Waterman-Langone at Boston Harborside

580 Commercial Street, Boston, MA


Jim Thatcher

January 24, 1943May 18, 2020

R. James Thatcher, MD, died peacefully at home on May 18, 2020. He was born on January 24, 1943 in East Hampton Connecticut to Ralph and Alice Thatcher. Dr. Thatcher graduated from Bucknell University and then earned his medical degree at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. He was a practicing psychiatrist for many years before transitioning into managed healthcare. Prior to retirement, Dr. Thatcher was the Regional Medical Director of Massachusetts for Beacon Health Options, where he led the company’s national strategy in response to the current opioid crisis. In his own words, “my life is about doing things.” And it’s certainly a long list of ‘things’ – skiing, diving, windsurfing, biking, snorkeling, working in the yard, grilling on the deck, reading the comics, making espresso, cooking Rancho Gordo beans, and sharing tidbits of news he’d read or advice. He will be remembered for his dry wit, impish smile, and consistent love. Dr. Thatcher is survived by his wife, Ruth Weber and daughter Helena Thatcher. In lieu of flowers, he asked that donations be made to hospice in appreciation for the at home care he received from his wife, daughter, and hospice nurse - Beth Israel Lahey Health at Home, 1 Arsenal Marketplace, Watertown, MA 02472. Please note "Donation" in the memo line on your check. For more information or to leave an online condolence, please visit, www.watermanboston.com


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Jim Thatcher

have a memory or condolence to add?

Bruce Smith

May 27, 2020


I was so sorry to hear of Jim's passing. Although we had drifted apart over the years, Nadine and I have always thought fondly of you and Jim and remembered good times together. Jim was on of my first friends when moving to Stockbridge, and helped mentor me through my first weeks there. Later we travelled together and shared experiences, many with you as well. It is a shame that our bi-coastal lives intervened. Nonetheless, we never forgot the good times. I hope you find comfort in this time. Jim was a special man and a good man. He will be missed

Bruce and Nadine

Bob Keane

May 27, 2020

I had the experience of working with Jim for years at MBHP. He was a great colleague; brilliant, compassionate and creative. I will always remember his work developing a data system that became a statewide model and greatly helped the behavioral health community better understand treatment experiences. On a personal note, Jim was always supportive of my work and career, evens years later. I will truly miss him.

Kurt Kreh

May 26, 2020

Ruth and Helena - So sorry to hear about your loss. What a rich life of "doing things" and helping people. A man with that many nicknames truly had an impact on people he met and reflects a personality people gravitated to and recognized as a friend. The world is richer by his example and poorer for his loss. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Marcia Culhane

May 25, 2020

I was stunned and terribly saddened to hear of Jim's passing and I wish to offer my heartfelt sympathy to Ruth and Helena. Jim was a good friend in high school and we used to ski together throughout high school and during college breaks. We emailed back and forth sporadically since, and I was just going to contact him again when I learned of his death. I had no idea he was ill, and this has left me stunned - he was such a vibrant and active person.
I know his passing must have left you with a huge hole in your hearts; I hope your memories of him will carry you through.
I would have much preferred to write you a note rather than an electronic message, but alas, I have no address for either of you. My thoughts are with you. Marcia (Thompson) Culhane

Frances Samuelson

May 23, 2020

As a classmate I AM sadden by your family`s loss. He was a kind person. Blessing are send your way.

Mimi McGrath

May 21, 2020

Dear Ruth,
I was surprised and saddened to hear of Jim's passing. As you may know, I worked at the Boston Center of HVMA for a few years starting 1990 and knew Jim. His obituary captures much of his love of life. I remeber him as a charismatic, caring and respected leader. His input was valued by colleagues at all levels. He will be missed by so many.

I hope the loss and pain of losing him will abate with the fond and fun memories of a life well-lived.

Best, Mimi

Joanne Waithaka

May 21, 2020

I was so saddened to hear of Jim's passing. A boss, a friend and a mentor during my time at MBHP and Beacon . He taught me so much professionally about the clinical and the business sides of Mental Health care. Knowledge that I still rely on everyday. But I also learned from Jim 's genuine humanity in everything thing he did and the impact his work will continue to have on healthcare in Massachusetts. Oh and best of all, Jim taught me about roadbiking and I will remember and thank him everytime I head out for a good, long, hilly ride.
Ruth and Helena, I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you can be comforted by how great a man he was .

Lanny Eder

May 21, 2020

Deeply saddened to hear of Jim's passing. I had the good fortune of working collaboratively with Jim for a number of years at MBHP. Honored to have had his support and collaboration. Soft-spoken, professional, respectful and a gentleman throughout.
My condolences to family, friends and colleagues.

Gwene McBride

May 20, 2020

Ruth, I am sorry to hear of the passing of your husband, Jim. It sounds like he lived a very full and happy life. Treasure the memories. I will keep you , your daughter and other family members in my thoughts and prayers. Gwene

Elaine Day

May 19, 2020

I knew Jimmy when he was a life guard at Ted Hilton's resort. My brother Ed, Danny Muessi, Jimmy and I were all in a ski show together. My family had a small cottage on the Salmon River and I would wave to Jimmy as he took guests for a boat ride. Then one day, he pulled up to our dock and asked if I wanted to join the ski show to do a slalom criss cross. I was pretty young so this was a big thrill for me. Every Wednesday evening we would do the show and then get the luau dinner as our reward. I came to know Jimmy very well and thought the world of him.
It is hard to believe that this group of friends did not stay in contact but life does take its twists and turns.
I am so glad to know that he had a loving wife and daughter and that he had such a wonderful life. You have my deepest sympathies.


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