Beatrice K. Spielman, aged 92, died Thursday April 25 at the Hock Family Pavilion, Duke Hospice. With her were her son Joseph Klaits, daughter-in-law, Sondra Stein, and her devoted aide and friend Tiffany Baines.
Bea lived in the Triangle for the past eight years, first at the Heritage in Raleigh, and more recently at Croasdaile Village in Durham.
A native of New York City, Bea was an independent spirit, ahead of her time. She worked as an embroidery and dress designer in the 50’s and 60’s, specializing in those glorious black silk cocktail dresses they wear in ‘Mad Men.’ Several of her designs are in the collection at NCSU’s Gregg Museum.
In the 70’s she changed careers and went to work for Avon as a District Manager in New York City and Atlanta. She was especially proud that her Georgia district achieved first in sales in 1983. She was inducted into Avon’s International Hall of Fame for embodying Avon’s spirit of excellence through her ‘initiative, determination and success.’
Bea was an accomplished painter and great lover of the arts, serving as President of Georgia Writers, Inc. from 1994-96.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Albert Spielman. In addition to her son and daughter-in-law, Bea is survived by grandsons Fred Klaits and Alex Klaits, both formerly of Chapel Hill, their wives Laura Rusche and Gulchin Gulmamadova, and four loving great-grandchildren, Adam, Nathan, Adrian, and Sophia.
Donations in her memory may be made to the Gregg Museum Enhancement Fund at the North Carolina State University. www.ncsu.edu/gregg/friends.html or send checks to Ashley McKinstry, ARTS NC STATE, Campus Box 7306, Raleigh, NC 27695.