Sunday, January 13, 2008

Rev. Samuel George Bovill

From keepmecurrent.com

Life of service and caring remembered

By Kate Irish Collins
Assistant Editor-Sun Chronicle

SACO (Jan 8): The Rev. Samuel George Bovill will be remembered not only for his caring and compassionate service to others – but also for the fiercely competitive way he played cribbage, said family and friends during a service of remembrance held in his honor last week.

Bovill, who was the minister of visitation at the First Parish Congregational Church in Saco, died at his Scarborough home on Dec. 29 at the age of 86. A memorial service was held for him at First Parish on Jan. 3.

During the service, Bovill was also remembered as someone who made everything he touched better, for his sense of humor, his frugality and for being a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

“He was truly one of those people who left everything he found better - churches, communities, families and individuals,” said Rev. Doug Nielsen, who officiated at Bovill’s service. Nielsen said one of the things he most treasured about Bovill was that he only wanted to be “increasingly useful.”

“He was the single most graceful soul I have ever known,” he added. “We have gathered to witness the life of a most marvelous man.”

Bovill was born in Philadelphia and left school at the age of 16 to help support his family during the Great Depression. When WWII broke out, he served in the Army Air Corps. After mustering out of the Army in 1946, Bovill attended the Bangor Theological Seminary and the University of Maine at Orono.

He served in six different congregational churches throughout his career as a minister, including 21 years at the Williston-West Church on Portland’s West End. While living in Portland, Bovill was named one of the first recipients of the Jefferson Award, which is given for outstanding public service.

Just a few of his outreach activities included serving fish chowder luncheons to local senior citizens for more than 11 years and being an active volunteer with Hospice of Maine, various local libraries and with Little League.

Bovill and his wife, Victoria, had a total of five children. One of their children, James Bovill, died in 1983. The Bovill’s also have 19 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

At the memorial service last week, Bovill’s family remembered him as being a huge Red Sox fan, a fierce cribbage player and someone who always saw the positive in every situation.

“He was not the nice old man many of you knew from church on Sunday when the cribbage board came out,” Bovill’s grandson Matthew Richards recalled, garnering laughter from those filling the pews in the crowded church.

“But he always saw the positive in every situation and could always find the silver lining. If you could all take this trait and add it to your lives I know it would make my Gramp proud,” Richards said.

Another grandson, Andrew Lupien, put together a few lines from various poems written by Bovill’s favorite poet – Robert Burns of Scotland.

“If my parting has left a void, fill it with remembered joys . . . My life’s been full I’ve savored much . . . If you listen with your heart you’ll hear my love around you soft and clear,” Lupien quoted.

A granddaughter, Devon Bovill, said her grandfather was someone who knew how to live every day to its “absolute fullest” and that he also knew life was beautiful.

Robert Bovill, one of the Bovill’s three sons, said that although his parents weren’t the wealthiest people they still managed to give their five children the best gift there is – unconditional love.

“I know dad always worried about whether we knew he loved us. And I would tell him with or without words he always showed his family how much he loved them. His actions always showed how deeply his unconditional love flowed,” he said.

Original article here

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