November 19, 1917 – October 23, 2021
Fresno, California – Beatrice “Bee” Emeline Raimondo Collier was born in Buffalo, New York, on Nov. 19, 1917, and died in Fresno on Oct. 23, 2021, at age 103. Her parents, Salvatore Raimondo and Giovanina La Spisa Raimondo, were immigrants from Sicily who moved to Fresno with her paternal grandparents when Bee was 6 months old.
She graduated from Fresno State College with an AB degree in home economics. For 28 years she worked for the US Department of Agriculture, where she met her husband, Alan Collier. They married in 1949 and celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary before his death in 2016. They had one son, David.
Bee was a caring and beloved wife, mother and grandmother, whose life was marked by devotion to her Catholic faith, love of her family and friends, and civic involvement. She loved working in her garden and was a fabulous Italian cook, who would spend all day simmering her made-from-scratch spaghetti sauce and who was known for her fabulous pastries.
She was a no-nonsense woman who, when confronted with a challenge or a need, would take it on without complaint. She became a devoted caregiver of her parents, two of her older sisters and her husband.
Bee poured herself into her religion and her church. She was a charter member of the Italian Catholic Federation of St. Anthony of Padua Church #308, and a member of the Senior Ministry Silver Angels of St. Anthony, serving on the planning committee. She was a member for 80 years and past president of the Young Ladies Institute #127, Fresno. She was a life member of the St. Agnes Service Guild and a volunteer at Nazareth House.
Bee also was active in many outside clubs and activities. She was a member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She was an avid reader and belonged to the AAUW book discussion club. She was very interested in Fresno history and supported the historic Meux Home Museum, as well as the Fresno Metropolitan Museum and Friends of the Library.
Her hobbies included taking adult classes on cooking, making many baby quilts for family and friends, taking Italian lessons and piano lessons. In her younger years, she regularly enjoyed playing bridge with her bridge club. She was in her garden every day, which was one of her secrets to her longevity.
Bee had wonderful friends and loved big social events, such as the celebration of her 100th birthday and her 50th wedding anniversary. When her son was growing up, she would take him out to a farm where she would buy crates of tomatoes, onions, radishes and other fresh produce to use in her culinary creations.
Her generosity, kindness and friendship touched many people throughout her life.
She was preceded in death by her parents, sisters Francesca Kuthe, Julie Chinello, Antoinette Chinello, Mary Howie and Dorothea Trafican, and brothers Andrew, John and Marino Raimondo. She was survived by her son, Dr. David Collier (Catherine) of Simi Valley, and granddaughter Alison (Justin) Tafoya of Denver, as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.
A funeral mass and celebration of life will be held at 10 am on July 20 at St. Anthony of Padua Chapel. The family is very appreciative of all the care she received in her last years of life at Nazareth House of Fresno, and in lieu of flowers, requests remembrances be made to Nazareth House, 2121 N. First St., Fresno 93703.
Published by Fresno Bee on Jul. 10, 2022.
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