Josephine Cramer Hoover died February 9, 2021 at age 85, at her home in Evergreen, Colorado, unexpectedly of heart failure.
Birth, Early Background. Josie was born June 20, 1935 in Fort Payne, Alabama, the oldest child of Samuel N. Cramer and Ruth E. McElroy. Samuel was a Presbyterian minister who served remote congregations across Appalachia in Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina, so Josie moved often as she grew up.
After graduating from Centre College in 1956, an aptitude test showed she would do well in a career in government. Shortly thereafter Josie was hired by the CIA. In 1959 she was assigned to Saudi Arabia as an analyst, under cover as a State Department employee, and lived there for three years. Famously, she was one of, if not the first, women to drive in Saudi Arabia, transporting diplomatic pouches. She kept up with developments in the Middle East throughout her life.
Life in Evergreen. After extensive international travel, including living in Ankara, Turkey for four years, Josie moved with her family to Evergreen, Colorado in 1972, where she put down roots. In 1974 she began volunteering for the newly formed Jefferson County Historical Society (“JCHS”, now named the Evergreen Mountain Area Historical Society), and continued serving her community for the next 46 years, until the COVID pandemic began.
Among many roles for the JCHS, Josie served on the Board, cataloged the collection including oral histories, photographs and documents, served as its librarian, and as tour guide. Recently she was honored as one of the longest-serving volunteers in the Jefferson County Open Space program. She volunteered for other local organizations in many capacities over the years, including the Heritage Grove Steering Committee, the Church of the Transfiguration Historical District Committee, the Evergreen Jazz Festival and the Humphrey History Park and Museum, which was established by her late and longtime friend, Hazel Lou Humphrey. Josie was passionate about preserving the history of her beloved mountain community.
In 1977 Josie earned her Masters in Library Science from the University of Denver, and thereafter worked as a librarian for the Jefferson County School District until her retirement. Her love of books and history were shared by her second husband, whom she met through their mutual volunteer work with the JCHS. David L. Hoover and Josie were married in the chapel of the Hiwan Homestead Museum in 1982.
Family. Josie is survived by her daughters Amelia Adair (married to Martin Adair) and Teresa Holden (married to Rho Holden), her sister Judy Kite and brother Noel Cramer (married to Kathy Cramer).
Memorial, Donations. A memorial service honoring Josie will be scheduled in Evergreen, Colorado during the summer of 2021. If you would like to be notified of her memorial, please contact the family at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Josie’s memory to either the Evergreen Mountain Area Historical Society, Get Involved | Evergreen Mountain Area Historical Society (jchscolorado.org) or the Humphrey History Park and Museum, Membership Brochure Online.pdf (hmpm.org).