Beatrice Eunice Clayton
A memorial service celebrating the life of Beatrice Eunice Clayton, 93, will be held at 2:00 PM Saturday, October 9, 2010 at Gentry-Newell & Vaughan Funeral Home in Oxford, with visitation at 12:30 until 2:00 PM and burial at Elmwood Cemetery in Oxford.
Beatrice-also known as Bea, Aunt Bea, and “Miss Bea”-was the daughter of Effie Oakley Clayton and Albert Clayton. She and her brother, Leva, were raised on their parent’s farm, and Bea remained a life-long resident of Granville County. She was one of the last living members of Gooch Memorial Primitive Baptist Church.
Bea will be remembered lovingly by her surviving family members; nephew Tom Clayton and wife Linda Clayton, their daughters Kristin Clayton, Robin Clayton Ring and husband Marty Ring, her great-niece Kim Clayton-Price and husband, Wade Price and daughter Brenna Price; her great-niece June Ellington and husband, Mike Ellington, and their daughter, Courtney Ellington and son Ashton Wilkins, and Clay’s son Dylan Ellington; her nephew Lee Clayton and wife, Sarah, and their children, Jordan Clayton, Candice Stewart and husband, Brandon Stewart, and Colton Clayton. Bea also leaves behind her beloved dogs, Angel and Sugar.
After attending Croft Secretarial and Accounting School in Durham, NC, Bea enjoyed a vibrant 37-year career with N.C. Cooperative Extension, Granville County Center. It was there she became known as “Miss Bea.” During Granville County’s annual fall Arts and Crafts Fair, Bea became an enduring celebrity. Costumed in a full-length red-and white checked gingham dress and crisp white ruffled apron, she greeted visitors at the bakery, which was later dubbed “Miss Bea’s Bakery Shop.” Her famous black walnut chiffon cake was raffled each year, with proceeds going towards a scholarship to a deserving young person.
Besides scrumptious cakes, Bea’s world-class preparation of fried chicken and little butterbeans endeared her to family and friends. She brought color to lives through gorgeous flowers gracing her yard and tables. A hearty soul, Bea mowed her large yard until age 85, refusing to use a riding mower.
Bea was a devoted daughter, whose main mission in life was to love and honor her cherished mother, Effie, who lived to be 103. Bea also loved music. She learned to play the piano when she was 10 and became so proficient; she regularly played the offertory music at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Berea. Her favorite song was “A Perfect Day.” Later in life, she became a member of Gooch Memorial Primitive Baptist Church in Stem, NC.
Over the past few years, weekly visits to Roxboro’s Golden Corral with Tom and Linda Clayton became what Bea called “vacation.” She particularly enjoyed visiting with manager Lonnie Smith and the wait staff.
The family wishes to express its utmost gratitude for the love and prayerful support Bea’s friends have bestowed during this difficult transition. Special thanks to Gertrude Averett, Jean and Ernest Dean and Joy Dean, Willie and Doris Chandler, Artie and Pam Averett, Blanche Mangum and Larry Oakley and to members of Bethany Baptist Church and Mt. Zion Baptist Church for numerous visits and hot meals over the years. We also thank Bea’s oncologist, Dr. Robin Hardie-Hood, and Bea’s teams of caregivers at Regional Cancer Care in Durham and Home Health Care.
Many will miss Bea’s easy smile and gregarious ways. The family suggests that those who wish to honor her life plant a flower in a garden or make a donation to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, PO Box 4072, Pittsfield, MA 01202 www.leukemia-lymphoma.org.
For online memorials go to www.hall-wynne.com. Gentry-Newell & Vaughan Funeral Home in Oxford is assisting the Clayton family.