Kalka, Beatrice Sybol

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True to form, Bea wrote her own obituary. In her words: “Beatrice Sybol Kalka, age 98, of Austin, Texas passed away on July 25, 2021.

Beatrice, the second child of Louis and Mina Kalka, was born at the family farm home near McLean, Texas on May 19, 1923, her birth attended by a country doctor and her Aunt Alma.

Her education and professional career began at a one room country school and spanned 59 years. She graduated McLean High School at McLean, Texas in 1940. Beatrice earned a bachelor’s degree in home economics education from West Texas State, a master’s degree in textiles and clothing from The University of Tennessee and a doctorate in higher education from Oklahoma State University. Short term studies were pursued at Iowa State University and the University of Arizona.

Her teaching career included teaching home economics at high schools in Texas, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Wiesbaden Germany. Professorships to teach textiles and clothing-related courses were held at Pennsylvania State University, Wayne State University, Oklahoma State University, North Carolina State at Greensboro, and Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Dr. Kalka retired from Virginia Tech in 1988 and was honored with the title Associate Professor Emeritus of Clothing and Textiles, Human Resources and Retired Cooperative Extension Specialist.

Bea’s genuine optimism defined her life. She was a devout Catholic—quietly and privately spiritual.

In September 2010 Bea moved from Blacksburg, Virginia to Austin, Texas to live near two nieces and was a resident of the Summit (now known as Brookdale), a retirement facility which provided new friendships, activities, and a caring and comfortable home.

She is survived by brother William (Bill) Kalka of Panhandle, Texas, sister Dorothy Pritchard of Gardnerville, Nev. and numerous nieces and nephews. Niece Toni Halseth and her husband Marty were her primary caregivers the last years of her life.

There will be no viewing or funeral service, but cremation with private burial at the Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery at White Deer, Texas.

Memorials may be made in Beatrice’s honor to Warm Hearth Foundation, 2603 Warm Hearth Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24060, or to a charity of your choice.”