BAR HARBOR – Beatrice Louise "Bea Lou" Horner, 95, died peacefully Jan. 27, 2012, after a long and very happy life. She was born Nov. 19, 1916, in Bar Harbor. She was the elder daughter of Asa Hoyt and Blanche Deasy Hodgkins, and the last surviving grandchild of the Honorable Luere Babson and Emma Moore Deasy.
Bea Lou graduated from Bar Harbor High School in 1934 – she had been the oldest living graduate – and from Wheelock College, Boston, in 1938, with a teaching degree in elementary education. She lovingly taught kindergarten in the Bar Harbor public school system for many years, with legions of graduates who remember her fondly. On July 2, 1939, she married W. Rea Horner of Carmichaels, Pa., who in later years was known to our family as "The Music Man." Rea worked for Mobil Oil Corp. on Mount Desert Island, Hancock Point and Bangor, and for 52 years of happy marriage they lived and raised their children in Bar Harbor. Rea taking early retirement in 1973, they traveled in Europe and spent many wonderful winters with friends at their condominium in Bradenton, Fla. Music and Bar Harbor Congregational Church were central to their life together. They were founding members of the original Acadia Choral Society and stalwarts in the church choir for many years. Even as she neared the end of her life, Bea Lou still knew the alto part of every hymn. At the time of her death, she had been a member of the church for 79 years, the oldest on record.
Bea Lou is survived by her son, Bill Horner and his wife, Cookie; by her daughter, Andrea Semels of Austin, Texas; and her daughter-in-law, Nicola Knipe of Princeton, N.J. She has five grandchildren, Asa and Eva Horner of Princeton, N.J., Lara Horner and Amy Munson of Bar Harbor and Christian Horner of Los Angeles; and three stepgrandchildren, Jennifer Judd-McGee of Northeast Harbor, Kathryn Judd of Traverse City, Mich., and Samuel Judd of Boston. Her blended family has produced nine fabulous great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Rea, in 1991; son, Rob, in 1992; grandson, Mark Woolman Horner, in 1998; and by her son-in-law, Dan Semels, in 2002.
A service in celebration of the life of Bea Lou Horner will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, at Bar Harbor Congregational Church. Those who wish may make a donation in her memory to Bar Harbor Congregational Church, 29 Mount Desert St., Bar Harbor, ME 04609. Arrangements in care of Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mount Desert. Condolences may be expressed at