern College of Optometry and subsequently joined the U.S. Air Force as an optometry officer. He then earned a master’s of science degree in physiological optics from Indiana University in 1966. He has two honorary degrees, doctor of ocular science from New England College of Optometry and Southern College of Optometry.

Dr. Boucher served on several AOA committees and chaired the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education, the Commission on Ophthalmic Standards and task forces on long-range planning and Medicare. Past chair of the AOA’s Contact Lens and Cornea Section, he was a member of the AOA Board of Trustees from 1979-1982 and was named AOA Optometrist of the Year in 1978.

Dr. Boucher served 18 years on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Ophthalmic Devices Panel as a member and consultant. For his outstanding service, he was awarded the Harvey W. Wiley Medal and special citation from the FDA commissioner. Dr. Boucher was the principal investigator on over 150 FDA clinical studies on ophthalmic devices and drugs, as well as authoring many publications.

Further, Dr. Boucher is a past president of the Wyoming Optometric Association (1976-1978), as well as having served in the Wyoming State Legislature. He has been a member and chair of many advisory committees to the Wyoming Department Health and University of Wyoming College of Health Sciences. He has also been a trustee of the Wyoming Hospital Association and a member and president of the Board of Trustees of the Albany County Hospital District.

In his hometown, he was known as an avid runner and fixture in a local 5K race and sponsored a pre-optometry scholarship at the University of Wyoming. Mentoring future doctors of optometry was a passion. He taught at Indiana University, School of Optometry; Illinois College of Optometry; College of Optometry, University of Houston;  Pacific University, College of Optometry and the University of Wyoming.

Dr. Boucher is survived by his wife, Julie Uhlman, six children and nine grandchildren. Read a full obituary on Dr. Boucher and where gifts can be sent.

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