Skaarup, Beatrice Lea

Beatrice Lea (Estabrook) Skaarup, age 93 of Charleston, NB, came to the clearing at the end of the path, and passed away peacefully at The Upper River Valley Hospital in Waterville on Friday, 18 August 2023 surrounded by her sons.

Beatrice was born in Charleston, Carleton County, daughter of the late Walter and Myrtle Estabrook. Beatrice was married to Aage Skaarup, who passed in 2011. She is survived by her three sons, Harold (Faye), Dale (Susan), Chris and their families which include seven grandchildren, twelve great grandchildren, several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Beatrice was predeceased by her siblings Katherine, Frederick, Bernard (Joe) and Wilhelmine. She is survived by her sister Gaynelle (Estabrook) Hawkins.

Beatrice graduated from High School in Woodstock where she lived with her Aunt Minnie Estabrook for many years. After her marriage to Aage in 1950, Beatrice joined her husband on his RCAF deployments at home and overseas from 1954 to 1974. She was an accomplished traveler as she and her family camped from Denmark to Spain and later through much of Canada and the USA. In the course of this, she raised her three sons in Alliston, Ontario, Zweibrucken, Germany, North Bay, Ontario, Gypsumville, Manitoba, Gander, Newfoundland, and Chatham, New Brunswick before she and Aage returned to the farm in Charleston. She played the piano and accordion in performances across the province, and in later years took up the fiddle. She especially liked playing for elders in care homes around the community and hosting “sings” at her family home. As a fantastic cook, she earned the nickname “Baking B”. She loved to make quilts for family and friends and was a long time member of the Waterville Church. She is interred at the Charleston Cemetery.

High School, Woodstock.

Beatrice, age 14.

1948, Woodstock, New Brunswick.


Beatrice with her hair in braids, ca 1948, with Minnie's cat Blossom.

Beatrice, School Days, Basketball Team, 1948.

Beatrice with her Sunday best hat, ca 1949.

Beatrice, Aunt Minnie's Drygoods Store, Woodstock, NB, June 1950.


1949, Bea and Aage, Montreal, Quebec.

Mom on her wedding day, 1950.

Mom and I, 1951.

Hal, Beatrice, and Laddie, June 1954.

In 1959, my RCAF father was posted to 3 (Fighter) Wing, Zweibrücken, Germany.  I can remember to this day our family taking a taxi from the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montréal, Quebec on 10 June 1959, to Pier 42 on the St Lawrence River.  There, we boarded the Greek Lines passenger ship “Arkadia,” along with many other RCAF families making the same journey overseas. I can remember Mom standing at the guardrail waving to the people on shore as the ship left the dock, and suddenly her glasses flew off. Interesting start to the trip, but we were on our way.

Arkadia postcard, 1959.

The ship’s passage across the North Atlantic to Europe took a week.  During the voyage, we took part in lifeboat drills, did some whale-watching, and on a foggy morning had our first sight of the coast of Ireland.

Mom, iceberg, view from the SS Arcadia, June 1959.

Lifeboat drill on the Arkadia, June 1959. You can see our mother Beatrice with striped blouse and lifejacket, another lady, and then my father and my brother Dale and I.

These experiences would be very familiar to many servicemen and women who had headed off to the wars in Europe, and for the war brides and survivors who made the return journey in the years that followed.

Military families I have spoken with confirm they sailed “across the pond” on the passenger ships Arkadia, Atlantic, Carinthia, Empress of Canada, Empressof England, Empress of France, Empress of Scotland, Homeric, Italia, Ivernia, Oceanos, Samaria, Saxonia, Scythia, and Sylvania.

My Mother Beatrice, my brother Dale and I, and our first view of the badly damaged Schloss (Palace) Zweibrücken in July 1959.  The palace has since been restored.

(Thomas W. Jefferson Photo)

Schloss Zweibrücken, Germany, restored. I have visited this site quite a few times, the interior has a display of the restoration work.

For four years we lived on the economy in Germany, with lots of camping and castle hunting. We explored much of Europe from Denmark to Spain.  We also lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis, 16-29 Oct 1962 (it was the first time I saw Dad come home armed with a pistol), and the raising of the Berlin Wall when construction began on 13 August 1961 when I was a ten-year-old boy.  The wall stood until 9 November 1989, when I was serving in Germany with my own children a generation later.

1960, Mom, Dale and I in the Rosengarten, Zweibrucken, Germany.

1960, Mom Dad, Dale and I in front of a bunker destroyed by the RCAF.

1960, Mom, Dale, Grandmother Mytle Estabrooks, Hal, Vimy Ridge, France, 1960.

1960, Mom, Dale, Grandmother Mytle Estabrooks, Hal, Vimy Ridge, France, 1960.

Dale, Hal, Bea & Aage Skaarup, May 1962.

I remember my parents calling us over to the radio to listen to John Glenn’s flight into space on 20 Feb 1962.  We learned about the world through his RCAF service in a way that very few CF families will experience in our present time.  We also visited the RCAF Headquarters in Metz, and the RCAF Bases at 1 (F) Wing, Marville, and 2 (F) Wing, Grostenquin in France, and 4 (F) Wing, Baden-Soellingen in Germany.

My father’s younger brother Carl served with the Canadian Army in Werl, Northern Germany, and we visited his family often.

            On the 19th of June 1963, we said goodbye to 3(F) Wing Zweibrücken, and took a military bus to 1 (F) Wing, Marville, France.  The next day we boarded an RCAF Canadair Yukon transport and flew back to Canada, landing in Trenton and staying in the Yukon Lodge, as have thousands of other Canadian service families.  From here, Dad was posted to Canada’s NORAD HQ in North Bay, Ontario, adding my brother Chris to the family while we were living there.

Canadair CC-106 Yukon, which we boarded on 20 June 1963 for the flight home.

From there, Dad was posted to Canada’s NORAD HQ in North Bay, Ontario where we went to live in the PMQs at Trout Lake.  North Bay is the counterpart to the HQ I worked in at Colorado Springs – again; I seemed to be following in his footsteps.  The summer of 1964 Dad took us to a swimming place on Lake Nippissing, often stopping to get us a hamburger at the Brazier Burger place he said was run by a famous hockey player.  Years later, I learned it was run by Tim Horton, long before he was famous for his donuts.  My brother Christopher joined us in September 1965.

Many years later during my service in the CF, when it came time for my family and I to do the same rotation, only this time, we boarded a Boeing 707 jet. I’ve had several thousand flights since then, but I still remember that first trip across the Atlantic on the Arcadia.

My wife Faye and son Jonathan boarding the Boeing 707 at CFB Lahr, Germany, June 1983.

Dad served three years with NORAD at RCAF Station North Bay, Ontario, and he was then posted in the summer of 1966 to RCAF Station Gypsumville, Manitoba.

CFS Gypsumville, Manitoba, sign 1968.

In the summer of 1971 Dad was posted to CFB Chatham, New Brunswick, where he completed his 20 years of service in 1974, retiring as a Warrant Officer in the Canadian Forces. He and my Mother then moved back to the farm in Charleston. At that time, my brother Dale was serving in the Canadian Navy and I was in the Militia in Halifax - this photo taken in the spring of 1973 is the only one I have of all three of us in uniform.

Our family at our Wedding, 19 Nov 1977.

Chris, Hal, Beatrice, Dale and Aage Skaarup, 11 Nov 2007.

5 Nov 2010.

20 Oct 2017.

Mom ready to go canoeing on the Saint John River, Fredericton, 23 July 2017.

Mom canoeing on the Saint John River, Fredericton, 15 Sep 2018.

Mom on her 90th birthday "drive-by" celebration!

Mom on her 90th birthday "drive-by" celebration!

9 Oct 2022, after a fine meal!

Mom on her exercise bike, Jan 2022.

2013, 12 Aug, Mom, Montmorency Falls, Quebec.

Mom in Odell Park 22 July 2018.

St Croix Park, Maine, 20 Sep 2019.

Weston, Maine, East Grand Lake, 20 Sep 2019.

Mom, Fort Beausejour, 10 Sep 2018.

Mom, Fort Beausejour, 10 Sep 2018.

Mom loved to go cross-country on a zig-zag trek to help me find historical artefacts to document for our military history records. Many of these sites had old cannon, armoured vehicles and aircraft, and she would act as my spotter to help find them as we navigated the back roads of New Brunswick, Maine, Quebec and Ontario.

Mom, McAdam, NB, 20 Sep 2019.

Fredericton, 25 July 2017.

The Centreville cenotaph.  We have 12 of 14 family names on this memorial!   Grandfathers Fred Skaarup and Walter Estabrooks, both gunners, fought in the First World War, uncles Harold Jorgen Skaarup, 8th Hussars, died of wounds in Italy, Sep 1944, and Fred Estabrooks, C Pro C, Second World War.  For the Cold War era, my father WO Aage C. Skaarup, RCAF, uncle WO Carl Skaarup, RCEME, uncle Bernard Estabrooks, C Pro C, aunt Wilhelmine Estabrooks, CWAC (did not want her name on the stone), cousin Fred Skaarup, RCA, brother Lt (Navy) Dale Ray Skaarup, RCN, brother Christopher Loren Skaarup, RCA, Former HLCol Harold Aage Skaarup, C Int C. sister-in-law Lt (Navy) Heather Skaarup, (not on the stone), and my son 2Lt Sean Jordan Skaarup, RCA.  My mother Beatrice Lea Skaarup (nee Estabrooks), my wife Faye Alma Jenkins and son Jonathan Mark Skaarup have been tremendous support throughout our numerous deployments.

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