Music 04

Janis Kaleen (Sykes) Boucher

July 27, 1939 ~ August 13, 2022 (age 83)


On Saturday, August 13th Janis Kaleen Sykes Boucher passed away at the age of 83. Janis was born in Lubbock, Texas on July 27th, 1939. Her parents John Wesley Sykes and Jewel Martin raised her and 3 younger boys on a ranch in central Texas where she spent her childhood riding horses, rounding up cattle, and helping her mother with the boys. Janis soon left for college and followed in her mother's footsteps to become an educator. During her time at Lub­bock Christian University she was a member of the Acapella Chorus, where her children would later attend and follow in her footsteps. After teach­ing for one year in Texas, Janis moved to Elko, Nevada in search for adventure and a teaching job. During her first year of teaching at the Nevada Youth Training Center, Janis met George Boucher of Elko. As the story goes, George knew he was going to marry her before she had even met him. She stood out in the crowd, and he quickly noticed her laughter, her smile, and her light-hearted spirit. They were married on August 16th, 1964 and they began their adventure together in Elko.

Janis was a teacher for the first seven years of their mar­riage at Southside Elementary. During her time at Southside, she wrote and developed the first physical education program in the school district and made a name for herself in Elko. In 1970, Janis and George adopted a beautiful young girl, LaRae, and a strapping young boy, Mark in less than 6 months. Four years later they completed their family with the birth of a little energetic boy, Jess. At this time, she be­came a full-time mom and took time off from teaching. As a mom, Janis shared her childhood adventures from the ranch with her kids every summer for several weeks. She would take them on midnight horseback rides during a full moon, exploring ranch life, going to the riverbeds and hunting for fossils, all while teaching them the value of hard work. Family came out of the woodwork to visit when she went back to Texas. In fac­t, you could hear her laugh from a distance, and everyone wanted to see what was so funny. She was usually sharing hi­larious stories about her fami­ly.

In the early 1980s, Janis went back to being a 5th grade teacher at Northside Elementary where she taught for another 21 years. She loved being a teacher and engaging her students with plays, physi­cal activity programs, and she created a student body government program to assist kids in developing leadership skills. Janis also was responsi­ble for planting a local Church of Christ in the community in the late 1960s. She quickly developed youth group pro­grams to involve local children, and even directed plays such as "Down by the Creek Bank" in the 1970s at the Presbyterian Church. Janis has impacted the lives of thousands in the community, all while providing a thriving and adventurous childhood for her 3 children.

Janis was involved in Cowboy Poetry where she would share songs that her fat her would sing to her while riding on the saddle with him as a young girl. She was also extremely musical. She had a beautiful alto voice, played the piano, the ukulele, bongo drums, and sang along to every musical she watched on TV with her kids. She encouraged her kids to chase their dreams and ambitions. She loved to share her family's successes with those around her, and never hesitated to share a picture or two. Most importantly, Janis remained committed to George for 58 years, and they loved and adored each other dearly, and held hands even until the very last day. As quoted from a very dear friend, "Janis was an oasis in this sage brush covered state" 

Janis Boucher is survived by her husband George R.E., daughter LaRae Boucher, son Jess Boucher, his wife Andrea, 7 grandchildren, Corbin, Kaiden, Keaton, Markayla, Marlyssa, Cameron, Eric, 3 great-grandchildren, and her brothers Alfred and Jack Sykes. She was preceded in death by her son, Mark, her brother Albert, and her par­ents.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Northeastern Nevada Museum where they provide educational services to local area students. You can access the website at Please include Janis Boucher's name in the memo of your check, or the donation form. If using PayPal, please include her name in the memo section. The family appreciates your donation to further support the education of children in Elko, which was Janis's passion. Thank you.

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