30 Dec Helen Bouchard, Mother of Esmark Founder, James P. Bouchard, Died at 96 After a Life Filled with Service to Others
SEWICKLEY, Pa.; December 30, 2022 – It is with great sadness that Esmark Inc. announces the passing of Helen Elizabeth Bouchard on December 27, 2022, at the age of 96. She was the mother of Sewickley-based Esmark Inc.’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer James P. Bouchard and grandmother of 20 grandchildren including Bouchard’s five children: Natalie, Clayton and Aubrey, all scholar athletes and graduates of Quaker Valley High School, and James and Robert in Florida.
Helen leaves behind an amazing legacy of kindness, generosity and deep passion for education. Her commitment to service is carried on by her many children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, and through her namesake scholarship, the Helen E. Bouchard Esmark Scholars. The program was created in 2004 by Esmark Inc. to recognize outstanding scholastic performance by family members of Esmark and its subsidiary companies’ employees. To date, the scholarship has provided more than $250,000 in academic funding to those students with stellar academic achievements, significant community involvements, and noteworthy extracurricular activities.
“My mother taught me and my siblings the importance of living a life filled with meaning and contribution, something she herself modeled throughout her life. She was always on her feet helping others. Her door was always open, and her home was filled with joy and chaos as well as play, laughter, love, and competition,” said Bouchard. “We celebrated her every day, and we will continue to celebrate her long lasting legacy in the work we do and in the impact we have on communities in Chicago, Sewickley and around the world.”
Helen grew up on the South Side of Chicago, where she attended St. Barnabas and Longwood Academy. After graduating from high school, she began employment at the Inland Steel Company in downtown Chicago in 1944. She wrote letters to Inland Steel employees who were deployed overseas during World War II.
Her experience in steel filtered through to her children. Bouchard worked as an executive at U.S. Steel before founding Esmark Inc. in 2003. Esmark is the third largest producer of steel and tin in the United States.
Helen insisted that her children pursue an education, and along with her beloved husband Bob, she devoted herself most passionately to the schools her children attended, including St. John of the Cross and Hinsdale Central High School, where several of her children played on championship teams. Starting in 1965, her, strength, work ethic, hospitality was central to, and still evident in Hinsdale Central to this day, via the Bouchard Family Fitness Center and her previously mentioned scholarship.
Beyond education, Helen instilled in her children the importance of living a life filled with meaning and contribution, something she modeled throughout her life.
Since its formation in 2003, Esmark has been an active and committed member of the communities in which it operates across the Midwest. As a family-owned and managed enterprise, Esmark supports a wide range of education, recreation, and human services organizations that provide families with access to critical programs and humanitarian services.
About Esmark, Inc.
Esmark, Inc. is a diversified, privately-held family company with a portfolio of industrial companies with strong roots in the steel industry. Over the years, Esmark has diversified its interests and operations into a number of businesses engaged in the industrial and commodity sectors. Esmark (a former publicly traded company on NASDAQ: ESMK) has focused on several key industries including steel services, oil and gas exploration, aviation, real estate, professional services, technology and youth sports development. The company is also an active corporate citizen in the communities it serves, having committed more than $10 million in philanthropic support of a wide range of humanitarian, education, family wellness and youth sports programs in Pennsylvania, Illinois and internationally. www.esmark.com