You could almost reach out and…

Mar 22, 2015 | 8 comments

Remembering BeeGee

Remembering BeeGee

It seemed as though everyone in the world had converged in Seattle this weekend to celebrate the life of BeeGee Williams Hook, my Red House Cousin who died here in Oysterville just five weeks ago. There were family members from New Mexico and California, from Idaho and Oregon. Friends came from Wisconsin and Florida and many states in between. Some of us remembered when she was born. Others met her in school or college or taught with her or were neighbors or real estate co-workers.

We began gathering yesterday in various configurations – the Williams cousins, the folks from out of the area, and probably other groups I didn’t hear about. No matter the get-together, the subject of course was BeeGee – her love of adventure, her enthusiasm, her loyalty, her love of family and her zany, quirky side that was the quintessential Beeg.

Daughters Anna, Lexie, Abby

Daughters Anna, Lexie, Abby

Today 200 (give or take) of us gathered in the Northwest Room at Ray’s Boathouse in Ballard. From nine until noon we ate and drank, laughed and cried, as we listened to speaker after speaker tell of their relationship to BeeGee and of their special memories connected with the years (many times, a lifetime) of friendship. A common thread was the stories – the BeeGee stories. Nearly everyone mentioned that she was a consummate storyteller and all also agreed that she embellished and exaggerated with gusto, never letting a few pesky facts get in the way of a great tale.  We listeners nodded and smiled and remembered Beeg’s stories with fondness.

Grandkids Gin and Kahrs

Grandkids Gin and Kahrs

Her eldest daughter, Abby, said it best. “If mom were to tell about this celebration a few weeks from now it would go something like this,” she began. “There must have been 250 or 350 people there! It was a perfect day – blue skies [it was a gray, misty curtain], and 80° out [more like 45], not a cloud to be seen [because all of Seattle was enveloped in one gigantic misty mass.] The water sparkled [Not!] and a pod of orcas frolicked right outside the window [not a whale to be seen.] The Olympics [the what?] looked like you could reach right out and touch them!…”

Later, when we were refilling our plates from the never-ending buffet, I saw Abby’s six-year-old daughter, Gin, staring out the window at the water. “I’ve been watching,” she told me, “but so far I haven’t seen a single whale.” As time passes, I’m pretty sure she’ll remember the day just as her grandmother BeeGee would have described it. We all will…

8 Comments

  1. Claudette Tourtellotte Ferriter

    Brought tears to my eyes, Sydney! I’m so glad you will remember as described! What a tribute!

    Reply
  2. Hillary (Williams) Trusty

    Thanks for sharing… I am looking forward to the gathering here at the beach for all the family that wasn’t able to make it. If I had to describe Bee Gee in one word it would be charismatic. She will be missed and blessings to her family and friends.

    Reply
  3. Anne Kepner

    Thank you for sharing some of our feelings as well, Sydney. It was a celebration that could never be matched. She was a very special woman, wife, and mother.

    Reply
  4. Harry R Harper

    I knew Bee Gee through our Basketball (Green Giants of Woodrow Wilson) Team, she was a Cheer Leader giving the Crowd and Our Team excitement about being there, enjoying the Moment (s). The World, Wilson, Friends, Family, have lost a great person in the Passing of Bee Gee.

    Reply
  5. Chris Leinberger

    It was quite a shock to hear of BG’s death. My family was very close to the Hook’s when we all lived on California Terrace in Pasadena, which was known as “diaper alley” for good reason. My daughter, Rebecca, were best friends with Anna and I still see in my memory those two blond moppets in the Hook’s pool and playing all sorts of games up and down the block. BG (we all thought that was the correct spelling on California Terrace) was a beacon of light and wit on California Terrace, organizing block parties, informal parties and trips to the mountains. She was one of the most remarkable people I have ever known. I know her girls will miss her terribly, but they must have the grandest of memories possible.

    Reply
  6. Laurie (Macnab) LeVan

    I just found out about BeeGee’s passing after joining the 50th Wilson reunion Facebook page and getting the link to this. I have not kept track of anyone, but think of all my Robert Gray and Wilson friends often. I’m sorry I won’t bee seeing Beeg at the reunion. I have such wonderful memories of times together and even one great weekend at Osterville in which some of us girls (we were probably 12 or 13?) overindulged in potato chips and licorice with disastrous results! BeeGee was a wonderful and positive part of my childhood. I’m so glad I knew her and send my thoughts to her family.

    Reply
  7. steve nagel

    Beegee and her family was our neighbors across the street when growing up. I remember her as being beautiful,bubbly, chipper always upbeat and positive. Beegee was always on the go (she was full of energy).
    When my sister and I were very young she was one of our baby sitters. We lived in a prior house just down the street which we bought from the Williams family, so she came back home to her old house when she baby sat us. We later moved across the street from the Williams. (still there) I am deeply saddened to learn of her passing, it is so sad, and too soon. My thoughts, prayers and great memories of Beegee are with the entire family.

    Reply
    • sydney

      Thanks for those memories, Steve!

      Reply

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