Juanita Stewart Beall — a devoted wife, loving mother and dedicated grandmother and great-grandmother — passed away March 18, 2012, in her cottage on Tred Avon River at Londonderry Retirement Community in Easton, Md. She was 94.
Born June 27, 1917, in Monroe, Miss., she was the daughter of Julia Elizabeth Day and Edward Eugene Stewart. She moved to Magnolia, Miss., at age 4 after her family home was destroyed by fire. She graduated from St. Mary’s of the Pines in Chatawa and attended Mississippi State College for Women, where she met her husband, Benjamin S. Beall III, who was attending Mississippi State. She graduated from Maryville College of the Sacred Heart in St. Louis and received a master’s degree in social work from the Newcomb College of Tulane University in New Orleans. Afterward, Nita worked as a social worker and newspaper reporter in McComb, Miss.
Nita married Ben on Dec. 22, 1940. Nita and Ben resided for more than 25 years in Bryn Mawr, Pa., where he worked for General Electric while she raised four children. There, she was a member of St. Thomas of Villanova Parish and was involved with the League of Women Voters and various neighborhood and school organizations. Later, they lived for more than 22 years in Lake Forest, Ill., where she was a member of St. Mary’s Parish while Ben continued his career in the electrical and heating manufacturing industries.
Upon retirement, Nita and Ben moved to Pass Christian, Miss., on the Gulf Coast, where they resided for more than 20 years as members of St. Paul’s Parish and the Pass Christian Yacht Club until their home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Nita loved the places where they had lived and the many places where they had traveled. They had a vacation condo in Steamboat Springs, where Nita skied until she was 80, and a cottage on a key off Little Abaco in the Bahamas, where she spearfished for 25 years with friends and family, including her grandchildren.
Nita loved to play duplicate bridge, garden and read. She is remembered fondly by her family for telling stories of life in Magnolia, one of which was the habit of calling the delivery stable and going to Mass on Sundays in a horse and buggy.
After the devastating loss from Hurricane Katrina, Nita and Ben moved to St. Michaels, Md., to be close to family on the Eastern Shore. Ben, her husband of almost 70 years, passed away in June 2010. Until her death, Nita had been residing at Londonderry and was a parishioner at Saints Peter and Paul in Easton and a member of St. Michael’s Yacht Club.
Nita is survived by her four children: son Ben Beall IV and his wife, Millie, of Steamboat Springs, and grandchildren Ben V and Rodney; son Stewart L. Beall and his wife, Bobbi, of Steamboat Springs, and grandchildren Lindsey and Stewart Jr.; daughter Julia Beall Passyn and her husband, Theodore, of Trappe, Md., and grandchildren Andrew, Ted, Katherine, John, Benjamin, Julia, Juanita, Elizabeth and Tallulah; daughter Juanita Edelmann, of Kaikoura, New Zealand, and grandchildren Shayder and Gemma; and fifteen great-grandchildren. She is predeceased by brother Edward Day Stewart, sister Julia Day Neill, grandchild Michael Stewart Passyn and great-grandchild Thomas Arthur Gravely Jr.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. March 26, 2012, at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Easton. Interment will be at the Oxford Cemetery in Oxford, Md., next to her husband, Ben.
For online tributes, visit www.fhnfuneralhome.com.