Donna Joy Beaty
Sept. 21, 1924 - August 10, 2006
On Tuesday, August 29, 2006, Donna Beaty joined her husband Joe in the Hallowed Ground of Arlington Ceremony. Both were heroes---Joe for his Army service in three wars and Donna for her support on the home front as a mother, teacher and worker in the war effort. They truly represented what has been called the ‘Greatest Generation’. Joe served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Joe and Donna were married on New Year’s Day 1953. When Joe shipped out to Europe, Donna stayed behind and taught school. When Joe was recalled to active duty and was sent to Korea, Donna stayed behind and worked in a ‘Rosie the Riveter’ type job at Timken Roller Bearing in Colorado Springs. Donna and the family joined Joe in Japan in 1954. They later lived at Fort Meyer and Frankfurt, Germany. When Joe went to Vietnam, Donna, son Joseph Raymond and daughter Vikki Sue lived in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Donna and Joe moved to Rose Hill in 1968 and immediately became active in community activities. They were members of the Civic Association and helped form our outstanding Neighborhood Watch program. Carolyn Slenska, our RHCA’s past president and current treasurer, recalls that the Beatys were among the first people she met when she moved to Rose Hill and they recruited her for community service. Carolyn, like many others, found out you just couldn’t say no to Donna Beaty!
The Beatys were members of Franconia United Methodist Church. Donna prepared meals and helped deliver them as part of Meals on Wheels program and the Rising Hope United Methodist Mission Church. Their house on Roundhill Road was a showplace and earned the honor as a Rose Hill Beauty in each year since the program was instituted five years ago. Joe passed away in the late 1990s, but Donna made sure the grounds were kept immaculate in his honor.
On August 13, 2006, a large contingent of Donna’s friends and church members gathered at Franconia United Methodist Church for a memorial service in Donna’s honor. Woody Betts, coordinator of our Neighborhood Watch, and I had the honor of offered our community’s grateful memories of Donna’s service to our community.
If I close my eyes and dream, I can call up the vision of Donna, while walking her dog, greeting neighbors and newcomers with ‘Have you heard about or Neighborhood Watch?’ She usually signed up new watchers on the spot. That is why Rose Hill has one of the most effective Neighborhood Watch programs in Fairfax County. Donna organized her roster each year and made sure everyone made their appointed rounds.
Donna is gone, but she will not be forgotten. We are a safer community because of her efforts. Even as illness curtailed her activities before her death, she continued to work on Neighborhood Watch. She always started her phone calls with ‘I wish I was able to do more’. Donna did more than enough. We all can honor her memory by following her example by serving God, family, country and community.
If you have occasion to visit the Vietnam, Korea and the new World War II memorials on the Mall, you can reflect in awe that Joe and Donna Beaty served in all three. I don’t know about you, but that is a thought that humbles me.
Carl Sell, President
Rose Hill Civic Association
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