Bea Hornby could be the gold standard for those labeled the “Greatest Generation.”
Seventy-some-odd years ago Bea led an all-women team of electricians during WWII and earned the nickname “Rosie the Riveter.” Like so many bandana-wearing women who were the face of the changing workforce, Bea was just one of the 350,000 ladies who got out of the house and flipped the script on the concept of “women’s work.”
“They found out that I could read blueprints, because of my father,” Bea said. Her father was a carpenter and taught her how to read blueprints when she would go work with him as a child.
While she worked in the shipyards in New Jersey, this skill became invaluable. Despite not holding a title, not wearing a uniform and never fighting overseas, Bea did an important job and didn’t let the men push her around.
“They’d come out and say I want this and I’d say no that’s not right,” Bea said.
At 101 years old, Bea hasn’t lost an ounce of that tenacity and she never stopped serving.
Three days a week at the VFW in Palm Coast women meet for an aerobics class taught by Bea.
She has made this VFW post her second home. She said she joined just after her husband passed away and she has been helping women stay healthy and has served the post admirably ever since. Bea also helps to take care of other elderly veterans by bringing meals to them and socializing with them.
In her early 20s, Bea served our country without a title, but she joins the ranks of the “Greatest Generation” with ease. She is a veteran and was a vital piece of the war effort and she has not stopped doing good since.
“It’s very important to me, it’s my life,” she said.