A Funeral Mass will be held at Our Lady of the Snows Parish on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 10 a.m. for Beatrice Ann Vincent Gyra, who died peacefully at the Mertens House, on Nov. 14, 2017. A reception will follow at the Thompson Senior Center from Noon to 2:00 p.m. Visiting hours will be held on Friday, Nov. 24 from 5-7 p.m. at Cabot’s Funeral Home in Woodstock.
She was born on July 25, 1925 in Lake Charles, Louisiana, daughter of Ellis Abel and Mary Frances A. Riester Vincent.
Her early years were spent in Louisiana. She graduated from Sulphur High School and went on to attend Ward Belmont College in Nashville, Tennessee, where she received her equestrian and organ certifications. Later she received her Bachelor of Music from Nazareth College in Louisville, Kentucky. (now Spaulding University) and did post graduate work at Sam Houston’s State Teacher’s College in Huntsville, Texas and University of Houston, in Houston, Texas.
Bea had a passion for horses, music, faith and most importantly her family. Family and religion brought her the most happiness. She had a welcoming nature and took joy in spending countless hours supporting her family, friends and faith community. Bea’s husband, children and grandchildren meant everything to her and were her priority.
Being around horses also brought her great joy. She spent her whole childhood with these beautiful creatures. Jumping on a horse and taking off for a jaunt was second nature to her. As time went on she would spend summers at Teela-Wooket Camp learning dressage in Vermont. In 1953 she moved to Woodstock and taught horseback riding at Ferguson Stables, in addition to working at the Woodstock Inn stables. She never lost her love for horses even when she could no longer ride.
Woodstock became her home. She went on to teach Elementary Education at a oneroom school house in Pomfret. It was in Woodstock, that she met the love of her life, Francis Joseph Gyra, Jr. They were married on June 25, 1955 and celebrated 52 years together. They wasted no time in settling down to raise eight children. It was during this time Bea pursued her love for music. She was a member of the American Guild of Organists and as an accomplished organist she shared this talent with Our Lady of the Snows and other parishes for over 40 years.
Bea will always be remembered as a kind and loving soul. Forever in our hearts. Our “Queen Bea.”
She is survived by her children: Maureen Steiner (Alan), Mary-Frances Gleason (Peter), Barbara Kaiser (Richard), Michael Gyra (Mary), Eileen Pornelos, Paul Gyra (Rebecca), Katherine Infante (Mark), Theresa Bevins (Douglas), and 16 grandchildren: Matthew, Caitlin and Patrick Steiner; Michael, Benjamin and Andrew Gleason; Emil, Jonathan and Samantha Pornelos; Nicholas, Christopher, and Theodore Gyra; Mark and Alexandra Infante; and Morgan and Adrienne Bevins.
She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Francis Joseph Gyra, Jr. who died on October 3, 2007; and two sisters Frances F. Coltrin and Elizabeth Beardsley; and one brother Kenneth Z. Vincent.
In lieu of flowers, a gift may be made, in memory of Beatrice Gyra, to support music at: Our Lady of the Snows, 7 South Street, Woodstock, 05091.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Cabot Funeral Home in Woodstock, an online guest book can be found at cabotfh.com
This obituary will also appear in the November 22, 2017 edition of the Vermont Standard.
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