Beatrice Checket, founded nonprofit

March 06, 2010|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Beatrice A. "Bea" Checket, who had been head of activity programming at a Westminster retirement community and earlier had established the Women's Business Institute, died Feb. 25 from pancreatic cancer at Gilchrist Hospice Care. She was 67.

Beatrice Ann Noppenberger was born in Baltimore and raised in Federal Hill. She was a 1960 graduate of the Institute of Notre Dame and attended the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.

She worked as a third-grade teacher at St. Matthew's Parochial School on Woodbourne Avenue and then joined Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in Hartford, Conn., where she was an engineering aide.

Mrs. Checket later moved to Taneytown, and she founded and served as executive director of the Women's Business Institute, a nonprofit organization that supports female entrepreneurs in rural Maryland, more than a decade ago.

"Men have been networking for years, and women have gotten smarter," Mrs. Checket told The Baltimore Sun in a 1997 interview. "As more women enter the work force, more opportunities need to be given to them. There's a need for a place to go and network."

She later went to work as executive director of Maryland New Directions, which helps socially and economically disadvantaged women.

She had been a longtime member of SCORE, an organization that counsels small-business owners, and was named its national director of women's business ownership.

In recent years, she had been director of activity programming at Carroll Lutheran Village in Westminster, until retiring last year on a disability.

Services were held Sunday.

Surviving are a son, James Goldman of Denver; and two sisters, Catherine Larrabee of Baltimore and Mary Hoffman of Lutherville. Her first husband, Bernard Goldman, died in the 1980s; her second husband, Dr. Pierson M. Checket, died in 2005.

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