BEATRICE "BEA" SALTZ GOWDY ~ Class of 1955
February 7, 1938 - September 29, 2015
Beatrice Saltz Gowdy, known to many as Bea, passed away on September 29, 2015. Bea was born February 7, 1938, in Baltimore, Maryland, to Floyd and Girlie Saltz, long time Richland and Kennewick residents.
Bea was the 3rd child of 17 children and she grew up in Haysville, NC and Richland. Bea graduated from Richland's Columbia High School in 1955, and attended Columbia Basin College while living in the Women's Dorms at Hanford working for G.E. She attended CBC three times during her life (mid '50s, mid '70s, and 2007-10).
On July 16, 1956, after a 7 day courtship, she married U.S. Army Specialist Ed Gowdy stationed at Camp Hanford Army Base. Bea and Ed were married 36 years before Edís passing in June of 1992.
In addition to being the wife of a U.S. Soldier and mother of four, professionally, Bea owned and operated an accounting firm in Milwaukie, OR during 1960s to early 1970s, eventually moving back to Kennewick, serving as Assistant Comptroller, W.P.P.S.S., in the early 1980s.
As a young woman, Bea attended Central United Protestant Church in Richland. Later in life, she attended the Kennewick Church of Christ.
During the 1970s she led the Ranchette Saddle Benders Equestrian Team in Kennewick. With the help of several businessmen, she constructed and donated a horse barn to the Benton Franklin Fair. She was involved in Eastern Star (Kennewick) and strongly supported DeMolay.
Her greatest love was family, and family gatherings which involved lots of cooking (which she was known for). Her interests and hobbies included: learning and education (favorite subject: math), sports, horses, camping, fishing, travel, politics and business. After completing the 6th Grade, Bea advanced directly to the 9th Grade graduating high school two years early. Her best high school friend and Richland resident was Kathryn Hudson Williamson ('54-RIP) .
To the amazement of many, Bea returned to CBC for a third time in 2007. In an advanced algebra class and to the amazement of many, she sat with two of her grandchildren also attending CBC. On one occasion when the instructor called out; "Gowdy," three voices in unison were heard to say; "Yes."
On fishing trips, she was always the first to sink her line, and with a smile and to the dismay of all, catch the "Big One."
The weekend before her passing, she shared; "I love you all, please forgive any wrong doings or misunderstandings, I have always tried my best to help others, and know I am in the Lord and am ready to be with Him. I pray He will take me in my sleep." At 77 years old, with baby sister, Sue, close by, Bea closed her bible, laid down for a nap... and was granted her wish.
Bea is survived by four sons: Jim, Edwin Allen, David, and Kevin Gowdy; 13 Grandchildren; 13 Great Grandchildren; and several siblings, nephews, and nieces.
Funeral was held October 5, 2015, at Kennewick Church of Christ. Interment followed at River Heights Cemetery in Kennewick.