A.G. Bobby Fouche, 84

AUG. 11, 1927-SEPT. 20, 2011

September 21, 2011
  • Fouche

A. G. Bobby Fouche, 84, of Hagerstown, went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011, with his loving wife Jackie by his side.

Born into a large union family of 14 children, on Aug. 11, 1927, in Hagerstown, he was the 13th child and seventh son of the late Clarence M. and Jennie M. (Hovis) Fouche.

His father, a locomotive engineer, was a union man and a striker in the historic Western Maryland Railway strike of 1925. He credited the examples of his father and mother in support of the striking Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Engineers with influencing him to pursue the union as his life's vocation. Both parents were powerful role models; four brothers and two sisters were solid union members. His job, while he was still in high school, was crew dispatcher for the railroad, working midnight to 8 a.m., calling train and engine crews for work. He recalled with immense pride another career, in the Marine Corps paymaster office, during World War II.

A review of his broad background in union endeavors shows a career spanning 54 years as a card-carrying member of the AFL-CIO. He commenced as local chairman of the Brotherhood of Railway Clerks, Lodge 281, and progressed upward to general chairman, System Board of Adjustment No. 184. He also served simultaneously as president of the Western Maryland Railway General Chairman's Association and secretary-treasurer of the Eastern Region General Chairman. He was active outside his railroad union membership in the mainstream of labor, as president of the Central Maryland AFL-CIO council for approximately 12 years, which included nine years as Committee on Political Education director, and some time as a vice president of the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO.

Since retirement as a field representative in 1996 from the national AFL-CIO staff in Region II, he volunteered his time as the education director, Central Maryland AFL-CIO Council, having received a bachelor of arts degree in labor studies from Antioch University in 1984. His thesis paper centered on the growth of the Central Maryland AFL-CIO for the period from 1963 to 1974. During the part of the time he served as a field representative for the national AFL-CIO, he concurrently served as the president of Field Representatives Federation, No. 3017, in which capacity he guided its negotiating team in bargaining with the national AFL-CIO.

In the capacity of field representative, he served as the liaison from the national AFL-CIO to the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, and simultaneously to approximately 30 local central labor councils in Pennsylvania. He participated in local, state and national elections of the Committee on Political Education. During this time, he was also responsible for servicing the collective bargaining labor contracts of numerous directly affiliated local unions of the AFL-CIO located in Pennsylvania. His tenure as a representative included assisting in countless organizing campaigns throughout the country with various national and international unions of the AFL-CIO.

He interspersed his union activities with service to the community, having served as a Hagerstown city councilman for four years, a member of the executive board of the Washington County Chapter of the American Heart Association, president of the Washington County Youth Commission and chairman of the Washington County Mental Health Association. He also served the Washington County March of Dimes and Community Action Committee of the Central Maryland Labor Council. He was a member of the Biracial Committee for Hagerstown, a merit badge counselor for the Boy Scouts of America and a delegate to the Democratic Mini-Convention from the 6th District. He was presently a member of the League of Women Voters and was on the board of directors of the Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum, Inc., a member of the Western Maryland Railway Oldtimers Club and a member of Transportation Communications Union, Hagerstown.

In addition to his loving wife of 65 years, Jackie B. (Lias) Fouche, he is survived by his daughter, Linda Ann Fouche, of Norwich, Conn.; son-in-law, Lewis Shatzer; three grandchildren, Danny, Jennah and Anna Elizabeth Shatzer; and three great-grandchildren, Devante, Trent and Jadeisha.

Funeral services will be conducted Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011, at 1 p.m. at Rest Haven Funeral Chapel, 1601 Pennsylvania Ave., Hagerstown, with the Rev. Robert Jones officiating.

Interment will follow in Rest Haven Cemetery.

Friends will be received at the funeral home on Friday from 6 to 8 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Bobby's name to the National Parkinson Foundation, 1501 NW 9th Ave., Bob Hope Rd., Miami, FL 33136-1494, or to the Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum Inc., 300 S. Burhans Blvd., Hagerstown, MD 21740, or to the Valley Assembly of God Church, 17544 York Road, Hagerstown, MD 21740.

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