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Remembering Beatrice “Bea” Gamble

Remembering Beatrice “Bea” Gamble

Shakespeare wrote in Julius Caesar, “The evil that men do lives after them; the good they do is oft interred with their bones.” Well, the love, the good she brought to others, and her legacy of service to others did not die with Beatrice “Bea” Gamble, who died on October 1. Her decency, her godliness, love of humanity, and service to others will never be forgotten by her family, her colleagues, and all the people she helped and whose lives she touched and to whom she served as an example to.

Beatrice, or “Bea,” as she was better known to her family and friends, was the wife and loving partner of her husband, Loni Gamble, they were and are the heart of CAPPA, and she shared Loni’s love of music by singing with him in the group, Sound Cheque and Sugar and Spice — she was Sugar. She was a founding board member of the Community Alliance for Progressive Positive Action (CAPPA), a local youth intervention and development program, and also a member of Lycoming Tri-County NAACP.

Bea’s church and all the activities surrounding it were very important to her. She was a member of Ebeneezer Baptist Church, where she served faithfully until joining Love Unlimited Ministries, where she served as the choir director, hospitality chairperson, and chairperson for the Annual Women’s Day Committee. She lived her faith and was an example of faith in action.

She was very accomplished and respected in her work life as well. Bea, whom everyone lovingly referred to, worked in the Registrar’s office at Lycoming College as the Student Information Specialist since 2001. According to her husband, Loni, Bea was fondly known as “Momma B” around campus. She was a mentor and an away-from-home mother to the minority students at Lycoming College. She soon became “Momma B” to the entire campus. Bea opened her home to many of the students she had the pleasure of mentoring. She would often take students to church with her and feed them home-cooked meals. Bea also hosted students who could not make it home for the holidays. Her proudest moment was hosting 22 students in her home for Easter one year. “Momma B” always made time for her students, lending an ear and an open heart, and giving advice. Another major highlight for her in her work life at Lycoming College was meeting history in the person of Mrs. Minnijean Brown Trickey of the “Little Rock Nine” (nine African American students who desegregated Little Rock Central High School in 1957.) The meeting inspired Bea to pen a paper entitled “Held History Today, or as it was, History Held Me.”

Bea was a woman of many hobbies and talents; she was the creator of the infamous Momma B seasonings, she was well known for her pickle recipes and named the Pickle Lady, and her homemade garlic butter was sure to keep you coming back for more, and her Homemade Healing Chicken Soup was sure to cure even the toughest of colds. Bea was also great outside of the kitchen, often keeping herself busy with various projects and events, wedding/party planning, creating floral arrangements, and interior design are just a few items she was often called upon to help others. Beatrice was a lively storyteller and created several skits for the CAPPA showcases over the years.

As talented as Bea was, she will mostly be remembered for her kindness, warm spirit, and just being there as a source of comfort, support, and encouragement for everyone.

Bea’s husband, Loni, realized what a treasure his wife was and told Webb Weekly, “Bea was a loving, giving, and caring spirit. She challenged everyone that she came in contact with to be a better person without talking about it. She showed us all how to love each other unconditionally. We are all challenged by Bea to ask ourselves how much we have ever loved other people that don’t look like us or even people that do. Bea will be missed deeply by my family and the entire community at large. God blessed me to have had her in my life for 29 years and married to her for 23.”

Besides Loni, Bea leaves behind; children; Kyla Monaé́ Ortiz, Tyrielle Arie Ortiz, Christopher Williams, Barbra Dudley, Maurice Jordan, Kamisha Boyd-Gamble, Tiffany Porterfield; grandson Semaj Pettigrew; granddaughter Saḿ’ielah Monise Schell, & a host of others. God-sister Donna English, God-children Reginald Oliver (Kiya), Dawn and Lenora Holloway, and Nicole Willis, as well as brothers, sisters-in-law, and a host of nieces and nephews.

A well-attended Life Celebration for Beatrice was held at the First United Methodist Church on Saturday, October 29.