Robert John Bovee, 86, died February 5th, 2022, after a short stay in the Pioneer Medical Center Nursing Home, in Big Timber, Montana. Bob, as he was known to his family and friends, battled Parkinson’s and Dementia and finally rests in peace.
Born October 27, 1935 in Joliet, Illinois, Bob entered his farming family and grew up with his parents, Helen (Gorenson) and George Henry Bovee and his sister, Nancy. Bob was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Patricia Werckle, and his grandson, Dan. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Donia, his children, Deborah Peyer (Ken), Guy Bovee, Glenn Bovee (Patty), Tami Wiltfang (Bruce), John Bovee, Kimberly Hawley (Tim), stepson John Hauser (Mary), and stepdaughter Mona Lovely (Mike), as well as his 23 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren, his sister Nancy Johnson and his nephew, Brian.
Bob was involved in 4H and FFA as a youngster. He graduated from high school and took some college classes in Joliet. In 1955, his family bought land and moved to Wilmot, Wisconsin, where they continued to farm and raise cattle. Additionally, Bob became a big rig truck driver while he and Pat raised their family together until the mid 60’s. In 1978, Bob married his wife, Donia. Together, they fulfilled his quest to move West. Big Timber, Montana, became home when they bought an outfitting business from a local, based in the Gravelly Range near Cameron. The highlight of those years included cooking for the cowboys at their cattle roundup in exchange for use of the cow camp for hunters each fall. They had many happy years and clients from all over the world.
Eventually, they bought and ran Spring Creek Campground on the Boulder River where they created many memories for themselves and their guests, especially for children catching their first fish and visiting Reggie, their pet black bear. Following that, they opened Big Timber’s first drive through coffee shop which they ran until they retired. Bob served on the Chamber of Commerce and Yellowstone Country Boards and was involved with MOGA and Big Hearts Under the Big Sky.
For fun, Bob took part in Rendezvous Festivals as well as the Centennial Cattle Drive where he drove his teams of horses and wagons. He enjoyed hunting and fishing, four wheeling, and most outdoor activities. He and Donia traveled, oftentimes with grandkids in tow, and eventually spent some winters in Arizona in their motorhome.
From his first grandchild to his last, Bob was so proud of each of them and was truly enamored by every single one. He tenderly spoiled them with his love. Pops or Poppy, as his grandchildren called him, will be remembered for his sense of humor and jesting, his story telling (often highly embellished), his warm smile and his sparkling blue eyes. A Celebration of Life will be held at St Mark’s Church on Friday, February 18, 2022, at 2 pm.