With the passing of Dr. Naomi “Nicki” Boyers Hovatter, Fairmont State University has lost one of its most outstanding and oldest alumni. Hovatter, who died Friday, March 4, at age 103 was honored by the Fairmont State Alumni Association as Outstanding Alumna in 2008. At the Alumni Awards Luncheon that year, she shared some of her memories with those gathered and stated that she attributed her longevity to not resenting growing old and realizing that many are denied the privilege.
Naomi “Nicki”Boyers Hovatter is a 1925 and 1927 graduate. She obtained an education degree from the Fairmont State Normal School in 1925 and received her A.B. in 1927. She went on to become a podiatrist and opened a practice in Fairmont, where she served many young athletes and community members.
"Nicki was one very special lady who was proud to be a graduate of both East Fairmont High School and Fairmont State (then Fairmont Normal School). Her zest for life and keen wit were enjoyed by many of us over the years," said Mary Jo Thomas, Vice President of the Fairmont State Alumni Association.
"I have known her most of my life, and she played a big part in encouraging my volunteer involvement. She led by example. I was delighted that she was able to accept her alumni award in person with such bravado. Many of the attendees at Homecoming that year visited with her and both encouraged and enjoyed her storytelling. She was definitely a woman ahead of her time, and she will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by many."
Hovatter was an active member of a number of organizations over the years, including the Eastern Star, of which she has been a member for the past 59 years. Her work with young men and women included serving on the advisory board for the Rainbow Girls, chaperoning trips, sponsoring social functions and being an outstanding role model. She was married to the late Harry Hovatter and attended Gateway United Methodist Church.
According to her obituary that was published in the March 8 Times West Virginian, family and friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, at Carpenter and Ford Funeral Home, 209 Merchant St., Fairmont. An Eastern Star Memorial Hollow Square service will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, at the funeral home. Visitation will continue from 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday, March 10. The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home with Pastor Steve Meadows officiating. Interment will follow at Mount Zion Cemetery at Marquess in Preston County.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Order of the Eastern Star Chapter No. 34, Fairmont, P.O. Box 6, Fairmont, WV 26554 or to Gateway United Methodist Church, 301 Diamond St., Fairmont, WV 26554. Online condolences and memories may be left at www.carpenterandford.com.