Beatrice (Cimek) Keating passed away on Wednesday, October 21. Born in Northampton, Massachusetts, the daughter of the late John A. Cimek and Maryann (Soliwoda) Cimek, she attended local schools, and although accepted at the Juilliard School, attended the former Commercial College in Northampton.
She joins her soul mate, best friend, and beloved husband, James Francis Keating, who passed away in 1996, and their son, David Cimek Keating, who departed this world in 2011.
Beatrice had a passion for singing, and as a child appeared regularly on Western Massachusetts radio stations. She was an active member of the Polish Choir at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, and the St. Cecilia Choir of St. John Cantius Church, where she taught CCD for fifteen years. Bea was known for her early arrival at the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass, where she would sing dressed in traditional Polish clothing. As a soloist, she will be remembered for her strong and clear voice, and for her most frequently requested song, "Ave Maria" (Schubert).
During World War II she assisted passengers at the scheduling and ticket counter at Union Station in Springfield, one of the busiest places in Massachusetts with soldiers and sailors traveling everywhere. Just before the station was recently re-opened she had an opportunity to tour the facility and gave an enthusiastic thumbs up to the extensive renovations.
She also worked for many years in the offices at the former Pro-Brush company in Florence and was an Executive Secretary at the former Northampton State Hospital.
Bea was a woman with many hobbies and passions. She was an avid baker and cook who loved sharing meals with her family. Over the years she performed in numerous local theatre productions. When she wasn't cheering on her three athletically gifted children, Beatrice and Jim were often found in their vegetable garden.
Bea loved her family and was proud of her Polish Heritage. In addition to her three children, she loved spending time with her nephews, grandchildren, great nieces, and great grandchild as well as passing along Polish and Irish traditions.
Beatrice had a lively sense of humor and quick wit, which made lasting impressions on many of those she met. She will be remembered for her kindness, and leaves behind a legacy of laughter, love, and caring for those in need.
She leaves a daughter Maryann Cimek Keating of Easthampton, a son Sean Patrick Keating of Carlton, MN and his two children Luke and Erin. She also leaves David's children, Abby, Bella, Millie Keating, Katie Keating Medina and her husband Alex and their daughter, Everleigh.
Her sister Anna Cimek Kwiecinski died in 2007 and her brother Edward died in 2003. She also leaves many nieces and nephews.
The family would like thank everyone at Mont Marie Rehabilitation and Healthcare (Holyoke) for the amazing care provided to Bea before and during the truly trying times of the global pandemic. May God Bless and Smile Upon You.
Friends and family are invited to meet for a grave side service on Saturday October 31, 2020 at 9 AM in St. Mary's Cemetery in Northampton on Bridge Road. Bea and Jim loved and cared for hundreds of animals, including the many homeless strays found abandoned throughout the city. Due to COVID restrictions please socially distance 12 feet while wearing your masks. They had a running tab at the Cat Hospital in Northampton to help defray the cost of care for homeless pets. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, Memorial gifts be sent to the James F. Keating and Beatrice Cimek Keating Memorial Fund for Homeless Pets at The Cat Hospital, Damon Road, Northampton or to a charity of your choice. The Boucher-O'Brien Funeral Home was entrusted with her care and services.