Manchester woman celebrates a century of living

Eva Boucher wears a “100 & Fabulous” banner during her birthday celebration.

MANCHESTER — Eva (Crawford) Boucher was surrounded by family as she celebrated her 100th birthday June 1. She also received many well-wishes and cards from family and friends as well as phone calls from family in the U.S. and Canada.

She was born on May 30, 1919, in a little town in Leeds Township, Quebec, Canada. Her parents made their living as farmers, but also were loggers. To make money, they would cut trees, load them onto a horse-drawn wagon and haul them to “town” to sell the wood.

Eva was the second youngest of 11 children. She immigrated to Manchester in 1945 and held various jobs in the mills. Eva married in 1946 and became a U. S. citizen in 1947. She raised two children and continued to work full time.

Eva’s memory was like a human computer, her family says. She could tell you all the names, birthdays and ages of all her brothers and sisters — and all of their children and grandchildren — without notes.

She has seen many changes during her lifetime. Growing up, she had none of the modern conveniences — no refrigeration, no phones, no electricity and no insulation in the house, which was heated with a wood stove that was used to cook meals, even when it was 95 degrees outside. She attended a one-room schoolhouse. And when she worked in the mills, air conditioning was nonexistent.

Her family says everyone who knows her says she is a kind, loving and gentle woman. Eva has been the family ambassador who stays in touch with both relatives and lifelong friends. She joined the Manchester walking program and walked many miles for her health and the social contacts. Eva also worked part time for Manchester Fire Prevention just prior to her retirement.

Eva loves to reminisce about pictures of years past and tell stories of her life growing up, including tales about her brothers and sisters and the jokes they played on one another. She always stressed the importance of family with her children.