Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy 100th Birthday, Grandma Bea

Trisha reminded me: Laurel Beatrix Lemmon Walls would have been 100 today. She was a grand ol' gal as her husband, Howard would say. I had the good fortune to know her during the last half of her life. She was in her forties when she birthed my husband. I met her some 20 years later in 1964 or 65. She was a Christian, school teacher, briefly, a beautician, an artist, a carpenter, a college graduate-Glenville, and a home maker, who welcomed her mother-in-law into her home where they cared for Howard together for the remaining years of Grandma Icie's life.
She always celebrated Christmas with a party. She invited all of her large extended family and friends. She made the best oysters (I had never tasted fried oysters before these parties) And, Howard always made her a "relaxer" to drink as she settled down to enjoy the festivities.
She lived on her own, alone, after Howard died unexpectedly of aneurism surgery gone wrong in 1977. (almost 15 years or so) That is until she fell, and then she met a neighbor/caretaker who wanted to help her. The family figured out how to get her care and give the neighbor some employment. So, she lived in Jan's Personal Care Home until she died in December of 2004, if I remember correctly.
I think of her often - how strong she was and how she looked out for the future life of her son, my husband.


  1. Oh, how I remember those Christmas parties in the 1970's and 80's. I can remember Howard and Bea too, so clearly. and meeting Dave and all the Lucas cousins. I guess its been a while!

    But, what fun we had. I never ate the oysters though, seemed too exotic. I remember Christmas Wassail and how good it smelled in her home.

  2. I always get my dates/years, etc..etc... all meshed together. I may not remember the Christmas parties at Grandma Bea's house very well (other than her tree -with all of the old plastic ornaments and toys- and the fake fire in the fireplace!!), but I do remember our Christmases with her staying at our house. Those memories last with me.... Her scalding hot coffee. Helping her up the stairs as the years went on. She and Grandma Freda sitting side by side in those old hotel chairs watching us kids (most likely sharing an almost-quiet commentary about it all).