April 2, 1921-
Jan. 20, 2013
Beatrice (Bea) Agnes Napieralski, 91, of Winona, Minn., passed away Jan. 20, 2013, at St. Anne Extended Healthcare of Winona.
Bea was born in Buffalo County, Wisconsin, on April 2, 1921, to William and Dannie Kube. She attended high school in Arcadia, Wis. (’39), and graduated from nurses training at Luther Hospital in Eau Claire, Wis., in 1943. Following RN training, Bea went to work as a RN in the emergency room at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Ill. Here, Bea met her husband, Frank, a Chicago police officer, and they were married in 1950 and were together for 16 years before Frank’s passing in 1966. They had one son, Steven. During her time at Cook County Hospital, considered one of the largest medical centers in the world, Bea worked tirelessly to provide the best care for the hundreds of patients she saw every day. She was instrumental in establishing one of the world’s first “triage” systems of waiting on patients. Bea thoroughly enjoyed the diverse staff she worked with, and by the time she retired as Assistant Divisional Director of ER in 1979, she oversaw over 200 nurses spanning three shifts.
Looking to be closer to her family, Bea moved to Winona, in 1980. Rather than retiring, Bea began working at Ronco Engineering. She enjoyed her work and made lifelong friends whom she considered family. Bea retired for the second time in 2005.
Her family was always her top priority. It was a rare occasion when she wasn’t spending Saturday mornings with her grandkids and Sunday with her sister, Ramona (LeRoy) Hovell, on their farm in Centerville, Wis. She enjoyed reading, doing crossword puzzles, riding her exercise bike, and volunteering at the Winona Senior Friendship Center (14 years). She also loved competing in various 5K races and was one of the participants in the Special Olympic torch relay.
Bea is proceeded in death by her parents; her husband, Frank; sister, Sylvia Wirtanen; and brother-in-law, Ted Wirtanen.
She will be deeply missed by her son, Steve and daughter-in-law Jane (Winona); grandchildren, Emma (Chicago) and Elizabeth (Winona); her sister, Ramona (LeRoy) Hovell (Centerville); and many nieces and nephews.
We will always remember Bea, my grandma, for her selflessness and generosity, her work ethic and perseverance, her never-ending positive attitude through even the darkest parts of life, and her insightful, humorous, and sometimes eye-widening ’Bea-isms.’
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the staff of Callista Court, St. Anne Extended Healthcare, and Dr. Richard Ferris for their care and compassion.
Desiring to assist medical education, Bea graciously donated her body to the Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn. A celebration of her life will be held at a later date.