Born on June 7, 1929, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Elaine “Boots” Stevenson Sapper was destined to stand out. At the time of her birth, Elaine’s mother, Leaugeay (“Mimi”) Stevenson, instructed all the doctors and nurses to NEVER let her baby’s feet be without booties. This directive lead the nurses to call her Baby Bootsie, and the name Boots stuck. The youngest of five children, Boots was an effervescent presence.
Her childhood in Winton-Salem, North Carolina was filled with many happy times with her sister Leaugeay, and her brothers William (Bim), John (Jack) and Robert (Bobby).
Boots attended Carnegie Tech University, now Carnegie Mellon University, where she studied Theater and was active in Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority. In addition to her work at Carnegie Tech, Boots became active in the local theater community performing with Pittsburgh Light Opera. Boots met her husband, Gene Sapper, at Carnegie Tech and the two were married on May 10, 1952.
Boots left Carnegie Tech to follow her husband to California when he became stationed in San Diego with the US Marine Corp. After arriving in San Diego, Boots worked for Convair and started her family. She had four children, David, Michael, Steven and Amy.
Boots brought her vivacious personality and energy to raising her children. She was a cheerleader in every endeavor they undertook and was a constant, playful presence in their lives. While raising her children, Boots brought her irrepressible sense of fun and her feistiness to her involvement with Children’s Hospital Auxiliary and in local theater.
Boots performed as Mamie Oakum in Lil’ Abner at Starlight Theater, as Lucy Brown in Threepenny Opera at The Old Globe theater under the direction of Craig Noel, and at various other San Diego theaters including Coronado Playhouse, and Old Town Theater. Her liveliness knew no bounds and Boots lent her considerable acting skills to her efforts at Reading for the Blind at KPBS.
Her innate exuberance came through in her personal style and her life-long love of decorating and entertaining. Boots loved to be surrounded by family and friends. Many gatherings were instigated, inspired and enlivened by her sheer love of life.
In later years, Boots turned her vibrant energy toward her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and her various pets.
A casting call was announced in Heaven and Boots answered the call on Sunday, February 11, 2018. She leaves behind her cheering section of 4 children, 11 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, her dog Agatha, and many loving friends and family.
Break a leg in Heaven Boots!
Celebration of Life
- Date: March 24, 2018
- Time: 11:00 AM
Please call Amy at 619-507-2736 for service details.