Bouverne was born in Ghent, East Flanders, into a working-class family. Her parents, Arthur Bouverne and Maria Bracke, sent her to a school that taught entirely in French. As a young adult, she worked as a secretary and, several years later, as a notary.
Bouverne married chocolate trade representative Albertus Dekens in 1932 in Anderlecht, Brussels. The couple had no children. After living in Anderlecht for a time, they returned to Ghent where Bouverne was widowed in 1960.
Until 2004, Bouverne lived independently in her Ghent apartment. She moved into a nursing home aged 95, where she lived until April 2017, when the nursing home closed. She was temporarily relocated until December of that year, when the new facility opened.
As a centenarian, Bouverne remained active and had a keen interest in culture, visiting many museums, subscribing to several magazines, and reading a variety of books in different languages. She took up clay modelling, her first creation being a painted black cat.
Shortly before her 109th birthday, Bouverne fell and fractured a vertebra, from which she quickly recovered. For her 110th birthday, she received a book, written in English, about cats.
Bouverne died on 3 August 2020 in her nursing home at the age of 111 years, 222 days. At the time, she was the sixth-oldest person ever to die in Belgium.