Surrounded by family, Beatrice “Bea” Louise Harrison passed away peacefully on Feb. 27, 2014. She was 90.
A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. on March 13, 2014, at the Methodist church in Grass Valley, Calif.
Beatrice was the middle of seven children, born to Christine and Richard Roth. She was born May 6, 1923, in Parkersburg, W.Va., and attended school in that city, graduating from Parkersburg High School.
She served her country during World War II as a WAVE, enlisting in the U.S. Navy. She attended parachute riggers school in Lakehurst, N.J., and was assigned to the NAS at Patuxent River, Md. She served through the war and was honorably discharged with the rank of parachute rigger 2nd class.
It was at Patuxent River that she met her husband, John Victor Harrison, who was also serving in the U.S. Navy.
They settled in Massachusetts and lived in several towns, including Rockland and Buzzards Bay. During this time they had five children — John, Michael, Richard, Connie and Donald. The family moved to California in 1960 and lived in North Highlands, Moss Beach and Fremont, finally retiring to Grass Valley in 1979.
Raising five children kept Bea very busy, but she also had time for her favorite pursuits, such as gardening, camping, riding as a passenger on John’s motorcycles and baking (her Dad was a baker).
She made the best cranberry cookies. Once, when she had baked three trays of them with none to show for her efforts, she reprimanded her son and a family friend for eating them all as soon as she removed them from the oven.
Bea was also very active in the churches she attended. She was a member of the Grass Valley Methodist Church in her later years and served on the pasties assembly line.
And her custard pie? That’s how she kept her husband, John, in line.
John passed away in 2010 and she had been living independently at home until February of 2013, when family members started living with her to provide support and share her time and cherished memories.
How about her raisin squares? John Jr. didn’t like them (he doesn’t like raisins), but everyone else did.
In addition to her children, she is survived by sisters Genny Cross of Parkersburg, W.Va., and Helen Ruble of Mineral Wells, W.Va.; and numerous beloved nieces and nephews scattered throughout West Virginia and the Eastern states.
She also leaves 10 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren scattered throughout California and Washington State.