John Edwin Bovee, 88, of Duluth, passed away peacefully July 18, 2011, in Viewcrest Health Center in Duluth.
John was born Sept. 15, 1922, in Lyman, Mont., to father Nate Bovee and mother Vera (Crosby) Bovee. Nate Bovee was a county extension agent/teacher and the Bovee family settled in Redwood Falls, Minn., when John was a young boy.
John attended Antioch College and Iowa State University graduating with a degree in civil engineering. While in college, John was accepted into the V-12 program, which he successfully completed. He was an Ensign in the U.S. Navy's Civil Engineer Corp and was stationed in the Philippine Islands toward the end of the Pacific conflict. John's period of active duty was 14 Nov. 1942 to 5 June 1946. He then served many years in the Naval Reserve.
John married Jane Barnes in December of 1946 and settled in Duluth. Through his civil engineering profession, John had several very interesting jobs early in his career. While at Minnesota Power and Light, he worked on the Thompson Reservoir Project on the St. Louis River, and while at Arrowhead Bridge, he oversaw the construction of many of the overpasses that crossed the then brand new four-lane Highway 53 up to the Iron Range.
In the late '60s John branched out on his own and formed Bovee and Associates Inc. and Boveco International Inc. For over 30 years he provided products and services to mining companies across North America and prided himself on customer service.
John was very involved with music and played both the flute and piccolo for the Two Harbors, Proctor and Duluth community bands and was a member of the Aad Shrine Band for most of his life in Duluth. He was the Aad Shrine Band's secretary for many, many years.
During summer months, John was always searching for the mother lode of blueberries, which he often found. From the Canadian border over to Sault Ste. Marie and all points in between, he would seek out blueberries from late June into early September. John was an equal opportunity berry picker and when in season, strawberries and raspberries succumbed to his picking ability. Family, friends and neighbors benefited from the bounty and his generosity. Many of his berry picking campaigns were based out of the family cabin on Hart Lake in northwest Wisconsin. He truly loved the cabin and would go down to the lake any day of the week at any time of the year.
Through the years, John has been a member of many local and national organizations. Locally he was involved with the Aad Shrine, Scottish Rite, VFW and the Lake Superior Steelhead Association. For years he opened his office for LSSA work and meetings. Through work he was a lifetime member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and in 1989 became a 25-year member in the American Institute of Mining Engineers (AIME).
Prior to his stay at Viewcrest, John was a devoted member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Duluth. He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Robert and Russel. John is survived by his sister, Jean Hardy of Santa Ana, Calif.; children Mark (Rita) of Duluth, Elizabeth Bovee of White Bear Lake, Minn., Kevin (Marianne) of Duluth, and Kent of Savage, Minn.; grandchildren Jen (Ben) Stanerson of St. Louis Park, Minn., Amanda (Chuck) Schlindwein of Hart¡ord, Wis.; Sarah Bovee of White Bear Lake and Ben Bovee (Ashley) of White Bear Lake; great-grandchildren Erik Stanerson and Mason Bovee; and several nieces and nephews. Memorials to the Aad Shrine Band or St. Paul's Episcopal Church. Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home