It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of our dear friend and Howell Foundation supporter, Dr. Beatrice Rose. She inspired several careers throughout her long association to the Howell Foundation as a Board Member reviewing projects for the Scholarships Committee –15 years of dedication to women’s health research.
As the first Emeritus Board Member of the Foundation’s Legacy Council, she continued to provide accurate insights on women’s health. She funded a scholarship every year in memory of her daughter Susan, and continued to help review candidates for our scholarship program. Her philosophy was simple: do the best that you can or don’t even bother. This article from 2014 was featured in our blog, Keeping the Women we Love Heathy. It is updated to reflect Dr. Rose’s amazing journey, and her incredible passion for friendship, science and support.
I understand how lucky I was to have lived through the century of the greatest expansion of scientific knowledge and technology in the history of Western civilization, and sometimes having the tiniest peripheral part in it.
“Just within the last couple of months, at 105 years young, she was on the Legacy Council’s zoom meeting and made sure that we knew about someone she felt would be an excellent addition to our Board of Directors”, comments Carol Tuggey, Chairperson of the Board. “At 105, she was still involved in education, a cause she truly believed in. Her dedication is attributed to her friendship, not only with Dr. Howell, but with many of past and present Board Members.” Cheryl Wilson, Former Chair and fellow Legacy Council member recalls a time when she was driving Dr. Bea home from a Howell Board meeting. “She shared how being engaged with such intelligent and active women kept her alive and feeling relevant. She made me feel important by saying that.”
Dr. Rose was a woman with an incredible sense of humor and had an extraordinary ability with words. Recognized for her poems, Dr. Rose wrote for her friends in appreciation of their friendship. Kay Pierce, former Howell Board Member and fellow Legacy Council Member, shared a poem about what she had learned from life at 99. To honor her memory, the Howell Foundation has established a one-time Beatrice Rose Scholar to keep her legacy alive. If you’d like to make a donation, please visit www.howellfoundation.org.
Dearest Bea, we will miss your wit, wisdom and sense of humor. Without further ado, ‘On 99’ by Dr. Beatrice Rose, and the top ten lessons learned from an incredible life journey!
Don’t ask me how I feel on being 99.
This is the first time I have been this old,
How would I know unless I am told.
I always thought when (and if)
I became 90 years old,
I would become venerable, sagacious,
Through the nineties I waded
Seeking to be venerable, sagacious and wise
But my hopes have faded
To achieve my goal but I tried
Ask me WHAT I feel about being 99
and I will tell you it’s tough,
Every task takes more time,
little things become big stuff,
After a life of gladly giving
I now have to ask
for help to keep living
or to complete a task.
I have always told others Life Is A JOKE
and when you are old,
You find the joke is on you
But now I learned it’s really true!
However I am glad that when
I wake up each morning, I know
who I am and where I am. But then,
there is no one around to say NO
My Muse tells me: “At 99 it is time
to review your life’s curriculum.
Please tell it without rhyme.
The good, the bad but not the dumb.
May I share the results of that review:
- I realize now that I was having epiphanies before I knew the meaning of the word.
- I learned how much I don’t know and how much more there is to learn.
- I learned that no one is the sole master of his/her fate; there is always that fellow traveler called ‘Luck’.
- I believe in the Buddhist principle: Life is a gift and I am responsible for everything I do with it.
- Life gives no second chances, no rehearsals, so it is important for me to do my best every time.
- If I don’t do well, instead of blaming others, I need to look within myself and analyze what I could have done better.
- I realize that every aspect of living has two sides, the good and the bad. In these long years of my life, I have experienced the joy of loving family and friends and the sorrow of losing them. Being a survivor is no fun.
- I understand how lucky I was to have lived through the century of the greatest expansion of scientific knowledge and technology in the history of Western civilization, and sometimes having the tiniest peripheral part in it.
- I know that even more new knowledge and technology will occur after I am gone. It will be such an exciting world. My only regret about dying is that I won’t know what is going on.
- Mine has been a good life and the best thing of all is that at this time I have friends like you whose love and caring has given me joy and comfort. I am so very grateful for your friendship.
And even as you do me more honor than I deserve, nevertheless I am grateful.
All I can say is: THANK YOU!
June 3, 2014
About the Howell Foundation:
The Howell Foundation advances women’s health by funding undergraduate and graduate research scholarships, awarding grants to scientists who conduct research benefiting under represented women in the community, and supporting outreach efforts and events that promote health education and self-advocacy for the long-term health and well-being of women, their families and the community in which they live.