Charles Leslie Bovee, affectionately known as Les, died peacefully Sunday, April 5, 2015, at Powell Valley Care Center. He was 96.
Les was born Oct. 2, 1918, to Frank and Effie Bovee at their home on the north end of Powell. He helped on the family farm and was big brother to his siblings, Bob, Melvin and Carrol.
He graduated from Powell High School in 1936 and joined the Army in 1942. He was trained as an airplane electrical mechanic and served in that capacity in Italy until his honorable discharge in 1945.
Soon after, Les met a cute little school teacher named Nora at a dance, and they were married June 1, 1947. They homesteaded on Heart Mountain and worked side by side on their beloved farm for more than 50 years.
Les and Nora took in many young people over the years to help on the farm, and to receive a sense of of purpose and belonging. They introduced llamas to this part of the country when they decided they needed a little something more to do.
The Bovee cousins spent many happy hours on the farm, playing cowboys and Indians on the haystack, chasing chickens, and riding four small girls at a time on the back of a horse named Steamboat. The cousins have fond memories of spending afternoons watching slide shows and falling asleep on the living room floor while the adults continued visiting or playing cards. They now realize, as adults, that this was a deliberate plan.
Lesâ€™s brother Bob used to bring baby bunnies home from fields he plowed to be bottle-fed, and when they were old enough, Les was kind enough to release the bunnies on his farm. He assured the cousins he saw this bunny or that bunny, just the other day.
Les was a tower of a man, a gentle giant, a second father to his nieces and nephews, and a grandfather to his great-nieces and nephews.
His family owes this man a simple tribute for his devotion to their family and his role as patriarch. He was one to look up to, both literally and figuratively. He deserves the peace he now has, and his family is thankful he and Nora are now reunited.
Les was preceded in death by his parents, brother Bob, infant brother Melvin, and his devoted wife of 61 years, Nora.
He is survived by his brother Carrol of Mount Vernon, Wash., the seven Bovee cousins who loved him dearly, and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
A graveside service at Crown Hill Cemetery will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 11, preceded by a viewing at 1 p.m. at Thompson Funeral Home. Memorials may be sent to any 4-H club or the Powell High School FFA chapter.
Thompson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements and condolences may be sent to the family at www.thompsonfuneral.net or P.O. Box 807, Powell, WY 82435.
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