Bertha Mae ‘Bea’ Payette West

MARQUETTE, MI. – Bertha Mae “Bea” Payette West, 93, resident of Brookridge Memory Care died peaceably January 21, 2013.

She was born January 20, 1920 in Randallstown, Maryland and was very proud that she had lived in 27 different places during her life, moving often during the years her first husband Ralph A. Payette was in the Army. After Ralph retired from the service, she lived in Pikesville, MD, and Reisterstown, MD, then moved to Marquette in 1983 (a year after Ralph’s death). On November 16, 1985, she married retired Air Force Lt. Colonel Leonard A. West, whom she had met on a blind date and fell in love with at first sight. She then split her years between their winter home in Alamogordo, NM and their summer home in Marquette before living 7 years at Woodland Assisted Living, Negaunee.

She worked as an R.N. for many years in the Baltimore area, at Lutheran Hospital, Montrose State School, Crittenden Home, to name a few. In 1974, she took a leave of absence from her job to obtain her B.A. in Nursing at St Joseph’s College in Maine.

She was a leader of the Old Court Girls 4-H Club for almost 25 years, working along side of her friend, Wilma Nott. She also volunteered at many summer 4-H camps as an instructor and camp nurse. Bea taught kids first aid, knitting, crochet, and one year when the cooks shorted the campers and took home the food, she and Wilma ended up being the camp cooks for the week.

In Marquette, she volunteered at the mall taking blood pressures and donated over 300 hours at the local Planned Parenthood office. She had a love for the outdoors and loved to oil paint. For many years, you could see evidence of her work on the spare tire cover of the RV that she & Len used to travel around the country. Len also taught her to golf. She loved to have afternoon tea and cookies with her neighbors in Alamogordo and often played Uno with a group of friends in Marquette.

She was a member of Grace Methodist Church while in Alamogordo and at First United Meth-odist Church in Marquette.

She is preceded in death by her parents Richard Eugene and Ella Victoria McGinnis, two brothers, Milburn (Mac) McGinnis and Robert Douglas McGinnis (Charlotte) of Baltimore, and both husbands, Ralph A. Payette and Leonard A. West. She is survived by five children Patricia E. Payette of Bayonne, N.J. Kimasa Sindel of St. Louis, Mo, James R. Payette (Susan) of Lexington, VA, Michael K. Payette of Curlew, WA., and Kathleen Foulks (Steven) of Marquette, MI., nine grandchildren Liz (Greg) Issitt of St. Louis, Geoffrey (Megan) Sindel of St. Louis, Jason Sindel of St. Louis, Jed Payette of Lexington, Va, Jenny (Duffy) Pope of Knoxville,TN, Rachel Payette of Las Vegas, NV, Nicole Payette of Spokane , WA, Douglas (Megan) Foulks of Marquette, MI and Danielle Foulks of Ionia, MI and seven great-grandchildren Mariah, Aubrey, Josh, Tony, Jasmine, Annie and Madison, a step-daughter Patricia (Marcus) Brady of Alamogordo, three step- grandchildren, Shane, Troy, and Theresa, and four step-great- grandchildren Gabriel, Samantha, Bobby, and Alexia.

A memorial service will be held at the Brookridge Heights Assisting Living Facility on Sunday, February 3, at 2:00 pm with Rev. Steve McCoy officiating. The family will greet relatives and friends beginning at 1:00 pm until the time of service.

Donations can be made in her honor to Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan, 1219 N. Third St., Marquette, MI. 49855 or First United Methodist Church 111 E Ridge St Marquette, MI 49855.

The Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at