LANCASTER—Antoinette Gwathmey Dew Beane, 98, affectionately called “Toi” since childhood, passed away Tuesday, February 19, 2019, after a brief period of declining health.
Born on Cedar Lane in Kilmarnock, December 4, 1920, she was the fourth of four children but the only one born in Lancaster County. Her family roots were deep in King & Queen County where her mother, Leonora Temple Ryland of “Ingleside” and father, Robert Gresham Dew of “Rosemount” were born.
At three weeks of age, she was taken to Kilmarnock Baptist Church. There she was baptized when she was 12 and maintained a lifelong membership.
After graduating from Kilmarnock High School, Toi majored in music at the Richmond Division of William & Mary (now VCU) and later transferred to Longwood College where she sang with the a cappella choir and pledged Pi Kappa Sigma sorority.
Before the outbreak of World War II, she left Virginia to live with her sister, Mildred and family in Durham, N.C., where she studied at Kennedy’s Commercial School. Upon completion, she worked as private secretary to the president of Wright’s Defense Plant. During that time she became engaged to Pvt. Joseph William Beane, who she had known since childhood. They were married October 24, 1942.
Their first child, Judy, was born March 28, 1944, and soon after, Joe was deployed overseas for 14 months. Upon his return and discharge from the Army, the decision was made to return to Lancaster.
On October 3, 1946, their second child, Joe Bill, was born. Needing more room with a growing family, construction began on their home, “Fairlawn” and moved in when their third child, Janet, born August 16, 1947, was eight months old.
Toi was happy with her life as farmer’s wife, mother and homemaker. With her strong faith in God, love and devotion to family and pride in family heritage, she was an inspiration. She served as PTA president, a member of DAR and a lifetime member of Mary Ball Washington Museum & Library.
Preceding her in death were her parents; her husband of 46 years, Joseph William Beane Sr.; siblings, Mildred Belle Dew Harding, Leonora Temple Dew Harding and Robert Gresham Dew Jr.; firstborn, Dr. Judith Mae Beane; eldest niece, Mildred Dew Harding; and grandson, Edward Franklin Bowen Jr.
Surviving are her son, Joseph William Beane Jr. (Joan) and her daughter, Janet Ryland Beane Davenport (Jay); and grandchildren, Wanda Janelle Bowen Headley (Randy), Robert Dew Beane (Ranzy) and Marie Antoinette Beane Montag (Chris).
She is also survived by great-grandchildren, Robert Dew Beane Jr., Nathan Gregory Beane, William Skylar Beane, Zoe Elizabeth Montag and Leeland Rossi Montag. Additionally, Toi is survived by dear nieces, Leonora Ryland Harding Backlund, Roberta Carroll Harding Prentice, Joanne Mason Dew Flanagan, Alice Denise Harding Norris, Linda Ray Dew Matter and Jacquelyn Temple Harding House; and cousins, Florence Temple Ryland Moore, Dorothy Ryland Claybrook and William B. Gwathmey.
A funeral service was held at 2 p.m. Saturday, February 23, at Kilmarnock Baptist Church, Kilmarnock. Interment followed the service at Woodlawn Cemetery. Family received friends from 12:30-1:45 p.m. at the church.
Memorial contributions may be made to Kilmarnock Baptist Church, P. O. Box 99, Kilmarnock, VA 22482; or Upper Lancaster Rescue Squad, P. O. Box 176, Lively, VA 22507.
Currie Funeral Home, LLC, of Kilmarnock handled the arrangements.