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Ida May Bucher: June 8, 1918 - September 30, 2012
Courtesy Photo
Ida May Bucher: June 8, 1918 - September 30, 2012

News, Obituary, Santa Monica

Memorial Service Set For November 17 For Former SMC Instructor Ida Bucher

Posted Nov. 8, 2012, 12:26 am


A memorial service has been set for Saturday, Nov. 17 for Ida Bucher -- a former Santa Monica College Instructor in Child Development and long time volunteer and community activist who passed away Sept. 30.

The memorial will be held at 3 p.m. at the Church in Ocean Park, 235 Hill Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405.

Ida, born June 8, 1918, has been a tireless advocate for young children, people, and children with special needs (mainstreaming children and adults into her school well before it was done), empathized with parents, providing free parent education and offered her distinctive insight about children to anyone who would listen.

Her entire professional life and ultimately all of her volunteer contributions to the community were a swan song dedicated to making the world a better place.

In 1962 Ida returned to paid work initially, as a substitute teacher for Santa Monica Unified School District, and as a Research Associate for the Children's Home Society Adoption Agency in Los Angeles.

In 1963 Ida became director of the pre-school and Parent Education Projects of Neumeyer Foundation, in Venice. This project was a forerunner to the Johnson Administrations "war on poverty." Shortly after this, in 1965, Ida became coordinator of Operation Head Start for West Los Angeles County.

In 1967 she was asked to become director of the First Presbyterian Church Nursery School, of Santa Monica, California, a position she held until 1984. This program became one of the leading pre-schools in Santa Monica under Ida's direction. At the same time, from 1969-1985 Ida also was an Instructor of Child Development and Parent Education, three nights a week, at Santa Monica College.

Ida also co-authored, with Docia Zavikovsky and Betsy Hiteshew, two other experts in Child Development, many books on day care and collaborated on the popular Santa Monica College Instructional television show, "Time to Grow."

She was also active in the public policy front, becoming an office holder in the California Association of Young Children, the National Association for the Education of Young Children and President of her local North Bay Chapter.

Ida helped Laurie Rozet to found the Child Care Information Services of Santa Monica which provides parents with information about quality child care and referrals to licensed childcare programs as well as administers tuition subsidies to low income working families.

Ida served on many other boards and organizations which are too numerous to list (Children’s Place in Ocean Park, Parent Infant Care Services, Connections for Children, and Step Up on Second, to name a few).

In her spare time, Ida was very active in her local Smith College Alumni Club throughout her life.

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Nov. 15, 2012, 9:37:34 am

Mary Wehbi said...

Ida was my mentor as a young church school director. Her wisdom and humor was unwavering. When she came to a Church Directors' meeting in electric blue fuzzy slippers, I knew she was someone I could relate to.. With Ida's passing there is another link in the pioneers of Early Education.

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