Beatrice Haas Walton passed away on June 30, 2021 in Spanish Fort, Alabama.
Graveside services were held on July 3, 2021 at 10 a.m. at the LaFayette City Cemetery and at Jeff Jones Funeral Home, LaFayette, Alabama.
Bea was born March 21, 1930. A graduate of Murphy High School (Mobile), she attended Sophie Newcomb College, Columbia University and graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in education. At Alabama she was a charter member of the Pi Beta Phi chapter. It was at the University of Alabama that she met the love of her life, Bill Walton, a law student from LaFayette. Upon graduation Bea did her practice teaching at Vigor High School (Prichard) and then married Bill Walton, moved to LaFayette and they began their 46-year journey together.
Bea was a teacher and principal for over 30 years in the public schools of Chambers County, Alabama, Troop County, Georgia, and six years at Lee-Scott Academy in Auburn. She retired in 1994 as Principal of Eastside Elementary in LaFayette. She was active in the Sun Belt Writing Project at Auburn University, a member of the State of Alabama Textbook Committee, a member of education groups Delta Kappa Gamma and Phi Delta Kappa and a frequent participant in the education graduate programs at Auburn University. She was proud to be the first woman to be a tenured principal in the Chambers County School System.
As a community volunteer, Bea was involved in many causes in LaFayette and surrounding counties. She was the first woman president of the Rotary Club of LaFayette, a Troop Leader for the Girl Scouts, a Den Mother for the Cub Scouts, Chair of the United Givers Fund and Chairman of the Board and two-term board member of the East Alabama Mental Health Center.
Her lifelong membership in the United Methodist Church was a strong constant. She was raised in the Chickasaw United Methodist Church and married in the Springhill United Methodist Church in Mobile. As a 50-year member of the First United Methodist Church of LaFayette she served in many capacities. She was a long-time member of the Administrative Board, Chaired the commission on Ministries, was on the pastor Parish Relations committee, was a Lay Delegate to the North Alabama Annual Conference, a Sunday School teacher, a leader of the UMYF senior youth group and a lifelong member of the choir.
Bea was predeceased by her husband William O. “Bill” Walton Jr. (Lafayette, Alabama), parents Marianne and George Haas (Mobile, Alabama), Aunt Sarah Robinson (Severna Park, Maryland), sister Nancy Haas Cowles (Fairhope, Alabama) and brother-in-law J. Richard “Dick” Walton (Birmingham). She leaves to cherish her memory her children Marianne Walton Terry of Mobile, Alabama, and William O. “Trip” Walton, III of Auburn, her beloved grandson Russell S. Terry Jr. M.D., his wife Tina O’Shea M.D. and their daughter, her namesake Beatrice ‘Bea’ Shea Terry of Gainesville, Florida. Bea is also survived by her sisters Ellen Haas Cooper of Columbia, South Carolina, and Sara Haas of Phoenix, Arizona, nieces and nephews, sister-in-law Phyllis Phair Walton of Birmingham, step-grandchildren Reilly, Coleman and Forrest Taylor of Montgomery, devoted family friend Ginger Mayson of Mobile and Teresa Ward who, for the past few years, made Bea’s life a better place. Finally, Bea is survived by countless friends met in Mobile, LaFayette, Montgomery and Spanish Fort where she lived her beautiful life; former co-workers in the schools of East Alabama; and the countless students who were a special part of the 36-year career as an educator that was at the core of who she was.
It was Bea’s request that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama, the Boys and Girls Club of Lee County, the United Methodist Children’s Home (North Alabama Conference) or the charity of choice.