After a full and beautiful life, Ola May Tate Bovender, 88, of Boonville, NC, passed away on Saturday, March 9, 2013, at Joan and Howard Woltz Hospice Home in Dobson.
She was born in Rural Hall on April 12, 1924, the fourth daughter of Charles E. and Agnes Chadwick Tate.
In addition to her parents, her husband, Howard E. Bovender; sisters, Florence Hall, Alice Ronk, and Evelyn Smith; and her brother, Edwin C. Tate predeceased Ola May. She is survived by her daughter, Bonnie B. Lasky (Richard) of Boonville; several nieces and nephews; great nieces and great nephews; and great-great nieces and great-great nephews, and a special friend, McCoy Helsabeck.
Ola May was valedictorian of her graduating class at Rural Hall High School where she also played basketball for four years. A teacher encouraged her to take the civil service exam for a potential government job in Washington after the outbreak of World War II. Her government service began with the Aviation Marine Corp in Washington, DC.
After her father died, she returned home and worked at the Office of Defense Transportation, Fourth US Civil Service Region, and the Veterans Administration in Winston-Salem. Although she lived in Boonville all her married life, she remained closely connected to Rural Hall friends and family and recently helped with the establishment of the Rural Hall Historical Society.
Ola May was well known in the Boonville community as a US Postal Service employee for many years, later serving as postmaster until her retirement. She was an avid reader, loved sports, and was on several bowling teams into her early 80’s. She was a life-long member of the United Methodist Church in Rural Hall, Washington, DC, and Boonville where she served in many capacities.
When the Meals on Wheels program began, she delivered meals to those in Boonville as long as she was able. She was active in Yadkin Christian Ministries for many years. She served one term as a Boonville Town Commissioner. In 1988, the Boonville Jaycees named her Outstanding Senior Citizen. After retirement, she joined the Boonville Woman’s Club where she served as a loyal member. In 1999, the Club named her Woman of the Year.
She especially enjoyed traveling with family and friends. But her passion was her baking, and especially baking cakes and sweet breads, which she donated for bake sales and gave to friends and family.
A celebration of her life will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12, at Boonville United Methodist Church with the Rev. Jenny Stewart officiating accompanied by Rev. Marion Swann and Rev. Dana Wooten. The family will receive friends on Monday evening, March 11 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Gentry FamilyFuneral Services in Yadkinville.
She will lie in state at Boonville United Methodist Church prior to the service on Tuesday.
The family wishes to extend their heartfelt gratitude to the staff of Hugh Chatham Nursing Center in Elkin, particularly Melody, Bunny, and Mollie for their care and friendship; to the staff of Joan and Howard Woltz Hospice Home in Dobson; and her many special friends for their loving assistance and kindnesses.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to the Boonville United Methodist Church building fund, P.O. Box 178, Boonville, NC 27011.
Gentry Funeral Funeral Services in Yadkinville is assisting the family and online condolences may be made to www.gentryfuneralservice.com