The Transylvania Times -

Rayetta Mildred Graham Bovay


March 20, 2017

Rayetta Mildred Graham Bovay

Rayetta Mildred Graham Bovay passed away peacefully, while holding hands with her daughter, the evening of Feb. 24, 2017, at her home in Brevard. She was 93.

She was the daughter of William Raymond Graham and Margaret Melinda Rutherford Graham, and the wife of André Louis Samuel Bovay, a member of the United Nations Secretariat for more than 23 years and a French professor at New York University.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her brother, Clarence Alton Graham.

She was born April 12, 1923, in Ormstown, Pro-vince of Quebec, Canada. Her childhood was spent on the family farm surrounded by animals of all kinds, which certainly helped fuel her lifelong love of "all creatures great and small." She would later in life seek memberships in several animal welfare organizations and contribute to many related causes.

She attended Ormstown High School where she was ranked first in her class in 1935, 1936 and 1937. She received many honors, including The Margaret Barrie Memorial Prize Scholarship, for which her parents bestowed on her the gift of her first two-wheel bicycle, a prized possession at that time.

She entered McGill University in 1940 and excelled academically. A sports enthusiast, she played on ice hockey, archery, basketball and badminton teams. She was a member of Société Française. She graduated in 1944 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, having majored in French and Spanish. She then attended Mexico City Summer School and quickly developed a passion for travel.

She was first employed by the school board of Greater Montreal, was called upon to substitute teach in various elementary schools and was successful in this pursuit. Yet, on a whim and with dreams of world travel dancing in her head, she one day walked into the Montreal offices of the International Labour Organization (ILO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, and immediately landed a job based on her command of three languages and, quite frankly, her beauty and her charm.

Months later and with her parents' blessing, she found herself aboard the ocean liner Queen Elizabeth, bound for Europe and, ultimately, the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, where for 12 years she would work as associate research officer for the ILO's Editorial and Translation Division.

It was on the shores of Lake Geneva, steps from the United Nations, where she would meet and fall in love with André Bovay. They were married Aug. 30, 1952, in Vevey, Switzerland, and had two children.

The family moved to Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. in 1959. During their 17 years of marriage, she and André shared a love of antiques, skiing, tennis, travel, fondue parties and family vacations in Canada and Europe.

Following her husband's premature death in 1970, she courageously persisted and spent the next 13 years working for the United Nations Development Program in New York City. Her outstanding service as external relations officer in the Division of External Relat-ions and Governing Council Secretariat received considerable accolades.

She retired from the U.N. in 1983 and moved to Newport, R.I. She pursued a second career in interior design and a third in real estate. She was granted the professional designation GRI in 1988 and became a member of the Newport County Board of Realtors in 1993. She was the property manager, for many years, of the Crossways Condominium Association, where she made her home overlooking the ocean.

She was associated with the Alliance Française of Newport, the Newport Athletic Club, the Newport Museum of Art and the Preservation Society of Newport County. She relished working as a volunteer for the Newport Flower Show held each year at Rosecliff Mansion.

Her tenderest emotions were reserved for her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and family across the United States, Canada and Switzerland. Nothing gave her more pleasure than to be in their company. Her trips to Orms-town, Brockville, Ontario; Katonah, N,Y .; Connecticut, Geneva, Chamonix and once to South Africa for a safari, were all made in the name of love.

She enjoyed entertaining at her beloved Crossways home on Ocean Drive in Newport, which was filled with beautiful antiques and "objets d'art" collected through the years. Her eye for interior design was distinctive. Her knowledge of French furniture design, impeccable.

Her generous heart and truly estimable character will be missed. Her "joie de vivre" was unmistakable. Her devotion to family and friends was true, and her pretty smile brightened every room she ever entered.

She is survived by her son, Philippe Bovay and wife, Trudy, of Chamonix, France; her daughter, Anne Fulton and husband, Thomas, of Brevard; grandchildren, Hilary Raye Bovay and fiancé, Andrew Kuhar, of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Brooke Bandler and husband, Yann, of Crans-près-Céligny, Switzerland, and Bree Bovay Porte, of Geneva, Switzerland; great-grandchildren, Anais Marg-uerite Bovay, Jess Bovay Porte, Sienna Lilly Bandler and Luca Philippe Olivier Bandler; brother, Harold Graham and wife, Jean, of Brockville, Ontario; sister-in-law, Ruth Robinson Graham, of Ormstown, Quebec; brother-in-law, Charles Bovay, of Geneva, Switzerland; and many wonderful and loving cousins, nieces and nephews.

Annie Fulton wishes to thank her husband, Tom, her daughter, Hilary, and her mother's caregivers, Marie Dauphin, Linda Potgieter, Teresa Gosnell and Tammy Arnold for their unwavering support and kindnesses during her mother's declining years. She also wishes to thank the very special Newport gentleman, whose friendship Rayetta always cherished, for remaining loyal right to the end.

Family services in Ormstown and Vevey will be private.

Moody-Connolly Funeral Home and Crematory assisted the family.


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