Loving mother, grandmother, librarian
Beatrice “Bea” Faust, a longtime Claremont resident, died on August 6, 2012, surrounded by her children and family. She was 86.
Ms. Faust was born on Oct. 10, 1925 in Scranton, Pennsylvania to William and Eleanor Leaver. Her father, who was originally from England, worked in the local wool mills and, in addition, helped his wife run an antique shop.
The family, which was quite musical, also hosted a weekly radio show where Ms. Faust sang tunes composed by her brothers, who were also fine singers. When Ms. Faust was 12, her mother died, leaving behind 4 children. As the only girl, she took on many of the household duties, such as cooking and mending, while her father worked, .
While working at the Newtown Bee newspaper in Newtown, Connecticut, she met her future husband, Zaner Faust, who was then editor of the paper. They married in 1948 and 2 of their 4 children, Jami Faust Flynn and Jeff Faust, were born there prior to the family moving to Claremont in 1958 when Mr. Faust accepted a job offer at Harvey Mudd College.
Her other 2 daughters, Brooke Faust and Casey Faust Groetzinger, were born in Claremont. All 4 of her children attended local elementary schools and graduated from Claremont High School. Ms. Faust was a consummate homemaker, sewing clothes for her daughters, taking a strong interest in her children’s activities and maintaining a welcoming home where the neighborhood kids enjoyed hanging out after school and on weekends. Her cooking skills were a particular source of delight.
“She was a champion cook, with a real instinctual knack. It was all based on the fact that she was sort of forced into that motherly role at an early age,” her son Jeff said. “Her salads were phenomenal, her tacos were renowned, her macaroni salad was unbelievable, her beef stroganoff was like nothing I’ve had since—she could do anything.”
Though Ms. Faust was a gentle mother, she had a sense of humor, and was known to admonish her children with a particularly English threat, “If you don’t listen, I’ll give you a thick ear,” and later warn her grandchildren, “I’ve got my white tennies on. I could catch you!”
While Ms. Faust’s 2 younger daughters attended Oakmont Elementary School, she began volunteering there. She eventually was offered a position as school librarian, which she held until her retirement in the year 2000. Back in the day when teachers and staff were allowed to hug students, “That’s all they got,” Ms. Faust’s daughter, Brooke, said of her mother’s embracing ways. Serving the Oakmont children for nearly 30 years was one of the highlights of her life, according to her son Jeff.
“All those kids meant the world to her,” he recalled. “She would walk around Claremont and her kids, as she called them, would be in their 40s and still remember Mrs. Faust the librarian.”
Her children and their school friends, “her kids” at Oakmont, and later her grandchildren: Ms. Faust had a knack for connecting with children and teens.
“Young people really gravitated to her,” Jeff said.
As befitting a librarian, Ms. Faust gravitated toward the written word. Even when her eyesight began to fail, she remained a voracious reader, grabbing a magnifying glass she wore around her neck so she could pore through a magazine article or book. In her later years, one of Ms. Faust’s favorite activities was sitting on the porch in her daughter Casey’s whimsical backyard, reading while her granddaughters listened to music. A lifelong lover of classical music, Ms. Faust came to enjoy some of her grandchildren’s favorite tunes, including songs by Adele and Johnny Cash.
Ms. Faust died at the Claremont home of her eldest daughter and her husband, Jami and Kelly Flynn, where she resided for the last months of her life. Her family will always treasure the time she was able to spend with her grandchildren and various family members in her final days and during her 12-year retirement, noted her daughter Brooke.
“She was very dear, very sweet,” she said.
Ms. Faust was predeceased by her husband in 1980. She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Jami and Kelly Flynn of Claremont; by her son and daughter-in-law, Jeff Faust and Jan Ryan of Claremont; by her daughter, Brooke Faust of Upland; by her daughter and son-in-law, Casey and Rod Groetzinger of Upland; by 7 grandchildren, Tom Ryan, Kari Ryan, Richard Flynn, Katie Flynn, Nicolas Prado, Rachael Groetzinger and Emily Groetzinger; and by 2 great-grandchildren, Michelle Ryan and Lillian Joiner.
A celebration of Ms. Faust’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the local VNA and Hospice of Southern California, located at 150 W. First Street, Claremont, CA 91711