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Beatrice A. GemarBeatrice Ann Manas was born July 2, 1925 to Frank and Marie (Simon) Manas. She attended Petrick elementary rural school south of Tabor. In order to continue her education, Beatrice worked for room and board staying in town during the weeks when school was in session. She graduated from Tabor High School in 1943. After receiving a teaching certificate from Yankton College, Beatrice taught four and a half years at a country school south of Lesterville. She met Leighton Gemar while both were attending a teacher’s meeting in Yankton and the two were married June 26, 1945 at St. Wenceslaus Church in Tabor. Beatrice dedicated her life to raising her family and supporting Leighton in their grocery business. Seven children blessed this union. Bea and Leighton celebrated 63 years of marriage together.
Beatrice loved to garden, using her talents as caretaker of the Memorial flower bed in the Scotland Park and planting flowers at the Scotland Museum. Other hobbies included genealogy, playing cards with friends and travel. She was active and held numerous offices in the American Legion Auxiliary, Women’s Scotland Civic Club, PEO, and Landmann-Jungman Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. She is a member of St. George Catholic Church of Scotland and St. George Altar Society. In 1999 she was nominated for the “Spirit of Dakota” Award.
Beatrice was extremely proud of her Czech heritage and celebrated that heritage by participating as a Czech dancer in her youth and travelling to Czechoslovakia and later the Czech Republic on 5 separate occasions. Her most recent trip in July 2010 was to attend a family reunion where she was reunited with 200 Czech relatives. The highlight of this trip was to visit the childhood home of her parents and stand at the same prayer statue where her Mother and Father received their priest’s blessing before marriage.
Her greatest accomplishment and joy was her family. There were few exceptions where her presence was not felt. There was always a “care package” to take home filled with kuchen and kolaches. She loved to attend activities of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Beatrice also enjoyed knitting, never missing an opportunity to knit for a grandchild or great-grandchild. Her lasting message to her family is “Always keep your family close in your heart.” Beatrice passed away peacefully on Saturday, February 5, 2011 at the Avera Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, surrounded by her loving family.
Grateful for sharing her life are her seven children: Diane (Len) Hofer of Beresford, Greg (JoAnn) Gemar of Scotland, Roger (Jean) Gemar of Omaha, Nebraska, Dr. Jim Gemar, PhD (Karen) of Moorhead, Minnesota, Charles (Char) Gemar of Wichita, Kansas, Dwight (Claudia) Gemar of Walnut Creek, California, Dr. Sheila Gemar, MD (Wayne Dahlen) of Spicer, Minnesota; 18 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren; a sister-in-law, Elsie Magstadt of Scotland, and her many relatives and friends.
Beatrice was preceded in death by her husband, Leighton, in 2008, parents Frank and Marie Manas, and sisters Marie Wood and Lillian Ptak.
kausPkUVjkQZROFtVdm Feb 12 2014 2:58 AM
To ALL the Gemar family I feel can't find the right words to express myself to you ALL. Leighton and Bea were to "special" people in my life through my employment for them. I have SO many memories of them both that I will NEVER forget. They both ALWAYS had time to chat no matter where I met them. And I ALWAYS appreciated that because I was updated on all of you, what everyone was up to. I truly will miss that now, Just one of the memories of Bea is, when I started working for them, and Bea broke the ice "rule" could I say" for us girls that we "ladies" could wear slacks to work. That was such "a blessing" for us. SMILE Anyway Again I will miss her. With that in mind May you ALWAYS feel God's presence comforting you in your days of mourning. Love YOU ALL, LaVerne
LaVerne Goeken Feb 28 2011 5:37 PM
Dear Gemar Family - and especially Diane: So sorry to hear of your loss. The many hours I spent at your house when we were young will always be happy memories for me. Your folks were both such special people. I was so pleased to be able to visit with your Mom in October and she looked so good. It meant alot to me that she was there, along with you Diane, when my folks passed. Please know that you are in my thoughts & prayers - all of you -but especially you, my friend.
Diane (Eisenbraun) Gross Feb 13 2011 5:24 PM
My sincerest condolences to the entire family. I have always admired the family for their good naturedness, friendliness and intellect. All are indicative of the values instilled by both Leighton and Bea. They were remarkable people to raise such a fine family and still maintain their business and active role in the community. God Bless all in your sorrow.
Nancy (Ireland) Wagoner Feb 13 2011 4:48 PM
Sam, and all the Gemar family: What wonderful memories I have of visiting Scotland, and always spending time with the Gemars, especially "Sam". Bea was so understanding of my mom renaming Chuck, and was always welcoming and gracious. Dad and I were welcomed into her home in January, 2010, when we were in Scotland, and again at Memorial Day. We arrived unannounced, and she made sure we had lunch, great conversation and hugs! I will always remember Bea and Leighton when I would go to the grocery, across the alley behind my grandfather's house, one of the few places I was allowed to walk as a child. The smile; the greeting; the sincere "hello!" I am sorry I can't be there to celebrate her life, but know that my heart and thoughts are with you all.
Kaki Zeeb Feb 11 2011 6:51 PM
Just want to let you know that my thoughts and prayers go out to all of the family.
Jean (Bradley) Shoemaker Feb 11 2011 1:51 PM
We would like to extend our sympathy to the entire Gemar family and especially to the grandkids who were so lucky to have such a lovely grandma. Sheila, keep her alive in your heart, warm memories do alot of good and she gave you so many to cherish. Love to you all at this tender time.
Maureen and Dale Storey Feb 11 2011 8:47 AM
My heart goes out to the entire Gemar family, you all our in our thoughts and prayers. We pray that the closeness of family and friends will bring you comfort and that your cherished memories of Bea will bring you peace. With deepest sympathy, John and Tanya Bult & Family
Tanya Bult Feb 10 2011 12:57 PM
Bea was such a special person with a wonderful smile. I have fond memories of her in many of the clubs and organizations we attended together when I lived in Scotland. Both Bea and Leighton were good friends and will be in my heart forever. Extending our sympathy and prayers to everyone in the family.
Dean & Jan Gewecke Feb 10 2011 10:03 AM
Sheila and family, I am sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless. Tim
Tim Schmidt Feb 10 2011 8:35 AM