Loretta E. Beale


Loretta E. (Bell) Beale, of McAlester, died on May 31, 2019, in McAlester.
Funeral services were held June 3, at Bishop Chapel of Memories, officiated by Jeanie Dancer. Burial was at Oak Hill Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Randy Bell, Mike Bell, Pat Bell, David Bell, Josh Beale, Nathaniel Beale and Tracy Preston.
Memorial contributions may be made to the McAlester Youth Emergency Shelter, 904 North 9th, McAlester, OK, 74501.
Loretta E. Bell was born on October 15, 1920, in Kiowa, the first of four children born to Arch and Catherine (Penmann) Bell. Loretta grew up in Pittsburg County and moved to McAlester during the Great Depression. It was during the depression that Loretta's family lost everything they had, however, they were so fortunate for her father, a former telephone company lineman, to find employment with Kirk Furniture in McAlester. This job, which paid $100 per month, allowed the family to "get by" until the economy improved. Loretta's mother, Catherine, taught piano and desired that Loretta learn this art. However, after a couple of years of lessons, Loretta decided she would rather learn to dance. Her parents were then able to sign Loretta up for Saturday dance lessons at the Aldridge Hotel. Loretta not only learned to dance, but excelled at the art and began teaching others to dance at a very young age. She even held a dance recital for her students before graduating from high school.
Following high school, Loretta worked at the United States Naval Ammunition Depot building rockets during World War II.
Loretta later enrolled in the University of Oklahoma and studied dance and physical education. After taking every dance course offered, she decided to enroll in a teaching course in Houston, Texas. In addition, she studied in California before making her way back to McAlester where she opened a school of dance.
In 1947, she married Richard L. "Dick" Beale. Shortly thereafter, Loretta closed her school of dance and began working with Dick in the restaurant business. Their first restaurant was the Deluxe Café on Carl Albert. They owned and operated Dick's Grill in downtown McAlester next to the McAlester News-Capital on Choctaw and 3rd Street for a number of years and ran cafeterias at the U.S. Naval Ammunition Depot during the Korean War.
The Beale's retired for a short while, but then bought the McAlester Shoe store. They renamed the store Beale Shoes and operated that endeavor for a number of years.
Loretta was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of McAlester.
She enjoyed gardening, crafting, painting china and watercolors. She taught china painting and made many close friends when they traveled for master painting classes.
She became an avid yoga fan, taking classes taught by Nancy McGowan three times a week and was well into her mid 90's before she switched to walking for her exercise choice. Nancy, Margene, Zoe, Doris and Geneva formed her yoga circle of friends. We are all thankful her artistic talents were passed on to many of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Loretta is survived by her son, Kenny and wife, Donna, of Longtown; daughter, Gay Beale- Preston, of McAlester; grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Tracy Preston and son, Dane, of McAlester, Greg Preston, of Portland, Oregon, Kelby and Husband, Jeff, and sons, Weston and Wyatt Henkel, of Oklahoma City, Sarah and husband, Brett, and daughter, Norah Rae Wilson, of Memphis, Tenn., Leah Harris and children, Kyson and Kiele, of Norman, Josh and wife, Leann, and son, James Beale, of Norman, Nathaniel and wife, Julie, and children, Noah and Belle Beale of Norman, and Natalie Beale and son, Barron, of Denver, Colorado; granddaughter-in-law, Rachel and children, Courtney and Taylor Preston, of Oregon City, Oregon, and sister, Catherine "Katy" Bankston, of Whiteright, Texas.
Loretta was preceded in death by her parents, Arch Bell and Catherine (Penmann) Bell; her husband, Richard L. "Dick" Beale; a son, James Richard Beale; grandson, Steven Todd Preston, and two brothers, Jim Bell and Arch W. Bell.
The Beale family would like to give a special thanks to Dr. Ken Miller and the staff and many friends she made at Van Buren House. The staff were so kind and treated her like part of their family. A special-mentions to her longtime friends, Frieda Burden and Dottie Stone, and her neighbors from the Belmont neighborhood. And lastly, McAlester Regional Health Center, the nurses and staff. They brought comfort to Loretta and her family and friends as we all said good-bye. Thank you, Lena Lalli for your kindness, love and patience all these years. You made my mom look and feel beautiful till the end. What more could a woman want? You are appreciated and our family is forever grateful for touching her life in the most beautiful way.
Published on June 3, 2019
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1 posts

Pat and janet dougherty
Jun 04, 2019
Precious life, precious memories. So sorry for your loss.
With love, pat and janet dougherty