Rev. Dr. Charles Bovee Dies in Calif. at Age 95

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Created on Tuesday, 23 March 2021 15:24
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Rev. Dr. Charles “Chuck” Clyde Bovee

 

Rev. Dr. Charles “Chuck” Clyde Bovee, loving husband, devoted father, grandfather and great-grandfather; perpetual storyteller and a careful and attentive listener, passed away in Chula Vista, California, on March 18, 2021. A friend to all, he lived a life that intertwined his strong Christian faith with a love of learning.

Chuck and his twin sister Mel Taylor were born on Feb. 11, 1926, in Seattle, Washington, joining the Bovee family of two older sisters, Helen and Jane, and parents Homer and Lois. In Seattle, he attended school, helped his dad in the family diner, and was very active in the First Presbyterian Church. 

In July 1944, after finishing high school, Chuck signed up for the U.S Army Air Corps where he initially trained as a navigator for bombers, and later trained new recruits. He left the service at the end of 1945 as a private, first class.

After this military service, he attended Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington, receiving a bachelor of arts in psychology in 1950 and a bachelor of education in 1951. He then re-entered the Air Force during the Korean War and served at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio from June 1951 to September 1952 as a nurse in a psychiatric hospital. This time he left the service for good having attained the rank of sergeant.

In 1952, he began working as a youth counselor for The Navigators ministry, mainly in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It was here he met another counselor, Edyth “Edie” Bovee, as they provided follow-up ministry to new believers resulting from Billy Graham crusades. Chuck and Edie married on July 30, 1955, on the grounds of Baylor Prep School.

Chuck left the Navigators ministry in 1955 to return to his academic career, receiving a master of arts in Guidance & Student Personnel from Columbia University Teachers College in New York City in 1956. He subsequently taught psychology and Bible at Baylor Prep School in Chattanooga from 1956 to 1958. 

In 1956, Chuck and Edie also started their family with twins Michelle and Michael, followed by Kent, Mark and Spence.

He received a bachelor of divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia, in 1963. During his theological studies, he was a part-time psychologist for a community health center for the Georgia Health Department, as well as part-time director and a counselor at the Presbyterian Guidance Center of Atlanta, 1960-1963. 

He also served then as a fill-in pastor for churches throughout Georgia. He would take one of his kids with him each time, rotating through them. Afterward, they would stop at Howard Johnson for lunch, which the kids long remembered as a special treat.

From 1963 to 1968, he was the full-time director and counselor at the Presbyterian Guidance Center, while earning a doctorate in education, Cum Laude, at the University of Georgia, Athens, in 1967.

From 1968 to 1970, Chuck was associate professor of psychology and coordinator of counseling services at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts. 

The Alaska Years

Always up for a new adventure, in the fall of 1970 Chuck and his family made a life-altering decision when they packed up and moved to Sitka. During the next 45 years, Chuck and Edie would make significant and lasting contributions to the Sitka community.

From 1970 to 1981, Chuck served as academic dean at Sheldon Jackson College. Living just a block from campus, Chuck and Edie had an open-door policy there, where everyone was always welcome, young and old, whether local or from out of town. Their frequent dinners always led to great conversations and friendships.

In 1971, Chuck led the college’s efforts to develop a field-based education program for Alaska Native teacher’s aides. It used the college’s Pilot Training Program to fly professors to Native villages around Southeast Alaska, so that Native Alaskans could earn associate teaching degrees at home. The program later extended to offering bachelors degrees. 

 Some of the enduring programs that Chuck facilitated while at Sheldon Jackson were the creation of the aquaculture program, now called the Sitka Science Center; the Sitka Summer Music Festival, where he served on the board of directors for its first 25 years; and the Sitka Fine Arts Camp. 

 From 1986 to 1995, Chuck was director of Human Resources at SEARHC, just as it was taking over the Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital. He led the transition of all staff from federal employees to a private employment system.

Chuck’s religious activities throughout these years included being a member and pastor-at-large of the Alaska Presbytery and moderator of Synod Alaska-Northwest in 1980-81, interim pastor of the Sitka First Presbyterian Church 1983-1985, interim pastor of the Kake Presbyterian Church 1994-1995, and supporter of Young Life Sitka.

Also, while living in Sitka, Chuck served as a member of the Sitka Parks and Recreation Committee and supported the Paths Across the Pacific conference. He was a member of the Sheldon Jackson Historic Site Preservation Society and helped raise funds to save and refurbish Allen Auditorium.

For several years in the 1980s, Chuck and Edie co-owned the Wild Strawberry Restaurant, which received a coveted Gourmet magazine review and lays claim to having Sitka’s first espresso machine.

In his free time, Chuck never let a lack of experience or knowledge stop him from trying something new, such as purchasing a 30-ft. cabin cruiser or taking up deer hunting, without having any previous experience. Chuck enjoyed fishing for salmon, and although the boat frequently came home empty, he always enjoyed his time on the water with family and any friends who wanted to come along. 

 In the spring of 2015, Chuck and Edie decided to leave Sitka for Southern California. Prior to leaving, the City and Borough of Sitka proclaimed April 9, 2015, as “Dr. Chuck & Edie Bovee Day” in recognition of their 45 years of commitment to the community. From their new home at Fredericka Manor retirement community in Chula Vista, they continued to make friends and enjoy visits with their children and grandchildren.

Chuck is survived by his loving wife Edie Bovee of Chula Vista; children Michelle Masters (Joe) of Houston, Texas; Michael Bovee (Barbara) of San Diego, California; Kent Bovee of Sitka; Mark Bovee (Christi) of Woodland Park, Colorado, and Spence Bovee of Los Angeles, California; 10 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

 A celebration of life video link can be found at https://charlesbovee.com/video. The music in the video was written and performed by Mark Bovee. A Sitka sunset photo is courtesy of Dan Evans.

 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,

kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. 

Against such there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23