Nunc dimittis: Richard T. Bouchett, Diana Lee Lucker, Thomas H. Troeger

May 26, 2022

Richard T. Bouchette

Richard T. Bouchett, 85, of New York, New York, died in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on April 17. He was born March 6, 1937, in Seymour, Texas, attended Texas Christian University, and earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Oklahoma, an artist’s diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, and Master and Doctor of Sacred Music degrees from the Union Theological Seminary, New York City, with the dissertation “The Organ Music of Jehan Alain.” His organ teachers included Emmet Smith, Adrienne Reisner, Mildred Andrews, Alexander McCurdy, Robert Baker, Marie-Claire Alain, and Anton Heiller. He was the 1966 winner of the Young Artists’ Competition sponsored by the Boston Symphony and the Boston Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and was presented in recital at Symphony Hall in Boston. He taught organ at Westminster Choir College, Princeton, New Jersey, and Indiana University, Bloomington, and presented recitals across the United States, including performances at several AGO regional conventions.

For ten years Bouchett was organist at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City where he recorded an LP entitled The Organs of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church Played by Richard Bouchett, presently available on YouTube and Amazon. In 1972 he was named director of music and organist for First Presbyterian Church, Greenwich, Connecticut. He conducted a semi-professional choir that performed cantatas and oratorios with orchestra in addition to singing at regular services, and developed a concert series, “Music from the Top.” Bouchett supervised the installation of a 66-rank M. P. Möller organ in the church’s sanctuary, where he premiered a commissioned work of Ruth Schonthal, The Temptation of St. Anthony.

Before moving to New York City, he held positions at the Church of the Good Samaritan (Episcopal) in Paoli, Pennsylvania, and the Episcopal Academy in Overbrook, Pennsylvania. After his retirement from First Presbyterian Church, Greenwich, in 2002, he played for several years at First Church of Christ, Scientist, Greenwich, and was a substitute musician for churches in and around New York City, including Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church.

Richard T. Bouchett is survived by his brother Frank and sister-in-law Betty, three nephews, and numerous grandnephews and grandnieces.

Diana Lee Lucker

Diana Lee Lucker, 89, was born Diana Lee Kennelly, July 9, 1932, in Seattle, Washington, and died January 15, 2022, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her first piano lessons were given by her mother; she later attended the Juilliard School of Music. Her first organ teachers included Ronald Hooper and Rupert Sircom. She earned her Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Minnesota and studied there with Heinrich Fleischer and Dean Billmeyer.

Lucker was assistant professor of music at Augsburg College and Bethel College and taught privately. She served as organist at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church for 16 years, as interim organist at Westminster Presbyterian Church (1994–1995), and as organist for Wayzata Community Church from 1995 until 2016. The four-manual Hendrickson organ was installed shortly after her arrival; she performed its dedication recital in September 1998.

While at Wayzata she directed an annual summer organ recital series as well as a concert series of over 40 events each year including orchestral, choral, piano, small ensemble, and organ programs. Lucker was active in several capacities for the Twin Cities Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. As a recitalist, she performed throughout the United States and in Scandinavia and Italy.

Diana Lee Lucker is survived by three daughters, five stepchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren. Memorial gifts may be made to: Des Moines Metro Opera, 106 West Boston Avenue, Indianola, Iowa 50125; or Pipedreams, MPR, 480 Cedar Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101.

Thomas H. Troeger

Thomas H. Troeger, hymn writer, preacher, homiletics professor, theologian, poet, musician, columnist, and author, died April 3. Born in 1945, he grew up in New Jersey and upstate New York. After graduating from Yale University cum laude in 1967, he attended Colgate Rochester Divinity School, Rochester, New York, where he earned his Bachelor of Divinity degree (now designated as Master of Divinity). He later received an S.T.D. degree from Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria, and, most recently, an honorary doctorate from the University of Basel, Switzerland, in 2014.

Following graduation from Colgate Rochester Divinity School, Troeger was ordained a Presbyterian minister and served as associate pastor for the Presbyterian Church of New Hartford, New York (1970–1977). (He was later ordained an Episcopal priest.) He returned to (now) Colgate Rochester Divinity School/Bexley Hall, Crozer Theological Seminary as a professor of preaching and parish ministry (1977–1991) before moving to Iliff School of Theology, Denver, Colorado, where he was the Ralph E. and Norman E. Peck Professor of Preaching and Communications (1991–2005). In addition to his professorial duties, Troeger began serving in administrative posts as the director of the Doctor of Ministry program (2000–2005) and the senior vice president and dean of academic affairs (2002–2005). At that time, Troeger moved to Yale as the J. Edward and Ruth Cox Lantz Professor of Christian Communication (2005–2015).

Troeger was a prolific author and hymnist. He authored more than a dozen books on homiletics, essays for Feasting on the Word, a monthly column for Lectionary Homiletics over a period of years, and articles and chapters that appeared in scholarly venues. He served as president of the Academy of Homiletics (1987) and co-president of Societas Homiletica, the international guild (2008–2010). The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada named him a Fellow of the society, and he received a lifetime achievement award from the North American Academy of Homiletics.

Troeger also published books in the areas of liturgy and spirituality. He served as chaplain to the American Guild of Organists and wrote a monthly column for The American Organist for four years. He became affiliated with the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, where he had standing during his tenure at Yale. As a poet and a hymnist, Troeger composed more than 400 hymn texts and poems, many of which are now in current hymnals of most denominations.

Thomas H. Troeger is survived by his wife of 54 years, Merle Marie Troeger; his brother, Don, and his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Crawford and Julie Butler of Conway, New Hampshire. A memorial service was held on May 3 at the Episcopal Church of St. Mary, Falmouth, Maine.

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