Bernice “Bee” Louise Reed
Bernice “Bee” Louise Reed passed away peacefully at home on May 3, 2021. She was surrounded by family and those who loved her. Bernice was born in Clawson, Mich., on May 9, 1943, to Bernard Joseph and Dorris Lillian Laichalk. She later moved to Vero Beach, Fla., where she spent most of her childhood and graduated from Vero Beach High School. She attended Central College of Florida while pursuing a degree in child development with a minor in fine arts.
She left this world too soon. Even she thought so. Bee loved life and everyone in it. Her greatest pride was her seven children, 30 grandchildren, and 32 great-grands. She managed to somehow keep track of the growing number, even in her final days. She loved her family fiercely and was affectionately known as “Granny Bee” to her grandchildren and those who loved her most.
She was a fighter, even to the end. She put on a smiling face, through nearly a decade of declining health and insisted fighting through it all. She never gave up and made the most out of everything life dealt her. Bee often told her children, “Where there is a will, there is a way.” She had a strong faith in God and leaned on Him to see her through each trial she faced.
Bee loved to give; she gave by her talents, her passion, and her time – a red barn or country scene painted in oils on the face of a worn-down saw blade, for a newly-married couple, a shoebox full of items for children at Christmastime, a simple handmade card for an elder in a nursing home – her giving was always heartfelt, and she gave a lot. She cared about people and tried hard to show them she loved them. She always wanted to make sure everyone was OK.
She had a passion for painting and crafting that started early in life. Her kids will always remember their mom being on the prowl for scrap lumber so she could create something beautiful with it. She was proud of her art studio, The Beehive Art Studio, where she taught painting lessons for years before her body could no longer keep up with her ambitious spirit. It was here – in her happy place – she started calling herself “The Busy Bee.”
Life was fun to her; she lived with a big spirit and even had a strong sense of competitiveness born in her. She loved to reminisce on her days as a competitive roller skater. She never took this life too seriously and rarely feared anything. Granny Bee completely embraced technology – her iPad was her communication line, and she loved hollering across the room, “Alexa, play some Christian music!” She was always up for a road trip or cruise, traveling to and from, every chance she got. The farthest she traveled alone was Hawaii, when she went there for a One-Stroke (a discipline in which she was certified) Artist convention, in 2003. One of her favorite travel destinations was the Smoky Mountains – specifically Dollywood, where she would take in all the shows and excitement, time and time again.
Like many great artists, though, our Granny Bee was not always disciplined. She was known to rarely be on time for anything. She often joked that she would be late to her own funeral. But she wasn’t late for that. From where the rest of the world stands, she was early.
Preceding her in death were her husband, William Glenn (Bill) Reed; parents; brother, Ricky Eugene Greene; and grandsons, William Jeremiah Reed and Grayson Loyd Phillip.
Those left to cherish her memory are her sons, Gary Reed (Denise), Jeff Reed (Mary), Bernie Reed (Brandi), Josh Reed (Isabel); daughters, Tracey Watson (Michael), Debbie Porter, and Mary Beth Price (Justin).
She is also survived by her sister, Tarri Stewart; 30 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren; along with host of other, sitters, students, friends, and family who loved her dearly.
A funeral service was held May 8 at Monticello Pentecostal Church, with interment following at Riverwood Memorial Park in Brookhaven. Riverwood Family handled arrangements.