July 17, 1948 - April 16, 2022
James Daniel Bottcher, 73, passed away at his home in Altoona, FL, surrounded by his loving family, on April 16, 2022. He fought a long and courageous battle with cancer. Jim was born on July 17, 1948, to Reme and Dorothy Bottcher in Middletown, N.Y. His family moved to Boynton Beach, FL, when he was 13. He graduated from Seacrest High School in 1967 and attended Palm Beach Community College and Florida Atlantic University, where he received his Master of Education degree. It was also in Boynton where Jim met the love of his life, Joyce (Jody), and they were married in 1968 and started a family soon after. The couple moved their young family to Altoona in 1979 and made it their home for the past 43 years. Jim spent 32 years as a well-loved and respected elementary school teacher, starting his career at St. Vincent Ferrer School in Delray Beach, FL, before transitioning to the public school system. After moving to Lake County, Jim enjoyed a long teaching career at Altoona Elementary School and Spring Creek Elementary School in Paisley, FL. He also tutored at night at the Lake County Boys' Ranch. In addition to teaching, Jim was instrumental in managing the Safety Patrol program and also the 4-H Club at both Altoona Elementary and Spring Creek Elementary. From pigs to cows, Jim was the go-to man. After retiring from teaching, Jim pursued his love of gardening and earned his Master Gardener certification. He had a green thumb like no other. He was a member of the Umatilla Garden Club and spent many hours volunteering at Altoona School. He enjoyed teaching the second-grade students all about gardening and helped them to start their own garden. Jim was known by many names - Mr. Bottcher, Big Jim, JB, Dad and Papa. And all who knew him will remember him as a big guy with an even bigger heart and gentle soul. He'll also be remembered for his sense of humor, generosity and skillful dance moves. Jim is survived by his wife, Jody; daughter Renie and son-in-law Mark; daughter Amy; daughter Wendy and son-in-law Brandon; five grandchildren, Lindsay, Lauren, Collin, Gavin and Megan; brother Bill; brother Mike and sister-in-law Karen; brother Tom and sister-in-law Kathy; and several nieces and nephews. Jim will be especially missed by Stormy, his beloved dog who enjoyed their walks, long golf cart rides, and naps with his "dad". Although it's sad to say goodbye, there's peace in knowing how many lives Jim has touched. Like his favorite song says, Jim always felt he should have been a cowboy. His family is comforted knowing he's in Heaven riding until his heart's content. A memorial service will be held on Friday, April 29, 2022, at 2:00 at Beyers Funeral Home, 279 South Central Avenue, Umatilla, FL. A celebration of life service will follow at the Bottcher residence. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly asks that a donation be made to one of Jim's favorite charities, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
James Daniel Bottcher, 73, passed away at his home in Altoona, FL, surrounded by his loving family, on April 16, 2022. He fought a long and courageous battle with cancer. Jim was born on July 17, 1948, to Reme and Dorothy Bottcher in Middletown,... View Obituary & Service Information
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