by Henry Lane Hull
During the month of February two of Kilmarnock’s veritable icons passed from our midst. The first was Mrs. Antoinette Beane, who lived an active and productive life for the entirety of her 98 years. The second was a fellow nonagenarian, Mrs. Bernice Farley, who for many of us was the face of Seconds Unlimited where she volunteered since the store’s inception.
As both of these ladies were of sufficient age to have been my mother, I always used the more formal Mrs. in addressing them, a habit that was ingrained in me by my parents during childhood.
Mrs. Beane lived on her family farm between Kilmarnock and Lancaster, in the stately, Federal-style brick home, “Fairlawn,” which she and her husband, Joseph, built over 70 years ago, recognizable to all driving along Route 3 by the gracious allée of English boxwood in the front yard. There she raised her three children in the midst of one of Lancaster County’s most bucolic settings.
As the years passed and her mobility declined she continued to be active in the community, entertaining at home and using a mobile chair at the grocery store. Her eldest child, Dr. Judith Beane, came home to live with her, and served as the director of the duPont-funded Church Resource Services, which supported many charitable activities sponsored by local church congregations. Sadly, Judy died in 2010; she was a truly irreplaceable individual, whose death her mother accepted in Christian stoicism.
Religion was a large part of Mrs. Beane’s life, as it was with her late brother, Bob Dew, who was a prominent realtor in Lancaster County. Both of them were stalwarts of the Kilmarnock Baptist Church, which they served with profound devotion and dedication throughout their lives.
Mrs. Beane lived for almost a century, continually emanating kindness and gentility towards everyone she met. In that regard she was a genuine model Christian.
Antoinette Gwathmey Dew Beane, December 4, 1920 – February 19, 2019. R.I.P.
Mrs. Bernice Farley was the widow of Jed Farley, who for many years was the produce manager of Tri-Star Supermarket. He was the maternal uncle of Jimmie Currie, the funeral director and the only one of the Farley brothers from Merry Point to marry.
Jed and Bernice Farley lived in Kilmarnock, within walking distance both of the supermarket and of Seconds Unlimited, the thrift shop of Rappahannock General Hospital. Mrs. Farley was one of the most dedicated volunteers I ever have known. I do not know how many thousands of hours she spent working to raise funds for the hospital, but I do know that every minute she spent brought her great personal satisfaction in knowing that she was serving the needs of others in the community, whether they be patients or staff at the hospital, or shoppers seeking the right pieces to wear.
At Seconds Unlimited she liked to be at the counter where she could engage in lively exchanges with the patrons as they secured their bargains, commenting on what items particularly were becoming. She thrived on being there and found no task to be a burden. When she left for the day in her pink smock she was readily identifiable shopping in the local stores.
As the years passed Mrs. Farley’s enthusiasm for her work in no way diminished. She enjoyed doing her part, which she modestly considered to be small, albeit really was large, towards making Kilmarnock and the lower Northern Neck as a whole better for all who live here. She was a prime example of a person who never stopped giving, all the while finding her happiness in so doing.
Bernice Hazzard Farley, March 8, 1926 – February 24, 2019. R.I.P.