Elizabeth Ann “Betty” Bovis
Elizabeth Ann McClurg was born on April 29, 1933 in Indiana and spent her childhood living in Monticello. Her father served as circuit court judge for White County and her mother Lillian was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Her first love was Lake Shafer, a lake, an amusement park, boardwalk, and beach near Monticello. She was a lifeguard during the warm Indiana summers, an early indication of her career path.
Upon graduation from Roosevelt High School, she started her medical training at St. Elizabeth’s School of Nursing in Lafayette, eventually joining the school as a nurse.
She soon secured a role that would define her early career as one of the two nurses on the Santa Fe Railroad’s Super Chief and El Capitan. She saw much of the United States, but most frequently traveling between Chicago and San Francisco. She worked with travelers and celebrities alike, even treating Harry S. Truman.
She joined La Rabida Children’s Hospital in nearby Jackson Park as a Head Nurse, making Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood her home. She later left La Rabida for a research role in the mid-1960s.
Sports car racing started to become a larger part of her life in the 1960s eventually resulting in 52 years as a member in SCCA. She would serve many roles from working corners to operational safety and management in Central Control and later a race team owner.
Through racing, she developed friendships that would last for the remainder of her life. Most notably is her friendship, engagement, and marriage in 1967 to George Bovis, eventually purchasing their first home in the western suburb of Elmhurst, Illinois.
Children Beth and Chris arrived in 1969 and 1974 respectively. She would then devote her life to supporting the education and development of her children through working within the classroom and school system in Elmhurst. Summers were spent on Elkhart Lake and Lake Geneva enjoying the water and sun together as her family expanded to include son-in-law David, daughter-in-law Andrea and grandchildren Samantha and Alexander.
Since 2000, Betty and George traveled the world together visiting 100 countries from their Midwest and Palm Desert, California home bases.
Betty passed away on May 31st after a life serving others, furthering a sport she loved, being fiercely loyal to her dear friends– all while remaining passionately devoted to her husband, children, and grandchildren.