Long time West Springfield resident, Anita Bouchard, passed away on Sunday, November 25, 2018, at the of age 89, following a brief illness. For the past two years, Anita had been a resident at Care One Redstone in East Longmeadow, MA. A cremation was performed and all services are being taken care of by Toomey-O’Brien Funeral Home of West Springfield. A memorial and internment service for Anita is planned for the Spring of 2019.
She was born in Brooklyn, NY on January 22, 1929 to John and Mary Bigos, Lithuanian immigrants. Anita graduated from F.K. Lane High School in Brooklyn, NY in May 1946. As a high school student, like many of her generation, Anita was active in supporting the war effort by performing volunteer services such as food drives and collecting supplies to bolster the morale of the troops. After high school, Anita moved briefly to the Albany, NY area, then eventually to Springfield, MA, where she worked as a bank teller at the Springfield Institution for Savings (SIS Bank). While employed at SIS, she met George Scott, an advertising executive also originally from Brooklyn, NY, and they married in 1953. They had two sons, David and Jonathan, and bought a house on Circle Drive (then Vadnais Circle) in 1959. Anita lived in that house until 2016.
Divorced from George Scott in 1965, she remarried Patrick Bouchard in 1967. She remained primarily a homemaker until the mid-1970s. Following her divorce from Mr. Bouchard, Anita returned to school as an adult, graduating from Holyoke Community College in 1976. In consideration of her excellent academic record at HCC, she was awarded a scholarship to Amherst College, becoming one of the first females (and sole adult woman) accepted into the formerly all-male institution in the Fall of 1976. In a bit of irony, as a condition of her scholarship, she was required to live on the Amherst campus, so her son David, who was then a student at UMass, moved back into the Circle Drive home and commuted to school, while Anita lived at Amherst. They enjoyed meeting for lunch several times a week as their class schedules permitted.
Anita graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College in May 1978, and took a job with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation, Springfield/Westfield Area Office. She served there from 1978 until her retirement in 1995. While working for the Commonwealth, she earned a Master of Education degree from Springfield College in 1982.
During her retirement years, Anita enjoyed gardening, collecting antiques, and attending live video performances of the New York Metropolitan Opera. She was also a regular at the Westfield YMCA, taking senior exercise classes well into her early 80s. She was a lifelong cat fancier, providing a loving home for dozens of cats, including strays, over the decades. Friends can honor Anita by making a donation in her name to their local animal welfare organization.
She is survived by her son David Scott, and her daughter-in-law Nellie Scott, of Wilmington DE.