Bea Carmines Paine passed away peacefully at her home on Sunday, November 20th, 2022 at the age of 96. Bea was born in Poquoson, Virginia on August 18, 1926, the daughter of William Lisle Carmines and Homer Virginia Firman Carmines.
Bea was the second child of eight and truly adored her brothers and sisters. Her beloved mother tended to the home, while her father worked as a waterman taking his boat out most every morning to harvest crabs or oysters. The Carmines were a happy if not wealthy family who together withstood the hurricane of 1933 that nearly floated their little home off its foundations.
Bea graduated from High School in 1943 and the next year, along with her sister Ann, joined the Cadet Nurse Corps. Bea attended the Richmond Professional Institute and graduated from the Stuart Circle Hospital Nursing School of Richmond. With the war over, Bea began working as an operating room nurse in Richmond at the Medical College of Virginia. This is where she met her future husband Dr. Jim Paine in the summer 1949. Bea and Jim married on December 10th of that same year. When Jim finished his residency in Richmond, the two moved briefly to Charleston, West Virginia before settling in Bluefield in 1950. Tragically, sister Ann passed away from cancer in 1954, a devastating blow to Bea, but they are now reunited in heaven, as are others of Bea’s brothers and sisters who have already passed from time into eternity.
Initially, the growing Paine family lived on Bluefield’s Shady Avenue but in 1964 they relocated to their newly built house on Mountain View Avenue. Bea and Jim became deeply involved in the greater Bluefield community, with Jim initially doing surgery at the Sanitarium and then Bluefield Regional Medical Center with Bea acting as manager for his medical office on North Street.
In 1977, Bea became the first woman ever elected to the Bluefield City Board, a position she would hold for 16 years. For 8 of those years, she served as the city’s Vice Mayor.
Her priority as a newly elected city board member was to save the old Bluefield City Hall building from demolition, as had been planned. In the second year of her term, Bea formed a nonprofit corporation dedicated to saving the building and had it placed on the National Historic Register. In 1981, the historic old City Hall building was rededicated as the Bluefield Arts and Science Center and has served the citizenry in this capacity ever since. A large room on the 1st floor was named the Paine Gallery in Bea’s honor.
In addition, as a Bluefield City Board member, Bea started one of the first city-based recycling services in the region, initiated the “Sister City” program with Lithgow Australia, established a Flea Market at the city’s parking building, started Project Graduation in Bluefield along with Herb Simms, organized much of the city’s Centennial celebrations and was instrumental in bringing the Ridge Runner railroad from the top of East River Mountain to its current home in the Bluefield City Park. Bea also established a Fitness Trail at the same city park.
Bea Paine was also chairwoman for the Mercer County Board of Health, President of the Mercer County Medical Society Auxiliary, a member of the board of directors for the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia and the Pocahontas Centennial Commission and President of the Bluefield Centennial Commission. She also served as Community Coordinator for the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce.
Bea was named the 1991 Honoree for the Bluefield Quota Club because of “her many accomplishments in the community.”
Bea was an active member of the Bluefield Rotary Club, where she became President of the Bluefield Chapter and was subsequently elected Governor of District 7550 in the year 2000. During her time in Rotary, Bea established an exchange student program and welcomed many of these foreign students into her own home.
Always deeply involved in her children’s lives, for many years Bea hosted an annual social gathering for local schoolteachers, which filled the house with the delicious scent of spiced tea. Bea was also instrumental in establishing the first Bluefield High School Soccer team, with one son playing (Patrick) and another son helping to coach the team (John).
Bea, along with her husband Jim, pursued a variety of interests … like flying. Bea took flight instruction from veteran pilot Wilson Dunn and earned her pilot’s license in 1971.
Keeping physically fit was always a top priority and Bea made a habit of running five miles around the track at Bluefield High School at the start of every day. Bea was a regular at the tennis courts in the 70’s and 80’s and when wintertime came, she and the rest of the family would go snow skiing. Bea skied in New England, the Rockies and Europe but mostly at Snowshoe WV, where she and Jim built a Geodesic Dome for weekend escapes.
Bea Paine was truly a multifaceted person but the influence of her faith in Christ should not be underestimated. The Paine family have been long time members of Christ Episcopal Church, where Bea sung in the choir and became the first woman to serve on the church Vestry as well as the first female Senior Warden. Bea also served as President of the Episcopal Church Women of WV.
Her dinner blessings always ended with the phrase, ‘And may we be ever mindful of the needs of others,’ which is truly emblematic for how Bea lived her life.
Especially in her later years, Bea practiced a morning devotional where she read passages from the Bible and inspirational books followed by periods of prayer. Ever mindful of the needy, Bea and Jim sponsored children from impoverished areas throughout the world. Bea kept their pictures and letters displayed on a kitchen cabinet.
Often writing down quotes from her Bible in her daily notebook, Bea recently picked out a few verses from Paul’s epistles to the Corinthians: “Love bears all things, believes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” Continuing, “Now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So – faith, hope, and love abide; these three – but the greatest of these is love.”
Bea is survived by Doctor Albert James Paine Sr., her husband of 73 years and her six children Teresa Paine, Pamela Abada (Mordechai), Jim Paine, John Paine, William Patrick Paine (Gina) and Rick Parsons (Rachael). Bea is also survived by many grandchildren and great grandchildren who all called her “BB.”
The grandchildren include Ann Fernandez (Jason), William Czarnik, Shanley Hypes (Stephen), Kelsey Paine (Case Scheifer)), Katie Paine, Grace Campbell Gooding Paine, Jordan Abada, Jonathan Abada (Katherine), Juliana Valentine Paine and James Paine. Bea’s great grandchildren include Benjamin and Kathryn Bea Fernandez, Owen and Tucker Hypes and Gianna Bea Abada.
She is also survived by her sisters Fran Corey and Brenda Beckelic. Her siblings Ann Payne, Ede Nelson, Lelia Romo, George Carmines and Bill Carmines predeceased her.
Bea leaves behind many bereaved friends and relatives, each of whom is a better person to have known her. At the end of her life Bea was able to be home surrounded by those who loved her.
The whole Paine family thanks you for your warmest well-wishes. Bea C. Paine’s funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on January 7th at Christ Episcopal Church in Bluefield. A church reception will follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Christ Episcopal Church Rector’s Discretionary Fund at 200 Duhring Street in Bluefield or the Union Mission of Bluefield West Virginia at 2203 Bluefield Avenue in Bluefield WV.