Girard woman, 78, aids others at SCOPE | News, Sports, Jobs

Staff photo / R. Michael Semple
Carol Bovee, 78, the receptionist at the Warren SCOPE Center, belts out a show tune while working on Friday. Bovee won a northeastern Ohio talent show in 1960.

WARREN — Had her father not been killed in a crash in the Lake Milton area when she was just 18 months old, Carol Bovee’s life may have taken a different turn.

Bovee, 78, the new receptionist at the SCOPE Senior Center in Warren, loves to sing, which she started doing as a teenager. She won a northeastern Ohio talent show in 1960 at the age of 17 by singing “Where the Boys Are” by Connie Francis.

“My dad was a part-time night club singer and guitarist and I kind of followed in his footsteps,” Bovee said. “If he had lived, I probably would have pursued a singing career, but my parents (mother and stepfather) didn’t have the knowledge to get me involved. So now I just do it for fun.”

Bovee is vice president of the Trumbull Senior Production Company, which is based out of SCOPE Senior Services of Trumbull County. She has been singing with the group for 18 years.

“I like singing just for the thrill of it. I like being able to hit those high notes and making people smile,” she said.

Bovee will perform in two big shows this year. The first will be “Back to the ’60s” for the Mercer County Senior Follies Aug. 6 and 7 at Hickory High School in Hermitage, Pa. The other is “Another Opening, Another Show Part 2” Nov. 5 and 6 at Warren SCOPE on North Park Avenue.

“I do show tunes mostly, but one song that is very popular is ‘God Bless the USA’ (by Lee Greenwood) and I have had requests to perform ‘My Way’ by Frank Sinatra. I will do that one in both shows,” she said. “I love to sing. God gave me a gift and I use it. I sing in the choir at my church, First Baptist Church in Girard.”


Bovee was born Carol Graham and graduated from Girard High School in 1962. After her father died when she was a toddler, her mother, Elsie, later married Eugene Veisz, who Bovee said was a “wonderful stepfather.” Her oldest brother, a stepbrother, Gene, was an artist, and he died in 1978. Her other older brother, Bud Graham, was an Aut Mori Grotto clown known as Crackers. Her younger brother, a half-brother, Kenny Veisz, owned Memory Lane Photography on Belmont Avenue in Liberty.

Her first husband died, and she said she met her second husband, Harry, while on a SCOPE-sponsored bus trip to Atlantic City.

“He saw me and he wouldn’t leave me alone until I agreed to go out with him,” she said with a chuckle.

She was married to Harry Bovee for 35 years before he died in August at Washington Square nursing home from complications of dementia. She has one daughter, Kelly (George) Whippo and a granddaughter, Clarissa, 27, who lives in Calcutta in Columbiana County with her husband.

“Clarissa used to sing in shows with me as a little girl,” Bovee said.

She and Harry moved to Las Vegas in 1989 after he retired with the understanding they would eventually return to this area, which they did in 1998.


Bovee worked as a cashier at Kmart in Niles for three years, playing Mrs. Claus at Christmastime. In fact, she played Mrs. Claus all over town for many years.

“That was the performer in me,” she said.

She worked in the real estate office at Starr Realty in Girard for about 10 years before moving out west. In Las Vegas, she worked in the office at the Mirage casino, where she signed up people to learn how to speak English. She later worked in the office for a gaming company called Teddi’s Gaming. She said because the cards used at the casino table games were not allowed to leave Nevada, the workers trimmed the edges off the cards and sorted them into decks to be sold at the gift shops.

Bovee said after her husband died, she felt a lull in her life and wanted to keep busy by volunteering. She met SCOPE Executive Director Mike Wilson years before while singing in a show, so she went to the Warren center in November to see how she could help. It just so happened the receptionist job came open while she was there and she asked if she could apply for the job.

“They tested my computer skills and I did well, so they offered me the job. I love it here,” Bovee said.


She answers the phone, takes messages, keeps track of people walking around the track, gets coffee for people, helps seniors register for classes and activities, and greets people as they come in.

“I love the people I work with. We are always laughing and it’s very laid back,” she said.

But it’s the people she works for that makes her work a calling and not just a job.

“I love being able to help people when they call about needing food, transportation or other services. We just finished our tax program through AARP. Helping people is the best gift you can give,” Bovee said.

In addition to her regular receptionist duties, she instructs the Monday night crochet class and about a month ago, she made 48 cornhole bags for the cornhole league at the Howland SCOPE Center.

“I am a sewer, not a seamstress, so I can do little repair jobs on things to help save money. I also do minor costume repairs for the production company’s costumes,” Bovee said.

And even though she spends most of her time helping others, she said SCOPE saved her life after her husband died.

“I was very close to my husband and I had a lull in my life. SCOPE has helped me fill the void,” Bovee said.

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