from the Cranberry Isles column of the Mount Desert Islander, 3 Apr 2008
Bea Weinreich, a long-time summer resident of Great Cranberry Island, died on March 17, 2008. She is being fondly remembered by friends and family.
Malcolm Donald and Lorraine Bracy knew Bea as a "warm and wonderful neighbor." Ruth Westphal, Geoff Wadsworth, and many others cherish the memories of Bea's skill on the mandolin, and the number of times she played for the community at different events. She could play just about anything and with anyone. Joan Shorey says she can still picture Bea "crossing the road with her mandolin to join Ginna Murray, Janet Roberts, Ev and myself in the church around the piano to play our music. It was always so wonderful to get back together again after each winter. We all sort of giggled with joy." Sally Bloom and Bea often collaborated over music. Sally wrote that she "commissioned a new work for the two of us plus the Amernet String Quartet based on Ashley Bryan's poetry, with Ashley narrating." Arvard Savage will never play "Crystal Chandelier" on his guitar without thinking of Bea. It was a favorite of Bea's, and she requested that Arvard play it at evety island sing-a-long.
Barbara Stainton remembers Bea's "quiet steady presence." Paul and Evelyn Liebow's favorite memory of Bea was "a glorious afternoon floating on big slow ocean swells in back of Fish Point with mountains looming and Ospreys soaring over windless waters. We were mackerel fishing." Larry Allen formed a bond with Bea over his love of books and reading and said, "I never forgot Bea's pride in my efforts or her quiet but steady encouragement ... Just yesterday while out for a run within sight of Bea's building, I found myself thinking of Bea and of her gentle spirit." Peter Buchsbaum wrote that he would "miss Bea's warmth and dignity." His son, Aaron, formed a bond with Bea because he had studied some of the Yiddish translations her late husband, Uriel, had done.
Sally McShea, Holly Hartley, and Joan Shorey all remember Bea welcoming friends on her porch. Sally wrote that, "Her porch drew visitors. It was the best place to stop and chat coming up that long hill from the library;" and Joan wrote that "her porch will seem very empty, but the memories will remain mighty strong." Jan Moss recalls a "small world" story from 1969 when she and Bea were renting houses on the island next to each other: "Fred and Bea discovered that they not only grew up in the same section of the Bronx, but on the same block - maybe even next door." They spent the next two weeks discovering just how interconnected their lives were. Patricia Bailey wrote that "Bea was part of a wonderful linked circle of loyal NY/Cranberry friends who never missed a LaHotan exhibition."
Survivors include a son Don, and a daughter, Stephanie, and many other family and friends.
There will be a memorial service for her in New York City on Sunday, April 27.