Bea was a Campbell, California farm girl, growing up among the prune and apricot orchards. She was in one of the first graduating classes at Campbell High School. While earning a teaching degree at San Jose State College (now San Jose State University), she met her future husband, Jerry. Shortly after they were married, they took their infant son, Curt, to Germany where they taught on an Army Base for 2 years. Frequently, they took advantage of their time in Europe to travel and ski all over the continent. Son Lee was born soon after they returned to the USA. Bea and Jerry co-owned a modest ski cabin in Soda Springs, where they spent winters skiing at local resorts, and summers enjoying the beautiful Sierra Nevada. Bea taught elementary school in the Alum Rock School District until her retirement in 1991.
Bea was a devoted wife and caregiver for her husband, who was confined to a wheelchair in 1976 until his passing in 1994. Never were they without dogs and cats in their house, and big dogs were their favorites: 2 Afghans, a Borzoi, a Dalmatian, an Irish Setter, and a Greyhound. Thomas, a Corgi/Jack Russell terrier mix, has been with Bea for the last 14 years and is still going strong.
She was a devoted grandmother to Natalee, daughter of Lee and his wife Margee; Rachel, Lauren, and Nicole, daughters of Curt and his wife Cristi; and great-grandson, Jason, all of whom survive her. Her only niece, Cecilia Kilian, and her 2 sons, Alex and William, live in France.
Bea was very active in her educational sorority, Delta Kappa Gamma, and was instrumental in helping find and contact alumni of Campbell High School for quarterly reunions. She enjoyed volunteering at Youth Science Institute thrift store in the Alum Rock neighborhood. She played bridge for decades with many of the same colleagues she taught with.
We love her and will miss her very much. In the words of many who knew her, she was “a true lady.”
Please contact the family for information about services to honor her memory. In lieu of flowers, donations to an Alzheimer’s charity of your choice is appreciated.
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