Bertha Mae (Bea) Payette West, 93, resident of Brookridge Memory Care died peaceably Jan. 21, 2013. She was born Jan. 20, 1920, in Randallstown, Md., and was very proud that she had lived in 27 different places during her life, moving often during the years her first husband, Ralph A. Payette, was in the Army. After Ralph retired from the service, she lived in Pikesville, Md., and Reisterstown, Md., then moved to Marquette in 1983 (a year after Ralph's death). On Nov. 16, 1985, she married retired Air Force Lt. Col. Leonard A. West, whom she had met on a blind date and fell in love with at first sight. She then split her years between their winter home in Alamogordo and their summer home in Marquette before living seven years at Woodland Assisted Living, Negaunee.
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She worked as an R.N. for many years in the Baltimore area, at Lutheran Hospital, Montrose State School and Crittenden Home, to name a few. In 1974, she took a leave of absence from her job to obtain her B.A. in Nursing at St Joseph's College in Maine.
She was a leader of the Old Court Girls' 4-H Club for almost 25 years, working alongside her friend, Wilma Nott. She also volunteered at many summer 4-H camps as an instructor and camp nurse. Bea taught kid's first aid, knitting, crochet and one year when the cooks shorted the campers and took home the food. She and Wilma ended up being the camp cooks for the week.
In Marquette, she volunteered at the mall taking blood-pressure readings and donated over 300 hours at the local Planned Parenthood office. She had a love for the outdoors and loved to oil paint. For many years, you could see evidence of her work on the spare-tire cover of the RV that she and Len used to travel around the country. Len also taught her to golf. She loved to have afternoon tea and cookies with her neighbors in Alamogordo and often played Uno with a group of friends in Marquette.
She was a member of Grace Methodist Church while in Alamogordo and at First United Methodist Church in Marquette.
She is proceeded in death by her parents Richard Eugene and Ella Victoria McGinnis, two brothers Milburn (Mac) McGinnis and Robert Douglas McGinnis (Charlotte), of Baltimore; and both husbands, Ralph A. Payette and Leonard A. West. She is survived by five children Patricia E. Payette, of Bayonne, N.J.; Kimasa Sindel, of St. Louis, Mo.; James R. Payette (Susan), of Lexington, Va.; Michael K. Payette, of Curlew, Wash.; and Kathleen Foulks (Steven), of Marquette, Mich.; nine grandchildren Liz (Greg) Issitt, of St. Louis; Geoffrey (Megan) Sindel, of St. Louis; Jason Sindel, of St. Louis; Jed Payette, of Lexington, Va.; Jenny (Duffy) Pope, of Knoxville,Tenn.; Rachel Payette, of Las Vegas, Nev.; Nicole Payette, of Spokane, Wash.; Douglas (Megan) Foulks, of Marquette; and Danielle Foulks of Ionia, Mich.; and seven great-grandchildren Mariah, Aubrey, Josh, Tony, Jasmine, Annie and Madison; a step-daughter Patricia (Marcus) Brady, of Alamogordo; three step-grandchildren Shane, Troy, and Theresa; and four step-great-grandchildren Gabriel, Samantha, Bobby and Alexia.
Donations can be made in her honor to Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan, 1219 N. Third St., Marquette, MI. 49855, or First United Methodist Church 111 E Ridge St., Marquette, MI, 49855.
The Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at www.swansonlundquistfuneralhome.com.
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Jan. 27 to Feb. 5, 2013