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Bea’s Book Bags—Celebrating Lifelong Love of Literature

Beatrice (Bea) DePasquale Temkin P’70, GP’97’01, GGP’34 had a love of literacy that was perhaps only matched by her love of Lincoln School. An avid reader of everything from current events to children’s tales and all books in between, Bea spread her devotion to the written word to both her children and her community. 

“My mother was always reading, and she constantly read to us when we were young. I think the fact that she always had a book made me want to always have a book,” said Bea’s daughter, Donna Paolino Coia ’70, P’97,P’01. “It didn’t stop there—my daughters both love to read, and the cycle continues in my grandchildren.”

Bea accompanied all of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren to the library to get their first library card, and she turned this milestone moment into a celebration. She would often give books to her friends and her family as gifts, and also carried them with her wherever she went. 

It’s fitting then, that though she passed away in 2016 at the age of 84, her legacy lives on in a beloved Lower School library program dedicated to cultivating a love of reading in Lincoln students that is now named in her honor. Bea’s Book Bags’ mission is to promote a passion for literacy by providing curated books for curious young minds. 

During their time at Lincoln, Bea was relentlessly dedicated to her children and grandchildren’s education—Mari Marchionte Bianco ’97 and Kara Paolino Marchionte ’01. Bea believed in the power of all-girls education, and was also an involved grandparent, a steady fixture in the Lincoln School community throughout her grandchildren’s time on campus. 

Her dedication extended beyond Lincoln and into the local and national community. Bea was the first Assistant Director of First Night Providence, Director of Volunteers for the Rhode Island Medical Center, and the Society Editor for Rhode Island Monthly. She fundraised and volunteered for numerous organizations throughout her life including The AIDS Project, Miriam Hospital-Women’s Association, Rhode Island Food Bank, and RISD Museum. 

Bea, many would say, was one of a kind, a generous spirit with an incredible sense of humor and the innate ability to lift others up.

“She was a Worker Bee and a Queen Bee,” said her daughter. “She worked hard, and gave so much of herself to others. She was a leader throughout her life, and I am thrilled she will have the opportunity to live on through Bea’s Book Bags by leading young Lincoln girls to embrace their own love of literature.”

Want to find out more about Bea’s Book Bags? Visit lincolnschool.org/beasbookbags—happy reading!

Bea's great-grandchildren, Nicky, Brooklyn, and AJ reading about Bea's Book Bag program.