Welcome to the memorial page for

Beatrice Roberta Ries

April 10, 1934 ~ February 13, 2017 (age 82)

Beatrice Roberta Ries, 82, of Deltona, passed away February 13, 2017.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated 1 PM Saturday, February 25, 2017 at the Most Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, 5800 15th Avenue South, Gulfport.

Interment will follow at Royal Palm Cemetery - South.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Humane Society.

Our Mom was born Beatrice Roberta Shimkus in 1934 in Chicago, Illinois; she was an only child.

She often described the early years of her childhood growing up in the city: errands to fetch groceries and buckets of beer; dance contest winner in high school; stitching up her father’s hands from the knife cuts suffered during his work as a meat cutter in the city markets; Nursing School at Mount Sinai Hospital … you get the picture.  Though they eventually moved to Florida in the early 50’s (where she once again found herself stitching up her father’s hands from his time as a meat cutter at Webb’s City), her upbringing in Chicago certainly shaped her personality.

Mom met her future Husband, Paul, on Municipal Beach in St Petersburg.  Family legend has it that his pick up line was, “are you ready for that cup of coffee yet?”.  He asked her to marry him while standing under a street light at 5:30am, before her shift started at the hospital.  They were married on February 8th, 1957, three months after meeting on the beach, and were happily enjoying their 57th year of marriage when he passed away in 2014.

She had two children; a son, Paul (Buddy), born in 1959, and a daughter, Julie, born in 1963.  She has two grandchildren from her son; Nicholas John Ries, born in 1989, and Alexander James Ries, born in 1992.

Those that knew her, also knew that her love was reflective of the family way in that it was broad and deep for those she also held close: Jacque, the mother of Nick and Alex; Musa, Paul’s significant other and someone that connected through their mutual love of art and the adventure of life; and Lee, Julie’s husband that has been around so long that he was considered a son.  To watch how he loved our folks and took care of them over the years, one could say that he too had adopted them.

Mom trained as a nurse and practiced it her entire life; from the early days in the ER to just the other week bossing around the nurses assigned to her in ICU.  Though her career started in the ER, it encompassed time in a VA hospital in Vancouver, WA, stints caring for patients in a private physician’s office as well as a psychiatric hospital, a position as an administrator for one of the earliest home health care systems in St Pete and lastly, starting from scratch a home health care system in the Counties of Citrus, Hernando and Marion operating out of a corner in a local Rexall Drugs.  As a caregiver, she was stoic, capable, and under control.... until one of her kids came home bleeding and then she’d lose it.

Mom and Dad retired and moved to Deltona, FL 20 or so years ago.  They did everything together; from the mundane (chores, shopping, cooking, etc), to the adventurous ("road trips Ries" they called ’em).  Later in life they shared volunteer efforts at the local library and hospice store.  Throughout her entire work and retirement life, Mom remained close to her art, doing pottery and oil paintings of her favorite landscapes visited during adventures with dad.  Her last oil painting was completed only 3 months ago.

Mom’s passion for life and her take-no-prisoners attitude was a good match for Dad’s humor and laid-back take.  They were wonderful parents and we knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we were loved and that they were always there for us, no matter how far along we happened to be in life's timeline.

Mom passed away at 9:49a on Monday, February 13th.  Her love for us and her forthright manner in all things will be greatly missed.

Additional photos and memories may be viewed at

David C. Gross Funeral Homes, Central Avenue Chapel in St. Petersburg is serving the family.

 Service Information

Funeral Mass
February 25, 2017

1:00 PM
Most Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, Gulfport
5815 15th Avenue South
Gulfport, FL 33707

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