On July 18, Becky Bartter, 78, of Chagrin Falls, OH, passed away peacefully with her husband, Bruce, and daughter, Brooke, by her side.
Becky lived life fully, with love for her family and friends. You couldn’t help but want to spend time with her.
She got her hands dirty. Not just with her gardens, which were always meticulous and culminated with fresh flowers for the kitchen table, but with life. She didn’t just show up, she did the work. She planned and she organized. Becky made things happen.
She explored. From early trips all over the east coast as a young mom with a curious daughter to spending the last sixteen years traveling the world with her husband, she enjoyed meeting other people and experiencing other places. Becky was always planning her next adventure.
She played. If there was a deck of cards, a handful of dice, or dominos around, she was sure to start a game. She was competitive and enjoyed winning, but that was never the point. For Becky, it was always about the camaraderie of sitting around a table talking, sharing, and laughing.
She was a collector. Over the years, her collections have included strawberries, Coca-Cola, quilts, Christmas houses, flamingos, and hand blown glass witch balls. Her most treasured collection, however, was her friendships. Becky made friends easily and held those friends dear.
Becky was born and raised in Fairmont, WV to Beulah and Jim Ross. It was there that she first began her collection of friends. The Polar Babes, a group of girls from high school & some since kindergarten, have been getting together regularly for 50 years. They have been through it all together.
From there, she moved on to college at Ohio University where she made and collected more friends, many of them made over hands of bridge, one of her favorite games. She loved being in a part of her sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta, and was president her senior year. It was also at OU that Becky met her first husband, Fred, though they would not become an item until after college when she was traveling the country as a “marketing girl” for Procter & Gamble. She spent her weekends flying back to Cleveland to spend time with her sorority sisters and new beau.
Becky & Fred had a short but wonderful married life together, bringing their beloved daughter Brooke into the world just a few years before Fred passed away from cancer leaving a young single mom with a toddler. Never one to let life knock her down, she set up her life to enjoy motherhood and all it had to offer, leaving a career in banking behind her with no regrets. Becky thrived as a mom: volunteering at the school, leading scouts, game nights, planning fun parties and events, summers at the local rec center (where she served on the board) and at the beach. She provided Brooke with an outstanding childhood filled with so many cherished memories.
An avid volunteer, Becky devoted much of her time to the P.E.O. Sisterhood, a philanthropic organization that supports women’s education, where she served on the state board and as the Ohio state president. Traveling the state to visit chapters and the country for conventions, she collected even more friends.
Becky rarely sat still. When she wasn’t being a mom, working, and volunteering, she was spending time with friends. Countless hands of bridge with so many bridge clubs and books with book clubs. The Funseekers. The Lunch Bunch. The Holden Beach crew. Among all those friends, she found Bruce.
With Bruce, Becky had someone with whom she could fully embrace life. Having both lost a spouse, they knew just how precious life was. There was never a moment taken for granted. Summers at home in Chagrin Falls and winters in Venice, FL. They loved cooking and entertaining whether it was for themselves or for friends. And the trips! So many trips. A winery in every state. River cruises through Europe, China and the Nile. Australia & New Zealand. The Caribbean.
Her life with Bruce added new friends and family to her collection. Friends to travel with and friends met while traveling. Bruce’s friends became hers and his family came to embrace her as one of their own: their Nana. Becky loved being Nana. She adored watching the grandkids grow. Getting their hands dirty, exploring, and playing. Just like Nana.
Becky is preceded in death by her parents and her first husband, Fred. She is survived by her daughter Brooke, husband Bruce, his children Amy & John (Lola), the grandchildren she loved so very much: Ines & Henry (John) Audrey & Elliott (Amy), and her many, many friends.
A celebration of life will be held this fall. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Becky’s memory to P.E.O., the philanthropic organization for women’s education that Becky committed so much of her life to supporting. There are several scholarship options available, we would ask that you choose the one that speaks to you. Any support for this worthy cause would mean so much to her. https://donations.peointernational.org/