Beatrice Alyse ‘Bea’ Kite Austin

Beatrice Alyse “Bea” Kite Austin, formerly of Shenandoah, died on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, two months shy of her 101st birthday. She had lived with her daughter, MaryAnn, and son-in-law, Ivan Barb, in Broadway for 15 years and then resided at Timberview Crossing Assisted Living for the past four years.

Born on Nov. 12, 1918, she was the daughter of Thomas and Edna McDaniel Kite and lived most of her life in Shenandoah. She graduated from Shenandoah High School, was Miss Shenandoah prior to her graduation in 1937 and was the oldest surviving member of the Shenandoah High School Alumnae.

On Dec. 31, 1948, she married Owen M. Austin, who preceded her in death on May 31, 2001. Three brothers and a sister preceded her in death as well, making her the last surviving member of her immediate family.

As a dedicated member of Christ United Methodist Church in Shenandoah, Bea was the Sunday school pianist, choir member and co-organizer of the youth choir in the early 1940s. For the next 40 years, she provided transportation in “Bea’s Taxi” for church events, physician appointments and hospital/nursing home visits. As a devoted mother and grandmother, “Granny Bea” had an infectious smile and was a blessing to everyone who knew her.

Survivors include her daughter, MaryAnn Monger Barb. Grandchildren include Lori Barb of Fairfax, Angela Knupp (Marvin), of Harrisonburg, Todd Barb (Natalie), of Haywood, and Timothy Barb (Tracey), of Shenandoah. Great-grandchildren include Emily, Sydney, Audrey and Mallory Knupp, Ella, Ian, and Sadie Barb, Ryan Barb and Austin Gum (Brooklyn) and Kaity Kibler (Dylan).

At her request, the body was cremated. The family will receive friends Sunday, Sept. 15. 2019, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Christ United Methodist Church, 501 Senior Avenue, Shenandoah. Burial will be private; however, friends are welcome at the Barb home at any time. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Cat’s Cradle, 122 South Main Street #101, Harrisonburg, VA 22801.

While dementia may have stolen her memory, her family would like everyone to remember her strong faith, willingness to help, beauty and sense of style. The family would like to convey a special thank you to Dr. Terry Overby for his expertise, guidance and loving dedication throughout her life. We also appreciate all those who religiously sent cards, especially Paul and Shirley, as well as the loving care provided by the staff members at Timberview Crossing Assistant Living and Sentara Hospice.

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