Thursday, June 13, 2013

Beatrice McKinley White, My Mother

When I think of Mom I think of homemade bread, Parker House rolls, mincemeat tarts, Yorkshire pudding, and gooood Sunday dinners, especially roast beef. I remember helping her, or maybe I was just in the kitchen; but for sure she let me be in there with her. My love of cooking began with being in the kitchen with Mom. She was always soft and kind and willing to help others. And she and Dad loved each other a lot. Kay was, for sure, her favorite daughter, being the only one. I imagine we four boys were a challenge. You know the old saying about two boys having half a brain? Well, there were four of us--enough said.

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Mom was born on 13 June 1909 at Gateshead on Tyne, Durham, England. Her only sibling, Thomas Henry, was born ten years later. That means she was an only child for ten years. These two photos were taken in Gateshead with her mother, Winifred. She looks like she was five or six years old at the time. And she looks like a little princess.

Sometime around 1920-21, the family, consisting of her parents Duncan, Winifred, Bea, and Henry moved to Salt Lake City, Utah. Grandmother Catherine Locke Stawart and Uncle Robert Stawart also made the trip. Bea started school where she had an English teacher who complimented her on her grasp of the English language and asked her how long it took her to learn it. She was understandably speechless, having spoken proper English all her life.

During her school years she made good friends who formed a "sewing club" that continued to meet socially after the girls were married. I remember them getting together when I was a child.

Bea was a pretty girl who enjoyed a good time. She worked for ZCMI doing accounting, and occasionally modeled clothing for them. She married Kenneth Leo White on 7 August 1934, in the temple in Salt Lake City. Ken and Bea were so happy together! She always worked with him, usually doing bookkeeping. After starting out in Utah, they moved to Palo Alto, California where they spent the rest of their lives together.

She died on 29 November 1992 at the home of her son George in Puyallup, Washington, where she was visiting for Thanksgiving. Her death followed Ken's by just three months.