Obituary of Bea Louise Massarene
Bea Massarene, age 99, passed into eternal life and into the presence of the Lord on Monday, December 4th, 2023. She was born in Riverside New Jersy to Henry and Mary Kozianowski. As an infant, her father passed away. At 3 years of age, her mother remarried Dick Miller, a godly man who dedicated his life to Bea, her siblings, and her mother.
Bea's Polish heritage was emphasized in her education in a St. Casimus Parochial School where she was always on the Honor Roll. She became quite fluent in Polish, as well as English. Having a 3-octave singing voice, she sang in both school and church pageants. Having asked Jesus into her heart at 10 years old, she was confirmed at St.Peter's Church. As a straight "A" student, at St.Peter's Parochial School, she was valedictorian for her 8th grade graduation.
Unlike her siblings who all graduated from high school and college, at 15 she chose to leave school to help support her family, by working as a nanny. By 17, she had moved from being a waitress to working inspecting dresses. Her determination and dedication to detail would soon be recognized. At 19, she was put in charge of accumulation for assembly lines in making F4U-1 and P47 fighter planes in WWII.
Weekend getaways in Wildwood, N.J offered a distraction from the concerns of the war. One afternoon, there was a serious downpour. Bea ducked into a USO where a dance was being held. This incident would change her life forever.
As she stood on the sidelines, brushing a strand of wet hair out of her face, she saw a handsome young soldier in uniform on the dance floor. When the song ended, he came over and asked her to dance. One dance was all it took. It was "love at first sight" for both of them. This handsome Navy officer who was 29 years old fell in love with Bea who was still 19. Three months later, on November 18, 1944, she was married to William Massarene and began an adventure that would endure 64 years.
Bill and Bea were inseparable. She worked at the Wildwood Naval Air Base Station and they would find even the briefest times to be together each day. After the war, they moved to Miami, FL where they sold trailers and delivered them up and down the east coast. They settled down for a while and owned a restaurant business. Even a hurricane that nearly ruined their restaurant didn't dampen their spirits. But there would be new adventures as they moved to Denver, CO, (1950).
After leaving school at such an early age, Bea accomplished her goals in her own timing. She got her driver's license when she was 27. Although she didn't have a high school diploma, she became a beautician, owning and operating her own business Golden Girl Beauty Salon for 10 years. Upon Bill's retirement, they moved to Arizona where Bea became a licensed realtor, selling homes and commercial properties. And as a matter of principle, she finally got her GED diploma at 46!
Preferring the cooler climate, they decided to stay in Colorado where they could be closer to their married daughter. Bea loved working with people and became a department manager for MacDonald's Fashions. Finally, she retired 1986 to enjoy traveling with Bill, her life-long sweetheart and soul-mate.
Like so many people of her generation, Bea left behind an inheritance for the generations that follow. The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. requested Bea's personal interview for their archives. This interview is now housed in the American Folklife Center at the Library.
She was preceded in death by her husband, William Massarene, her older sister, Veronica Kozianowski, and her three brothers Larry Miller, John Miller, and James Miller.
She is held in cherished memory by her daughter, Christine Krenek. She is also survived by grandchildren Eric Krenek and Jacqueline Vilcek. Her legacy of great-grandchildren include: Aleksander, Kesler, Mercedes, Adelina, Josiah, Joshua, and Jacob.
"I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13) was Bea's favorite verse. She was joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. She fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith. Her memorial reads: "To Thee I Lift Up My Soul."
Bea's Celebration of Life service will be held January 10, 2024, 10:00am at Woodmen Valley Chapel in the Stone Chapel, 290 East Woodmen Road, Colorado Springs, CO. Bea's favorite color was turquoise. As an avid gardener, she loved all bright colors. So feel free to reflect that in your attire.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Bea Massarene, please visit Tribute Store