Ruth Bernice Ahart was born to loving Swedish parents, Ed and Ruth Olson in April 1931, and an older brother, Herb, who became her hero. Bea reunited with them on Sunday, September 5, 2021.
Bea attended several schools, while her father worked on various bridge projects around the country including the San Francisco Bay Bridge; returning to graduate from Waukegan Township High School, Class of June 1948. While residing in California, she learned to tap dance with Scotty Westin’s troupe and stage performances wearing creative costumes designed and handmade by her mother. Traveling to Seattle, Washington, she and brother, Herb, took to the accordion and entertained as duets.
She continued her education; earning a BA in Business Administration from Lake Forest College in 1951 and completed graduate work at Radcliffe/Harvard in Business.
Prior to marriage she worked in personnel and finance, USO Waukegan and as a certified lifeguard at a Y camp because of her love of swimming and serving. Homemaking found her enjoying raising two children, gardening, home decorating, and entertaining. This background contributed to the adventure of eleven years as co-owner and manager of the Black Angus Steak Ranch in Gurnee and a stint as a race car driver! Another adventure, with brief exposure to other industries, the Gurnee Park District, Viking Park, and accounting became her pleasure. She retired from the District in 2002.
She is survived by children Bruce (Tina) Ahart of North Carolina; Beth (Eddie) Ahart-Valk, of Nevada; grandsons Chris Ahart and John Martinez; great-granddaughter Skyler Martinez; sister-in-law Ethel Olson and nephews with families.
Preceded her leaving, besides parents and brother, is her former husband and business partner, Bill Ahart.
In lieu of flowers, contributions to your favorite charity or to the Scholarship Program at Gurnee Park District, 4374 Old Grand Avenue, Gurnee, IL are appreciated. Burial will be private. A remembrance gathering will be from 5-8 pm on Thursday, September 9, at Warren Funeral Home, 1475 N Cemetery Rd. Gurnee. Online condolences visit www.warrencemetery.com.