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Beatrice Bernice Wilkes

Beatrice Bernice Wilkes

Female 1920 - 2020  (99 years)

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  • Name Beatrice Bernice Wilkes  [1, 2
    Born 9 Jun 1920  Franklin, Macon, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    Gender Female 
    Name Beatrice Bernice DeWeese  [3
    Residence 1930  Franklin, Macon, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Died 28 Jan 2020  Franklin, Macon, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    • Beatrice Bernice Deweese, 99, of Franklin, passed away on Tuesday, January 28, 2020.

      Born in Macon Co, she was the daughter of the late Grady and Annie Bryant Wilkes. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Marvin Cornell Deweese; two brothers, Herman and Clifton Wilkes and two sisters, Leona Wilkes and Frances Passmore. Beatrice was the oldest active member of Burningtown Baptist Church.

      She is survived by two sisters, Eugenia Dills of Franklin and Kay Houston (Mike) of Highlands and numerous nieces and nephews.

      Funeral Service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, February 1st in the Chapel of Macon Funeral Home. Rev. Jim Kinard and Rev. Charles Stevens will officiate. Burial will be in the Burningtown Baptist Church Cemetery.

      The family will receive friends from 6-8:00 p.m. Friday, January 31st at Macon Funeral Home.

      In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Burningtown Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, C/O Eddie Simonds, 279 Edwards Rd, Franklin, NC 28734.

      Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

      https://www.maconfuneralhome.com/memorials/beatrice-deweese/4087551/index.php
    Buried 1 Feb 2020  Burningtown Baptist Church Cemetery, Macon, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Person ID I22852  tng Genealogy

    Father Grady Henry Wilkes,   b. 22 Apr 1894, Macon, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Dec 1967, Sylva, Jackson, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Annie Bryant,   b. 12 Jul 1903, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Sep 1970, Macon, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Family ID F7688  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Marvin Cornell Deweese,   b. 9 Dec 1913, Macon, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Oct 2000, Highlands, Macon, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 86 years) 
    Married 1939  Macon, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F7687  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map Click to hide
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 9 Jun 1920 - Franklin, Macon, North Carolina, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1930 - Franklin, Macon, North Carolina, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 1939 - Macon, North Carolina, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 28 Jan 2020 - Franklin, Macon, North Carolina, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Clifton Wilkes & Beatrice Wilkes Deweese photo
    Clifton Wilkes & Beatrice Wilkes Deweese photo
    default/Beatrice Bernice Wilkes Deweese photo.jpg
    default/Beatrice Bernice Wilkes Deweese photo.jpg

  • Notes 
    • A lady with class: Beatrice Deweese lets her light shine

      By Matthew L. Baker

      For The Franklin Press 21 May 2009
      http://www.thefranklinpress.com/articles/2009/05/21/living_in_macon/01living.txt

      My friend Beatrice Deweese, is a model of commitment to God, family, and country and also a member of "The Greatest Generation." Although she'll soon be 89, Mrs. Bea as her friends call her, still keeps house, tends a garden and firmly proclaims, "I just don't want to be a burden to anybody."

      Beatrice Wilkes was born in the Olive Hill community on June 9, 1920. Born to Grady Wilkes and Annie Bryant Wilkes, Bea was older than her brothers and sisters. She herself wasn't blessed with children, but she claimed later in life that she was a mother because she was the oldest child and took care of all of her brothers and sisters.

      Grady Wilkes was a big influence in his daughter's life. It was only natural that she helped him in the fields since she was the oldest." My dad was the most honest man there ever was. He said that if he got any money and he owed somebody, that it wasn't his until he had paid the money that he owed," she recalled. Grady Wilkes was also fond of yellow root tea and gave it to the children for nearly everything that ailed them.

      Mrs. Bea remembered vividly the hard times of her youth. Her daddy often worked all day for a 25-pound bag of flour. If he was lucky to work for a wage, he'd get 10 cents an hour.

      "A dime was worth something then," she told me. Her daddy took a stick and measured her feet for new shoes. Kids then got one pair of shoes and went barefooted in the summer.

      People either grew or made most everything they needed, because nobody had any money and going to town was a long trip. John Roper ran the Rolling Store up through Oakdale and down Olive Hill. He made a lot of stops and brought staples such as flour and sugar. Bea often ran out of the house with her brothers and sisters to meet him and see what he had to sell that day.

      Mrs. Bea came of age during the Hoover days.

      Hoover declared, "A dollar a day and a pair of overalls were enough for any man." The trouble was that many people had nether of the two. The Bank of Franklin failed and if anyone had anything in it, they lost it. Bea told me that her family "didn't lose anything because we didn't have anything to lose."

      In those days, a family on hard times had no assistance, as we know it today. It was "root hog or die" as someone once said. The church family couldn't help much because they were "poorer than Job's turkey," Mrs. Bea told me. The Red Cross handed out some material for dresses, but that's about all that there was.

      "The old days were hard times, but good times," Mrs. Bea remembered. The neighbors often pitched in and had barn raisings. Men would gather up materials and put up a barn while the women cooked meals. Grady Wilkes worked at the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) camp and contracted measles while working there. The whole family except Bea, got the measles. This left her milking the cows and keeping house, until she got hurt and couldn't do it. The neighbors pitched in until everyone was well.

      Olive Hill School stands lonely and worse for wear at the intersection of Carson Cove Road. In the old days, it was the center of activity in the community. Bea remembered fondly her days of attending school there. The kids often brought their lunch in a lard bucket. One day a family of kids brought their lard bucket to school but they got the wrong bucket. "They went to eat and all they had was a bucket of honey," she laughed.

      Kids then played a game that the old-timers called "Antne Over" (Annie Over). A group of kids would stand on each side of the schoolhouse while one side yelled "Annie" and the other side yelled "Over." They would throw a ball back and forth and whoever caught it the most times won.

      Teachers back then were allowed to discipline students more than teachers do today. When the students misbehaved, the teachers would send them outside to break off a switch and then come in and receive their punishment. School wasn't emphasized as much in those days. The school year lasted only from July until Christmas. Students took a recess in July when blackberries were ripe, so they could help pick them.

      In those days, the closest church was in Iotla, a long walk away. Olive Hill School served as a school and church. Revivals were a big event in those days and lasted two weeks at a time. There was standing room only every evening as praying, preaching and singing ran on into the night. Seekers went forward and Christian people would gather around them and pray for them. Bea recalled that the most important moment of her life occurred at age 14 when she went forward and accepted Christ at one of those Olive Hill revivals. "My faith is what sustains me," she later told me. There was always a baptizing at the end of the revival, for those who had been saved.

      Bea married Cornell Deweese in 1939. The war broke out shortly after they married and she remembered that Cornell didn't have to go overseas because he had asthma.

      "Couples then married to stay together," she told me. Cornell and Bea were married 60 years before he passed away.

      WWII brought about a lot of change. All the young, able bodied men had to go off to fight the war. Up until this time, there were few jobs for women, but with a large portion of the labor force overseas, women were needed in the workforce. Many had to "lay in there and plow," as they were left to hold down home and hearth.

      WWII was the first war in which women served in great numbers. They were called WACS (Women's Army Corps). The women's branch of the US Army was officially created on May 14, 1942. Many women served as nurses and in other non-combat positions.

      Bea worked at a public job for the first time, just as many women did during WWII. She trimmed mica on Carson Cove with her sister Frances, while her husband Cornell worked in the mine. Bea remembered that she was paid a dollar per pound of mica and could do pretty well if the mica was good. Often they got what was called "washer punches," mica that was small and didn't work very well.

      Bea was listening to the radio on the day Roosevelt declared the war was over. She said that when the announcement came, people ran out of houses, hollering and cheering as church bells rang in celebration that the war had ended.

      While we were visiting, I noticed Mrs. Bea's Bible lying on the table. We talked about how important her faith was to her. The hardest time in her life was when her husband Cornell passed away, and she told me that she probably wouldn't have made it had the Lord not been with her. She cited John 3:16 (For God so loved the World that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life") as her favorite Bible verse.

      "It sums up the Scripture in a nutshell and can make your life straight," she told me. "It's not all been flowery beds of ease, but I've been blessed with wonderful family and enjoyed a reasonable portion of health. I want to be remembered for just what I am. If I've got an enemy in this world, I don't know who they are. I can put my arms around anybody and tell them that I love them. That's a good feeling to have when I lay down at night!"

  • Sources 
    1. [S342] North Carolina Birth Index, 1800-2000, Ancestry.com, (Name: The Generations Network, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2005;).
      Roll Number: B_C061_68001; Volume: 20; Page: 231
      [ View birth certificate]
      Name: Beatrice B Wilkes
      Gender: Female
      Race: White
      Event Type: Delayed Birth
      Birth Date: 9 Jun 1920
      Birth County: Macon
      Parent1 Name: Henry G Wilkes
      Parent2 Name: Annie Bryant
      Roll Number: NCVR_B_C061_68001
      Volume: 20
      Page: 231

    2. [S337] 1930 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com, (Name: The Generations Network, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2002;).
      Year: 1930; Census Place: Franklin, Macon, North Carolina; Roll: 1704; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 7; Image: 440.0.
      http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1930usfedcen&h=115256306&indiv=try
      [ View Federal Census Document]

    3. [S541] U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current, Ancestry.com, (Name: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2012;), https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/206666262.
      Record for Beatrice Bernice DeWeese
      https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=60525&h=171269577&indiv=try