Margaret was born Sept. 21, 1923 in George, Iowa to Erwin and Lillian Dieter.
Margaret earned a teaching certificate from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and taught first grade in Marathon, Iowa for two years.
During World War II, a young airman from Wyoming was based on the Morningside Campus where Margaret was waiting tables in the student cafeteria. It was there that Bob Bovee first noticed his future bride and made every effort to make sure she didn’t get away. They were married in Clovis, N.M. on March 12, 1945.
Son Ken was born in Powell in 1947 before Bob took his father-in-law’s offer up to farm his land in George, Iowa. While in Iowa two more children joined the family. Barbara came in 1951 and Bev followed closely behind in 1952. The family relocated to Powell in 1956 where Bob began his custom farming business and Margaret opened her private kindergarten. She operated it for 17 years. She essentially put herself out of business by promoting kindergarten in public schools. She was a firm believer in early childhood education and wanted every child to be afforded the opportunity to attend kindergarten.
Margaret was a proud member of Union Presbyterian Church where she directed children’s choirs and later took on the newly acquired bells to begin a handbell choir. This was a musical odyssey that she pursued for the next 31 years.
Margaret was driven to serve and had a dedication to Powell that lead to her membership in the League of Women Voters for many years. One of the proudest accomplishments while active in the league was to see that the Clark’s Fork River be protected under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. She was also involved in Powell’s Fine Arts Club and was a dedicated member of the Powell Hospital Board. During her tenure on the board, she oversaw the recruiting of new physicians to the area, who were badly needed during that time. She also was part of the planning and execution of the current health care facility, and has been a recipient of the care she so wanted to provide for the citizens of Powell and the Big Horn Basin. She was locally awarded Mother of the Year in 1973 and Citizen of the Year in 1983.
Margaret was an accomplished musician, particularly on the piano and the marimba. As a college student, she competed at the national level with her marimba quintet and was awarded first place for its performance. She continued to entertain the residents and nursing staff at the Powell Valley Care Center with her many renditions of “Amazing Grace,” both vocally and on the piano.
She is survived by her husband, Bob; son Ken (Sheryl) of Fort Collins, Colo.; daughters Barb (Tucker) Fulton of Powell; and Bev (Craig) Leeper of Las Vegas, Nev.; grandchildren Kirsten (Dr. Eric) Dodson of West Chester, Ohio, Robin (Dr. Sam) Hoffmann of Sheridan, Katie Fulton of Billings, Mont., Dr. Erin (Ty) Pedersen of Cody, Kelly Fulton of Casper, Ryan Leeper of Las Vegas, Nev., Airman First Class Ken (Jennie) Leeper of Oklahoma City, Okla; great-grandchildren Blake and Olivia Dodson, Megan, Annie, Erin, and Larissa Hoffmann and Laurie Murray.
Margaret’s love of music, children, animals, and Powell are the legacies she leaves for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She will be sorely missed by her family and her devoted husband of 67 years, Bob.
Memorial services will be held Friday, Aug. 24, at 2 p.m. at Union Presbyterian Church in Powell.
Memorial donations can be made to Union Presbyterian Church, 329 N. Bent St., Powell, WY 82435.
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.