Beatrice Muriel (Hall) Willey, age 97, of Edinboro, passed away Thursday, June 11, 2015 at UPMC Hamot, surrounded by her three children. She was born in Edinboro on October 11, 1917, the daughter of the late Merle Leroy Hall, Sr. and Eva Mae (Kline) Hall.
Beatrice graduated from Edinboro High School in 1935 and furthered her education at Edinboro State Teachers College which she completed in 1939. She had known from the age of three when her father carried her on his shoulders uphill to the the South Hill one-room schoolhouse for a visit that she wanted to be a teacher like her father. After graduating from college, Bea went on to establish her career as a Secondary English teacher for several public school systems. She began at Polk and Harborcreek (where she assumed administrative duties as well as teaching). Then, after a break to raise her family, she resumed her career at Millcreek and, finally, accepted a position at Fort Leboeuf HS, from where she retired in 1980 after having taught for over 25 years.
On June 22, 1947 Bea married the love of her life, Farren Emory Willey. Together they had three children. As a young family, they enjoyed family picnics, camping, theme parks, and attending church. One of Bea’s accomplishments was starting the first Girl Scout Troop in Edinboro. She was a dedicated member of the Eastern Star where she was a past Worthy Matron and a District Deputy. She was also a member of the Daughters of the Nile where she once served as Queen of the Nile. She enjoyed being a Charter and Lifetime member of the Edinboro Historical Society.
In her every endeavor, Beatrice demonstrated keen humor, a sense of drama, quick wit, and a zest for life. She made people feel welcome with her laugh and sparkle. Her optimism and good nature reflected her motto. Bea would declare, “Where there’s a Willey, there’s a way”.
Later in life, she enjoyed scrap-booking where she put together souvenirs and memories from a life well lived. She will be missed.
She is preceded in death by her beloved late husband, Farren Emory Willey, in 2000; a brother Merle Hall, Jr.; and, one of her two sisters, Betty Gayle (Hall) Steva; and, granddaughter-in-law, Michelle Geddes Willey.
Survivors include her daughter, Karen Willey of Edinboro; as well as two sons: Douglas Willey and his wife, Christine (Laughlin) Willey, of Wattsburg; and, Brent A. Willey and his wife, Mari (Medford) Willey, of Boonton, NJ. Marjorie Lois (Hall) Eisaman, Beatrice’s only surviving sister, resides in Lexington, KY. Beatrice’s three grandchildren include two grandsons, Brent C. Willey of Sarasota, Florida and Theodore Kinsey of Phoenix, AZ and a granddaughter, Meredith Willey Woolman (Robert) of Columbus, Ohio, also, many nieces and nephews.
Friends may call at the Glunt Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 210 Erie Street, Edinboro, on Friday, June 19, 2015 from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. A service will be held at Glunt's on Saturday, June 20th at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Ryan Grafton officiating. An Eastern Star service will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Friday.
Burial will be in Edinboro Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Shriners Hospital in Erie, 1645 West 8th St., Erie, PA 16505 and the Edinboro Area Historical Society. To send condolences, please visit www.gluntfuneralhome.com.