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Lucien BourcierFebruary 24, 1936 ~ October 20, 2017 (age 81)
Lucien (Lu) E. Bourcier, 81, a retired Air Force LTC, First Bank System (US Bank) Assistant VP and former owner/president of Front Range Aviation, Inc. passed away October 20, 2017 from natural causes.
A Memorial Service will be held at Croxford Funeral Home at 1:00 pm, Wednesday, October 25, 2017. Services will be broadcasted live via Livestream on Lu’s obituary page by going to http://www.croxfordfuneralhome.com. Inurnment will take place at the Black Hills National Cemetery in South Dakota with full military honors at a later date.
Lu was born on February 24, 1936, in Woonsocket, R.I. He graduated from Mount Saint Charles Academy Prep School in 1953 and then from the USAF Aviation Cadet Program in 1957 where he received his Commission as a Second Lt. and his silver wings. He then attended the USAF Instructor School and was assigned as a ground school and in-flight instructor for USAF Aviation Cadets at Harlingen AFB, TX.
He married Claudette C. Coderre of Woonsocket, R.I., his childhood sweetheart on January 4, 1958. Lu served 21 years on active duty in the Air Force. During his military career, his flying assignments took him to many far away destinations, including several Southeast Asia countries during the early sixties.
He received numerous prestigious awards and decorations during his distinguished military career. He first served ten years in flying operations, accumulating several thousand flying hours, mostly in the C-130 Hercules, where he was a Lead Navigator for his squadron covering the Pacific area. He then attended the Air Force ICBM Maintenance School and for the next 11 years served in various ICBM maintenance management and control positions, such as Target and Alignment Officer at Ellsworth AFB, SD, Branch Chief at HQ SAC and finally at Malmstrom. Shortly after retiring from the Air Force, he was hired as an officer of the then First Bank of Great Falls as branch manager of the Malmstrom AFB on-base banking facility. Not content to be retired, he then started his own aviation business at the Great Falls airport, Front Range Aviation, Inc. providing maintenance, repairs, storage and fueling of both general aviation and jet aircraft.
Over the 43 years he lived in Great Falls, he was active in numerous civic and community affairs. He served on the board of directors for the American Red Cross, Air Force Association of Montana, and the Kiwanis of Malmstrom. He was a past member of the Chamber of Commerce, Military Affairs Committee and Committee of the 80’s. Lu was also the past president of the Montana State Air Force Association, past president and treasurer of Crimestoppers, treasurer of MAFB Kiwanis club, treasurer of the local chapter of the AFA.
In his spare time, Lu volunteered at the Benefis Hospital, the History Museum of Great Falls and as a citizen Volunteer In Police Service (VIPS) with the Great Falls Police Department Patrol Division, one of his most favorite activities until recent health issues forced him to finally retire. Lu was a life member of the Air Force Association, Malmstrom Heritage Museum and Disabled American Veterans, as well as member of the American Legion, Air Force Association of Missileers, and other groups. His hobbies included amateur astronomy observations, “The Great Zucchini” magic shows, bridge playing, Bingo, model building, and reloading.
Lu is survived by his wife of 59 years, Claudette here in Great Falls; son, Marc (Heidi) in Yakima, WA; daughters, Michelle (Clark) Lewis of Pullman WA, Celeste (Richard) Gibbs of Great Falls and Suzette Bourcier of Libby, Mt, as well as a brother Richard (Jeanne) of Lake Tahoe, NV. He had nine grand children, Jessica, Matthew, Graison, Katelyn, Danielle, Darcy, Mardi, Tanner and Tucker and four great-grandchildren, twins Theo and Eva, Lincoln and Emma.
Colonel Bourcier was preceded in death by his father Lucien A. and mother Therese and younger brother Donald.
Memorials can be made to any one of Lu’s volunteer organizations mentioned.