McRoy Hoverter

 10/20/18 – 05/06/15

McRoyDad was lifted to his next adventure peacefully and surrounded by love. An honorable and humble man, it was all about family for him.
In 1950, Mac and Betty moved to Portland, Oregon from Iowa where he was born and raised, then to the Seattle area in 1957. They built a great life, raising their four kids: Jim, Bob, Kathy and Shirley in Bellevue. Mac’s family blossomed over time with spouses, grandchildren and great grandchildren added to the mix. Each of them is honored to have Mac as their patriarch.
Dad graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Mom and Dad at beachHe started college at the ripe young age of 17 with $50 in his pocket after hitchhiking to Ames to attend school. He worked his way through school washing dishes and swore he’d never eat another bowl of split pea soup. He met mom on a “blind date” in 1939 and was smitten with her from that time on. He liked to say he chased her until she caught him. They married in 1942.
After graduation, Dad used his degree as an electrical engineer and worked for General Electric selling commercial lighting and electrical equipment and designed the lighting for many local hospitals, commercial buildings and dams. After retirement from GE he set up his own consulting business, continuing his electrical SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAengineering expertise selling transformers and wiring and also bought real estate, fixing up rental houses and an apartment building in Seattle.

Dad had a strong work ethic but life was not all work. Family vacations were typically week long camping trips around the state and into National Parks setting up our sleeping and cook tents and checking out the natural beauty of any area we ventured into. He took his family and friends fishing for salmon on several versions of his boat, the ‘Meathook’. He also hunted deer, elk, antelope, and game birds and, of course, crabs and clams. Friends, family and business associates were the lucky recipients of fun-filled dinners highlighting the ‘catch of the day’ and mom would play her part serving these dinners by dressing in a bunny costume and carrying around a tray with candy cigarettes and cigars.
Betty and Mac loved to travel and took their fifth wheel across America, Canada and

Mexico. Their beach house on the Washington Coast is a special place that they SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAhappily shared with family and friends and it will continue to be a peaceful retreat for the family.
Betty and all the generations that follow will continue to celebrate Dad’s spirit and all he gave. We love and miss you, Pop, but we know that you will continue to guide us with your patience and understanding. The only complaint we ever heard from you was: “It’s hell getting old, but I’m sure glad I did”. We’re glad you did, too! What a helluva a great 96 years you had.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAMom’s 69th anniversary remembrance

Now, in case you have heard this before, you are allowed a little snooze while I wander down memory lane….

How we got here!

When asked that question, I wonder how I should answer.  The question goes hand in hand with “.. Here as in Seattle, or here as to 69 years of “wedded bliss!”    I’ll take the easy way out and tell you my story!

I was born in Iowa but raised in Panama with my brother, Jack.  My dad was a veterinarian and worked for the government in the Canal Zone and my mom was an adventuresome homemaker raising two kids in a land far from what she was used to.  But I guess that’s where I must have developed my love for animals, traveling and seeing the sights.  I’m told I may have been a bit “spoiled” but it was really sass, and I still have some of that sass!

I don’t know too much about Mac’s pre-sassy lassie days.  He was raised in small towns (his folks were school teachers).  I did hear lots of stories about his younger days.  As a teacher and principal, his dad had no favorites as his students.  In fact, mac remembers his dad caught him whispering to the girl across the aisle from him in class.  No favorites, remember, so Dad Hoverter got Mac’s attention and walloped him across his back and broke his meter stick into three pieces, and had Mac’s attention from then on!

(Certainly wouldn’t happen in school these days!).   Mac’s family went lake or stream fishing after school let out.  That must have been his introduction to fishing, he was an avid hunter also, and likes to tell the story of how he kept food on the family table as a youngster with squirrels, rabbits, pigeons, pheasants – whatever got in his rifle sites.  He was a crack shot.

Mac & I were “set-up” on a blind date by a mutual friend during my freshman year at Iowa State in Ames, Iowa.  Being the sweet young thing I was, I just couldn’t resist the charms of a debonair frat boy like Mac, so we became quite the couple, and now it’s 70 some years later with 69 of those as a married couple.    Mac says he chased me until I caught him……..  In between Mac’s engineering studies and working at Mr. Loomis’ campus café and surviving split pea soup and his mainstay diet, Mac & I dated.  I met his family:  Brother Dick, Sister Ledred, Mom Mildred and Dad Chester Leroy.  He wooed me with hot fudge sundaes and picnics on the quad and kisses under the campanile.  I traveled back and forth between Iowa and the Canal Zone in Panama, where my folks still lived.

Mac graduated from Iowa State at Ames Iowa with a degree in Electrical Engineering.  He was recruited by GE on the East Coast – report to work now – this was about 6 months after WWII started.  He left for Schenectady NY; I was left at Ames having just onecredit left to take before I got my degree in Home Ec and Art Studies.  About six months later I was able to join Mac and we were married in Scotia, NY at 10 am on 10-10-42!   I still chuckle that later than evening he introduced me as Betty Clay – I guess he didn’t realize what had just happened to him, not sure he has to this day!

We were living in New York for about 4 months right after we were married when we were to be transferred to Ft. Wayne, Ind.  Another 3-4 months there and then back to Schenectady, NY, and then back to Ft. Wayne again!   After about 4 years of that, Mac left GE and we moved back to Manchester, Iowa in 1946 with 1st son, Jim, who was about 5 months old.  Mac had decided to join his dad in Iowa selling barber & beauty supplies (a fine job for an electrical engineer!).  He was on the road a great deal, but somehow we managed to add another son, Bob, to our growing family in 1948.  I was at home with two little boys, stoking the furnace, carrying the heated laundry water, baking and cooking on an old wood cook stove.  It was almost like the pioneer days!  I dried the diapers all over the kitchen at night.  Where were all those great new appliances I had learned about in college!

In 1950, my dad tried to recruit Mac to take a job in Panama while we were visiting down there.  It was too damn hot for Mac. So, then, also sick and tired of the Iowa weather:  cold, snow, rain, heat.  Mac decided it was time to get back to engineering work and move again.  The West Coast.  Oregon or Washington was where he wanted to be.  He and his brother, Dick (who was also between careers) followed the old “head west young man, head west” and made a scouting trip.  They were gone about a week when I received a telegram….  “Pack up everything but the rain coats and umbrellas, we are moving to Portland, Oregon.”   So we did.  The trip out was quite an adventure.  Mac bought an old truck, fixed it up.  We sold what we didn’t need, loaded the rest on the truck and headed west.  Mac headed out driving a cockeyed loaded truck and the boys and I (did I mention I was six months pregnant with our daughter Kathy at this time?), and our big dog, Ching, followed in the Nash.  We hadn’t gone 100 miles when I noticed nuts & bolts falling from the engine of the truck engine.  Mac patched it back together and we progressed west through Colorado, when, of course, the car broke down, a fan belt this time.  Next it was a flat tire but we finally limped into Portland at 10 pm with only five wheels on the truck, me lost somewhere between Salem and Portland on a Sunday night the day before Mac had to report to work on his new job.  Believe it or not, he made it to work on time!

Kathy was born in 1951 in Portland, followed by Shirley in 1954.  We bought our first home in Portland in 1951 – an old 2-story house with a sawdust burning furnace that exploded every so often and filled the whole house with smoke.  Mac’s career was going good and Mildred and Ledred had moved out from Iowa to Cedar Hills, not far from where we were living in Portland.  We started building our ‘dream home’  – a place on the hill overlooking the river valley.  Ground was broken and we were working hard.  Just as the house was nearing completion, Mac got transferred up to Seattle in 1957.  We found our current home in Bellevue where we live to this day and we raised our beautiful kids and watched them grow up, marry and raise their families.

We’ve always all participated in lots of outside activities in between Mac’s work and my peanut-buttering and jellying the kids lunches for school, Girl Scouting, swim meets, soccer games (yes there was soccer back in the 60’s!).  As a family we particularly loved camping, fishing and hunting.  I remember a trip to Minnesota where our dog tangled with a bear in the middle of the night and came out minus an awful lot of hide; a spring trip to the high mountain country when Kathy was a 4-month old baby – we kept her bottle in a snow bank and built campfires to heat it.  Trips to Yellowstone and Mac having to defend the family from a bear with a stick of firewood.  And all the hunting and fishing trips.  Mac never came home empty-handed.  We’d set up a production line in our basement to pluck duck and pheasant with feathers all over the house.  More venison and elk than we could ever eat ourselves and would foist it off on our friends as exotic wild game dinners.  I’d add a little spice to these parties by dressing up sometimes – some of you may remember my Playboy Bunny outfit?   You never saw such a room full of open mouthed speechless males.  I hopped around the room once and beat it back upstairs.  I think Mac was the most stunned of them all!

And, of course, there were the salmon fishing trips.  I finally graduated to a full-fledged member after catching a big slab on Frank Beeghley’s B4 boat.  Then it became a race between Mac, Warren Wehmeyer and me to see who could get to the pole first when we had a strike.

No doubt many of you remember our Eastern Washington adventures.  We graduated from our tent vacation home to fixed up “luxury” accommodations – an old Seattle city bus that we plopped down in the middle of nowhere – George, Washington.  Of course George is on the map now, and we Hoverters like to think we had something to do with that.  After all, we did a lot of whooping and hollering out there in sage brush country scaring up pheasants for hunting, throwing out fishing lines and avoiding rattlesnakes!

Soon, however, we decided a more permanent vacation retreat was in order and thus the “cottage” in Tokeland was established in 1973.  In the heart of the banana belt of the Washington Coast.  This “cottage” was originally a sight to behold.  A dinky little thing literally kept together with staples and plastic wrap to diaper the ceilings.  Thank the almighty that our family was growing and developing their own individual talents because with the construction design of our son Bob, and labor from EVERYONE, the “cottage” was transformed into its present day miracle.  This “cottage” accommodates 25 or more on 4th of July weekends and I know we’ve been blessed to share it with so many of you for a little rest and relaxation.  Of course anyone who has been there also knows that their rest and relaxation only comes after you’ve mowed the lawn.   But what’s a little lawn mowing when you’ve got beautiful sunsets and all the crab you could want.   And Mac, Shirley wanted me to remind you of this – remember the ferret poop you used to put in the mole holes?

With the beach place we had the toys to go with it.  A fun kiddie car we also would take on our 5th wheeler and the boat.  The boat wasn’t exactly new to us, but it fits into the story pretty well about now.  The Meathook III was found and christened after a long search and was the mother of all fishing boats.  Guaranteed to have those Salmon jumping on the hooks,,,,,,,,and right back off again.  You no doubt have seen many pictures of the Meathook   (we couldn’t seem to find any shots of the darn boat actually in the water) and we now hear that it’s being reborn as a fishing vessel for an avid fisherman up in Lynden Washington who did manage to release it from its moorage in our driveway after 10 + years of drydock.  We wish the Meathook well.  It was a good boat.

Mac “retired” from GE but started a new business with good friend Barney Allen. And as we entered our “life of leisure” we got busier and busier.  Mac with his business and becoming a property mogul with an apartment building and rental houses in Seattle and Tacoma.  We got our little 5th wheeler and took many trips with our good friends Joyce and Rusty Hoover, traveling to Mexico, Hawaii, Canada, the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama, back to Iowa and the East Coast.  Each time we came back with new friends and new stories to tell.  Mac always planned these little jaunts with an engineer’s eye for detail and loaded up the truck and trailer with the kiddie car on top and every other gadget we thought we could possible need stowed.  Our trips were planned out almost by the minute.  Itineraries made mileage by day, contingency planning.  Sometimes the rest stops were a little far and few between for me, but I survived.  We’d have our side trips, of course, what is an adventure without adventure?  I seem to remember some emergency help we needed in Mexico when a little dog got a little too friendly and the time we took the “road less traveled” that ended us needing to stay a little longer because the parts we ended up needing for the truck were not to be found in that country.   And wasn’t it in Merida where the Taxi driver refused to take us to the hotel you wanted to take me to because it wasn’t for nice ladies like me?  Or the trip to Iowa where you damned the cop to stop you from driving where you wanted to drive in the flood plain?

Well, I think you’ve got a good overview of our life together.  For now I will bring my little epistle to a close.  My last confession so to speak.  Like everyone else we have had happiness and sorrow, good and bad times, not many arguments, but enough to keep things interesting and lively.  It has been a good life.  Four great kids, five beautiful grandchildren, one great grandson.   And the in-laws are pretty special too.  It seems like every move we made had another addition to the family.  I guess it’s a good thing we finally settled.

Thank you for coming to our party and helping us celebrate two special times in our lives.  It’s been 69 years of give and take and I don’t think I’d change any of them.  I’m hoping and praying that Mac will reach his goal of 100 years and time for another BIG celebration.

A special thank you to all the special family Mac & I have and all the help they have given us for our party today.

6 Responses to “McRoy Hoverter”

  • Peggy Cheeseman Garber says:

    I can’t say that I knew you all well, Mac & Betty or all of you kids who are roughly my age, but I’ve known you all long. You’ve been wonderful neighbors to my Mom and Dad in Bellevue since 1957. Betty, you always could tell a good story and I enjoyed reading yours from your 69th anniversary. Congratulations to you and Mac. What a long and happy life you’ve had! It is hard to watch your generation passing, but we have wonderful memories of neighborhood gatherings. You made it farther than Audrey and Lee. My thoughts are with you in celebrating the long and eventful life of Mac.

  • Dave Chervenak says:

    Hi Kathy
    I’m sorry for your loss, my own dad passed away in 2010. Your dad sounds he was a cool guy. I didn’t know your parents but I knew you – we both went to Enatai Elementary in the 1950’s. For some reason, I’ll never forget the time your black labrador chased me up a round metal pole after school at Enatai Elementary. You laughed like heck as I held onto the pole, afraid to come down. I was afraid of black labs for years after that but I came to realize that my fear was unfounded, black labs are indeed very sweet and gentle dogs.
    Anyway, I just wanted to relate that story and to offer my condolences on you dads passing.


  • Rosetta Smith says:

    I do not usually read the newspaper Orbits, but once in awhile I scan the names and today Mac’s name popped up. Although, I haven’t seen either of you in recent years (I don’t go down as much and when I do, no one is at your place), but how I remember you both as wonderful, wonderful neighbors at our magical Tokeland. We enjoyed your company at beach parties or just a neighborly conversation when you dropped in over the years. We older ones are slowing disappearing, but I hope our children will enjoy that place as much as we did.

    Betty, you are in my thoughts today and I send prayers for your well-being. How wonderful that you had such a long and successful marriage. I am sorry that Mac did not get to his goal of 100. May he rest in peace. Blessings to all your family.


  • Paula R. Brooks says:

    I didn’t know your blessed dad, nor any of your family, but for some reason, I was drawn to read his obit. Blessed be his memory. My father was born in 1924, and passed 4 years ago, and altho a good father, I envy you yours. Mine did not know how to take time for his family. He also worked for General Electric, as an engineer, but always worked. Your dad sounds like he was a man who understood what it was to be a family man, and who was devoted to his family. Your piece honoring him made me cry buckets; happiness for the blessing that men can be, and sadness for the man that my father could not be. Thank you so much for the gift that you have given me!

  • Glenn Landguth says:

    Mac was a member of the Washington Society of Professional Engineers, Lake Washington Chapter. For years I made a point of calling members every year or so. I see now that it has been a few years since I tried to call Mac. He was always glad to talk to me and I have fond memories of those calls. I was sad to find that he had passed. My best to the family.

  • Shirley Hoverter Carder says:

    Hi Dad & Mom,
    So it’s been a year since mom passed and joined you dad in your next glorious adventure. I think about you two everyday and know I’m blessed to have shared such a rich full life. Every now and then I’ll get a little feeling and know its you dad, or you mom and I’ll say “yup, I know you are there watching out for us.” Our family is doing fine, your honor and love flows through us, your grandkids and two beautiful grandkids so far. More I’m sure to come and they will know their heritage and what love has passed on to them.
    Your loving daughter,

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