Vondee Jenkins Beeman passed with peace and grace surrounded by her loving daughters on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019, in the home she and her husband built at Fish Point on Lake George. She was 95.
She was born on June 29, 1924 to Jane McKenzie Jenkins and Isaac Alexander Jenkins. Soon after, Vondee’s father died and her mother married her beloved stepfather Percy Davis. She was raised on a small farm in rural Sandy Hook, Mississippi yet early on felt the draw of big city life and moved to the historic French Quarter in New Orleans.
One of her first jobs was working as a bookkeeper for Humble Oil while continuing her studies at night.
During World War II, Vondee and her cherished stepsister, Era Davis Chastain, inspected parachutes together for the U. S. Army. Later in life, she was a top real estate broker in Ardsley, N.Y., Newport, R.I., and Bolton Landing, N.Y. ,
While working in New Orleans, Vondee met her Yankee husband, David Edward Beeman, and they married in 1956. They were to have 55 joyful years together before David passed in 2011.
They were blessed with three girls: Nancy Reynolds of Middletown, R.I., Alexandra Romano (married to Paul Romano) of Warwick, N.Y., and Yvette Beeman (married to Michael Martignetti) of Lexington, Mass. Vondee was the cherished, fun-loving, kind-natured Nana to David Beeman Martignetti, 21, and Anthony Joseph Beeman Martignetti, 19, of Lexington, Mass., and Josephine Lily Romano, 18, and Sophia Vondee Romano, 16, of Warwick, NY.
After the death of her husband, she lived with daughter Alex Romano and family in Warwick, except during the summer when she returned to her beloved home on Fish Point.
Vondee had a curious mind and loved adventure, travel, history, gardening and most of all, dancing. She was the quintessential gracious Southern belle with a large dose of practicality and a dash of daring. Her tenacity and strength of character enabled her to navigate all types of situations with ease and grace.
Throughout her life, the Lake George Garden Club and The Lake George Club were great sources of friendship and social activity. She loved the camaraderie at the tennis court and played into her late eighties, earning the nickname “Von Diesel” for her fierce determination at the net.
She and her husband were always the last to leave the dance floor on Saturday nights and were known for their elegance and flair. She treated everyone she met with acceptance, love and respect and had a soft spot for all creatures.
Her family and friends will deeply miss her sense of humor, generosity, and southern hospitality.
A celebration of Vondee’s life is planned for Friday, Sept. 6, at The Lake George Club.
Memorial donations may be directed to the Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance at 102 Pickering Way, Ste 200, Exton, PA, 19341, www.curefa.org, or the Hyde Collection at 161 Warren St. Glens Falls, NY 12901.
Online condolences can be made by visiting www.sbfuneralhome.com.