Willie Beatrice “Bea” Giles was born on June 9, 1926 in Memphis, Tennessee to Lillie Mae Chatman and Isaac Cooper. She was their only child. Soon after her birth, her mother married her Step-father, Isaiah Watkins who raised her as his own.
Bea spent her childhood and adolescence in Memphis, completing her education there, but at age 24 she headed north to Cleveland, Ohio to begin her career as a Beautician. Bea absolutely loved her work and her clients. Early in her career she became co-owner, with Evelyn Smith, of “B & E Velvet Touch” Beauty Shop. By the time she retired she had bought and managed several other shops in the area including LaFemme & WBG. She was a member and past president of the Ohio Association of Beauticians, Chapter 18.
Growing up, church was always a very important part of life for Bea’s family. She accepted Christ at a young age, was baptized, and became a member of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church. That love for God and the Baptist church lead her to The Historic Greater Friendship Baptist Church here in Cleveland where she was a faithful member and devoted to Usher Board #2. She served many years as Treasurer of the board.
Bea met and married the “love of her life”, William (Bill) Giles, in 1968. They both loved to travel and did so as members of The Couples Club. After Bill’s death, Bea’s love for traveling led her to join The Travelers’ Club, and a group called The Ten of Us. Bea’s combined travel experiences took her throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. Bowling was also one of her favorite pastimes.
In addition to her parents and her husband, Bea is preceded in death by cherished aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Bea leaves to celebrate her life her Stepson, James Rush (Farmington, MI); 1st Cousin, Mary E. Davis & family (Richmond, IN); Aunt, Jessie M. Beasley (Dayton, OH); her “adopted” sister, daughter, and granddaughter, Catherine Torain, Gloria Hayes, & Pamela Simpson & sons.
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