Beatrice Rebic, 93, died peacefully in her sleep at the Chautauqua County Home on Saturday, August 23, 2014.
Born Beatrice Rose Smith in 1920 to Edward and Cecilia Smith in Angola, NY, she attended public schools and then worked as the office manager of the Angola Dairy.
On her way to and from the dairy, she would see a particularly handsome young man, 17-year-old Melvin Rebic, standing at the bus stop across the street. He would smile and wave as she passed. One evening, at a local dance, he politely asked if he could take her out the next weekend. She gladly replied, “Yes!” However, when Friday came along, he phoned and said he was sick. He could tell on the phone that she was angry and didn’t believe him. So he showed up at the office to prove to her that he wasn’t lying; he was covered with chicken pox!
Melvin joined the Navy on his 18th birthday and served in the European Theatre of WWII for three years. Upon his return, on April 12, 1946, they married and bought their first home in Angola. They would remain happily devoted to each other for the next 67 years, until his death in March 2014.
Beatrice left her position at the dairy to work for eight years as executive secretary to William T. Hoag, principal of Angola High School. She was a member of the Most Precious Blood Church choir in Angola for 10 years and taught Catechism. She was also a charter member of the Ladies Auxiliary at the Lake Erie Beach in Angola, for which she frequently served on the board of elections.
Their first son, Ronald, died in infancy, but they were soon blessed with another son, Donald, who never left his mother’s side. Proudly she would say, “I never had a baby sitter.”
In 1958, the couple moved to Fredonia where together they built their own house. Melvin took up flying, bought a small plane, and they traveled all over the country.
A devout Catholic, Beatrice was a member of Fredonia’s St. Joseph Church for more than 50 years and was active in such organizations as Catholic Charities and Meals on Wheels.
She is survived by her son, Donald (Christina), a professional pianist and musical director in New York City, and by her niece, Janet Carlson Milliken and nephews, Bob and Ronald Carlson.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m., on Saturday, August 30, 2014 at St. Joseph Church, 145 E. Main St., in Fredonia, NY with Fr. Charles Zadora officiating. Relatives and friends are invited to attend Beatrice’s Mass of Christian Burial.
In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Joseph Church in Beatrice’s memory would be appreciated by the family.
All arrangements have been made by the Fantauzzi Funeral Home, 82 E. Main St., Fredonia, NY. Michael R. Fantauzzi, director.