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Beatrice J. "Bea" Bourgeois


1933 - 2017 Notice Condolences
Bourgeois, Beatrice J. "Bea" (Nee Hector) Born to life June 30, 1933, in Chicago, IL. Born to eternal life October 20, 2017, joining her beloved husband, Bob, who predeceased her on November 24, 2002. Proud mother of Bob (Sherry), Paul, and Dave (Neslihan Danisman) and loving Grandma of Madeleine and Henry and Baladine. Sister of the late Louis G. Hector (Natalie) of Wilmette, IL, and the late Mary Louise Cuneo (the late Paul K.) and Richard Hector. Also survived by many fond nieces and nephews, Marquette colleagues and friends. Bea was a 1954 graduate of the Marquette University College of Journalism and a widely published freelance writer, with more than 300 articles in local and national magazines and newspapers. In the 1970s and '80s she wrote "The Bea Hive," a humor column for the Sunday magazines in The Milwaukee Journal, which generated lively responses from readers. Her work also appeared in Quill, Today's Health, Smithsonian, Country Scene, Ideals, Catholic Digest, Guideposts and Exclusively Yours. From 1981 to 1988, Bea was Graduate School Editor at UWM and from 1988 to 1998 she was Senior Writer in University Relations, and served as speechwriter to two UWM Chancellors. For more than 20 years, she edited the newsletter for Sojourner Truth House, now Sojourner Family Peace Center. Bea and Bob hosted an annual Christmas singing party at their home on Milwaukee's East Side, which became a multi-generational event as Bea played the piano and friends gathered to sing the great old songs from the '20s, '30s and '40s, enjoying Bob's amazing holiday decorations and Bea's traditional holiday cookies. Bea loved nothing more than a spirited poker game and was always ready to deal "one more hand." She enjoyed the theater, especially Broadway musicals and our local theater companies, and films at the Oriental and Downer. She was an avid reader and a member of the Gesu Parish Book Club; when she wasn't reading she was playing the piano or the baritone uke, or working one of many challenging crossword puzzles. On her unfulfilled Bucket List were three major goals: appearing on "Jeopardy!", singing "The Frozen Logger" on Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion", and tap dancing in the chorus line on "42nd Street" on Broadway. Alas. A celebration of Bea's life will take place at Gesu Parish, 12th St. and Wisconsin Ave., on Friday, October 27 with visitation beginning at 9AM and Mass of Christian Burial at 10:15AM. In lieu of flowers, contributions to Sojourner Family Peace Center, 619 W. Walnut St., Milwaukee, WI 53212, or Gesu Parish, P.O. Box 495, Milwaukee, WI 53201, would be appreciated.
Published in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Oct. 25, 2017
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