BEATRICE (BEA) VASQUEZ SMITH
While surrounded by friends and family, Bea Smith was called home by our Heavenly Father after battling a recurrence of ovarian cancer. She was born in Douglas, AZ to Luis and Refugio Bernal Vasquez. She has three surviving siblings: Hector (Kathy) Vasquez of CA, Sister Maria Louisa of MI, and Lucia Spikes of AZ. She graduated from Loretto Catholic School and Douglas High School. Bea worked at Sears for most of her retail career and eventually owned and operated the Sears Catalog Merchant store in Douglas. She also worked at JC Penny’s in Douglas and Alamogordo, NM where she retired. Incapable of staying home because she loved interacting with customers, she also later worked at Wal-Mart in Tucson.
While working at Sears, she met and married Richard L. Smith and they had two children: Judy (Smith)
Mancillas and Richard (Jerry)Smith. She has two grandsons, Richard (Rick) Smith and Keanu Smith. A woman with a large heart, Bea did not confine her love for just her biological grandchildren. She also included Danitza and David Grajeda and Lynette Arvizu as her own. Bea held a special place in her heart for her nephew Mark Elias, whom she considered as a son. She is also survived by her nephew Paul Vasquez and a niece Gina (Vasquez) Buckwalter both of CA. A woman who valued family above all else, she considered her numerous first cousins as brothers and sisters, and their children as her own. All agree that she was not only a relative, but she was also a true friend.
Bea was an active bowler and traveled around the country bowling in tournaments. She liked to go camping with family and friends, but was happiest at family reunions and watching her grandsons play soccer or football. Although Bea’s retirement home was in High Rolls, NM, she had many homes with her extended family. Whenever she was needed somewhere, Bea would pack up and leave her home to help out those in need. Bea always, always, always put others first.
A devoted Christian from birth, while in Douglas she was a member of St. Luke’s Catholic Church and while in New Mexico she attended the La Luz Catholic Church and First Assembly Worship Center in Alamogordo.
Bea had a very gentle spirit and never had an unkind word to say about anyone or anything. She showed unconditional love to her family and was kind to everyone she met. She took anything that life brought her way with courage and without complaining. Bea was also very, very grateful to all the open doors, love, kindness, and support given to her by family, friends, and medical staff in her time of need.
Bea was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Luis Vasquez, Jr., her son, Jerry Smith, her son in law, Joe Mancillas, and brother-in-law George Spikes.
A Rosary and funeral mass will be held on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at St. Luke’s Catholic Church in Douglas, AZ at 10am.
Flowers are welcome, but if preferred, contributions to Tucson Medical Center’s Hospice (Peppi’s House) or Southeastern Arizona Medical Center in Bea’s memory would also be appreciated.