BURRILLVILLE – A man whose contributions to the Burrillville community have long been celebrated with scholarships and other honors died this week at the age of 92.
George P. Ducharme of Burrillville died on Monday, July 11 at Overlook Nursing Home. Born in Harrisville, he was the son of the late George and Florence (Forgue) Ducharme.
He was the loving and devoted husband to Marguerite Ducharme for 70 years.
Ducharme graduated from Burrillville High School in 1948. While at BHS he played four years of baseball, football, and hockey, earning 8 varsity letters, and for two out of the four years, he was an All- League football and All – State baseball selection. He received a bachelor’s degree in education from Providence College in 1952, and played baseball and hockey while attending.
Ducharme served in the United States Army during the Korean War from 1952-1954 with an honorable discharge. After coming home from Korea, he played football for the Burrillville Mules, a Semi- Pro football team. From 1954 to 1965, he taught English and history, and was an assistant coach of baseball and football for seven years. He received a masters degree from Rhode Island College in 1962.
As head coach, his baseball teams were Division Champions in 1962 and 1963, then State Champions in 1965. He was also the head football coach of the 1962 Football League champions.
He was the Providence College Assistant Hockey Coach from 1955-1963. He also coached Wrights Farm Softball and Ron’s Spaghetti House from 1981- 1985.
Between the years of 1966 and 1984, he served as assistant principal and principal of Burrillville Junior Senior High School, retiring as principal of the Junior High School. He was a member of the Rhode Island Principals Committee from 1974 to 1980, the Burrillville Drug Committee from 1968 to 1972 and he was an original member of both the Burrillville Hall of Fame and the Burrillville Gridiron Club.
Wright’s Farm Restaurant started an annual scholarship program in Ducharme’s honor in 2016 awarding $5,000 to a senior graduating BHS. Selection criteria are based, “on the exemplary qualities, efforts and achievements that Mr. George P. Ducharme has demonstrated throughout his entire life.”
In 2018, the field house at Eccleston Field was renamed in his honor.
He was a member of the American Legion for 68 years, and became a member of the Honor Flight in 2019.
Besides his wife, he is survived by his children Richard Ducharme of Nasonville, Gerald Ducharme and his wife Jacqueline of Warwick, David Ducharme and his wife Cheryl, Jane Finocchiaro and her husband Vincent of Florida, Joan Surprenant, and her husband Wayne of Mapleville. He also leaves behind six grandchildren, five great grandchildren, and his brother Robert P. Ducharme of Florida.
“His goal in life has always been to do his best for his family and give back to the town of Burrillville,” noted the obituary published by Keene-Brown Funeral Home this week. “It is with George’s great hope that all of you will someday be able to pay it forward and give back to the town as well.”
Arrangements are entrusted to the funeral home at 445 Greenville Road in North Smithfield. Calling hours will be held on Thursday, July 14 from 4 -7 p.m. Funeral will be held Friday, July 15 at 8:30 a.m. from the funeral home. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10 a.m. in Our Lady of Good Help Oakland, burial with Military Honors will follow in St. Theresa’s Cemetery in Nasonville.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Ducharme can be made to the Burrillville Grid Iron Club, 195 Hill Rd. Harrisville, RI 02830 to support Burrillville High School Football.