Alice Ray Hovis Chapel Endowment Fund

The Alice Ray Hovis Chapel Endowment Fund provides ongoing support to the Alice Ray Hovis Chapel at Emmanuel Baptist Church. The family of Alice Ray Hovis and Emmanuel Baptist Church honored Mrs. Hovis by naming the church’s chapel in her honor in 1999 in recognition of her many years of service to the church. Mrs. Hovis was active in children’s and youth work, and was a faithful supporter of the ministry of the church. A Dorothy Horne Decker portrait of Mrs. Hovis hangs in the chapel.

Attending the dedication ceremony for the chapel were Dr. Logan W. Hovis, her husband; daughter Julie Hovis of Ocala, Florida; Mrs. Ann Beck, her sister; and Dr. William R. Thomas, Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church. The chapel was filled to capacity with family, friends and members of the church. The program included the reading of the enabling proclamation, tributes by Dr. Hovis, Julie Hovis and Ann Beck, and a meditation by Dr. Thomas. A reception in an adjoining parlor followed the service.

Naming of the chapel provided the capstone to its refurbishing which included new carpet, fresh paint on the walls and ceiling, and new lights for the organ and piano. The chapel project was part of a major renovation of the entire church.

Alice Ray Hovis was a charter member of Emmanuel Baptist Church. For many years, she had been a member of the Dudley Avenue Baptist Church, which merged with the Calvary Baptist Church in 1954 to form Emmanuel Baptist Church. She graduated from the St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing and later became the first graduate of the St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Anesthesia for Nurses. In addition to her career, she participated in many community activities, particularly the development of Blennerhassett Island State Historical Park. She served as President of the Friends of Blennerhassett and President of the Park Foundation, and she was appointed by the governor to be a Park Commissioner. During November of 1991, she was presented with the Margaret Agnew Blennerhassett Award – the park’s highest honor.

Dr. Logan Hovis was born in McKees Rocks near Pittsburgh in 1917, the son of Helen & Logan W. Hovis, Sr. Dr. Hovis’s parents moved to Parkersburg when he was one year old. Dr. Hovis graduated with the Parkersburg High School class of 1935. He received his pre-medical education at West Virginia Wesleyan College and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor before earning his medical degree in 1942 from the School of Medicine at the University of Michigan. In 1942-43, he served a rotating internship at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. He then came to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Parkersburg to begin his general residency.

After three months here, World War II interrupted his career plans. Dr. Hovis served with distinction as a front-line combat surgeon with the 503rd Parachute Regimental Combat Team in the Southwest Pacific Theater. During his tour of duty, he received two Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, the Qualified Parachutist Insignia, the Combat Medical Badge, the Presidential Unit Citation and the Meritorious Unit Citation. The most historic of the six campaigns in which he participated was the recapture of the Island of Corregidor in the mouth of Manila Bay in February, 1945. Dr. Hovis was among the troops who parachuted onto the island, supported later by beachhead landings. After the island was secured, General Douglas MacArthur visited to formally recognize its liberation from Japanese forces and to make good his famous promise -“I shall return”. After the Japanese surrender, the 503rd Combat Team was deactivated. Dr. Hovis was its last Regimental Surgeon. He then spent several months in Japan as Division Surgeon of the 11th Airborne Division, a part of the occupation forces.

When discharged from the service, Dr. Hovis returned to Parkersburg and resumed his general residency at St. Joseph’s. In August, 1946 he opened an office on Market Street (later moved to 11th Street) and began the practice of general medicine. At the request of several area surgeons, he became involved in the administration of anesthesia, earning the title Fellow in the American College of Anesthesiologists in 1959. In 1960, Dr. Hovis and his partners, Drs. Robert Fankhauser, William Hall, and Robert Lincicome, formed Associated Anesthesiologists, which became incorporated in 1976. Dr. Hovis closed his general practice office in 1968, choosing to devote his professional practice entirely to anesthesiology. He was President followed by Chairman of Associated Anesthesiologists, Inc. until he retired from it at the end of 1984.

Dr. Hovis, with the encouragement of Sister Rita Marie Von Berg, founded the School of Anesthesia for Nurses at St. Joseph’s in 1967. He served as its Medical Director until it closed in August, 1985. Other innovative programs in which he played an active role included the establishment of St. Joseph’s Recovery Room; the initiation of the hospital’s Department of Inhalation Therapy (now Cardiopulmonary Services), over which he served as Medical Director until his retirement; and the establishment of the area’s first Coronary Care Unit. He was also involved in the inception of St. Joseph’s Intensive Care Unit and served as the first Chairman of its Advisory Committee.

Dr. Hovis’s other professional credits included receiving the American Medical Association Physicians Recognition Award in Continuing Medical Education and serving as the president of the Academy of Medicine in Parkersburg, the Parkersburg Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the West Virginia Academy of General Practice, and the West Virginia State Society of Anesthesiologists. He also served as president of the medical staffs of both St. Joseph’s and Camden-Clark Memorial Hospitals. Additional professional memberships included the American Medical Association, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the International Anesthesia Research Association, and the Southern Medical Association. Dr. Hovis also held an appointment as Clinical Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at the West Virginia University School of Medicine.

In his retirement, Dr. Hovis continued his participation in many hobbies including golf, railroad and Civil War memorabilia, photography, travel, Veterans organizations, music and literature, as well as remaining in the Parkersburg Lions Club in which he had been a member since 1946.

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