Worcester: Beatrice Oja, 96, of Worcester died Tuesday, July 20, 2021 at Rose Monahan hospice after a short period of declining health. She was born in Worcester, daughter of Ivar Johnson and Ester (Beckman) Johnson. Beatrice was pre-deceased by her husband George of 63 years and her five siblings, Harold Johnson and his wife Mary, Carl Johnson and his wife Iris, Richard Johnson and his wife Lois, Gert Demaree and her husband Jim, and Millie Beaudry and her husband Lou. Beatrice leaves behind her three loving children, Russell Oja and his wife Amy of South Carolina, Jane Bedard and her husband Rick of Paxton, and Gary Oja of Worcester, two granchildren, Andrew Oja and his wife Macy of Virginia, and Amanda Bedard.
Bea was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother, an avid reader, loved visiting local bakeries for freshly baked bread and a few sweet pastries. She enjoyed walking trails, swimming, strawberry shortcake, fudge, and of course, spending time with her family. She took numerous evening Night Life classes at local schools. Bea loved reciting quotes and proverbs like "We get too soon old and too late smart".
While raising her children, Bea did all the things that wonderful mothers do. She drove her kids to ballgames, gymnastic lessons, and Boy Scout and Girl Scout meetings. In addition, she volunteered to solicit donations for the March of Dimes. She sang show tunes when she did housework. She made sure to Windex the family station wagon windows before trips to the local drive-in. She always remembered to buy the dish soap with the Hot Wheels car on top that one of her children wanted. We could go on and on but you get the idea. Bea enjoyed drawing and playing Apples to Apples with her granddaughter Amanda and telling lots of stories around the dinner table.
Bea also worked at several jobs before and while raising her family. She worked many years at the former Mammoth Mart department store as well as the Thom McAn headquarters. For her job at Thom McAn, she likes to tell the story about her job interview. The HR person asked why he should hire her. She replied "I'm never sick and I'm never late". She got the job.
Upon retirement she spent many weekends accompanying her husband George to various flea markets like Brimfield and antique car shows throughout New England. They also took frequent trips with the Greendale Mens Club, and attended many dinner dances at the Finn Club. They always kept swim suits and walking shoes in the trunk for swimming in quarries in Vermont and walking around reservoirs.
Service and internment in All Faiths Cemetery will be private. Arrangements are under the direction of Nordgren Memorial Chapel 300 Lincoln St. Worcester. In lieu of flowers donations in Bea's memory may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, Worcester MA, Finnish Heritage Society Sovittaja in Rutland MA, or the charity of their choice. To leave an online condolence message, please click guestbook link.