Edna Streett Bealle was born to William Garfield Streett and Lollie Jones Streett on April 8, 1916 in Baltimore, Maryland. Her mother was shocked she was pregnant and was convinced that it was the worst thing that ever happened to her since her husband was declared terminally ill and it had been ten years since she had last had a baby; all things considered, it was hard to think about the future. Years later she would discover what a blessing it would be as Edna took her into her home for 31 years until she passed at age 94.
Edna’s growing up years were not easy since her father wasn’t well. This put a strain on the family’s finances so Edna did not go to college after high school. Instead she took a part time job modeling in Department Stores until she married.
One of the fun memories Edna recalls is going on a date to a dance in Washington DC about 30 miles away from where she lived. At the dance she got to talking to an interesting man named John. He asked her for a date and she said yes. They dated for over a year until the day came when he asked her to marry him. “Being a lawyer, he was very persuasive,” Edna shared. Edna wasn’t sure but said yes. Shortly after getting engaged, her high school boyfriend Bill, who she hadn’t seen for five years, called and asked if he could visit and bring some pictures from high school. Edna thought there would be no harm in that. But what a surprise she got when he not only showed her the pictures from high school but asked her to marry him! She said to Bill, “but I’m engaged.” But he kept calling and Edna became interested in Bill. She thought this isn’t right, so she broke off her engagement to John in 1938 and became engaged to Bill in January 1939 and married in June of 1939.
They have two sons, five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. When their children were born Edna stayed at home until they became teenagers. Edna then took a job at Enochpratt Library in the Circulation Department, working some nights and Saturdays. This was difficult to balance with a family so she took a job at Travelers Insurance Company. Edna started as a file clerk and was promoted to Auto Insurance as a Casualty Assistant. After 19 years, Edna retired to take care of her mother who had suffered a stroke.
After Edna’s mother passed Bill’s health was having challenges and Edna knew they couldn’t keep up the house they were in. They knew God would order their steps so they prayed and asked for His help. Amazingly, two weeks after praying they received a brochure from University Village in Tulsa, OK. Edna didn’t pay attention to it but Bill was interested. He liked the cottages and one day said to Edna, “give them a call.” After calling they were put up in the cottage for five days to try it out, meals included. Edna didn’t want to come since Bill’s health was poor. They made an appointment with the President of the Village, George Stovall, and he asked, “being so far away, how did you hear about us? We don’t send out information unless it’s requested.” Edna and Bill didn’t have any contacts from University Village or know anyone who visited Tulsa. The only thing they could figure out is God sent an angel to make sure they got the information. Bill and Edna were married for 50 years and when Bill passed away.
It was then that Edna decided to go to Victory Bible Institute where she graduated in 1999 at age 87. She put to use her education by starting a Bible Study that went for 11 years and led a prayer group for 8 years. She is faithful with making visits to Residents in the University Village Health Center and helping wherever she is needed.
“University Village has definitely fulfilled their mission in my life and it is my desire to help them reach that goal in the lives of all who come here. I have met the most wonderful people in staff and residents. They make my life a blessing and with Jesus, every day is a joy” Edna says. University Village has been home to Edna for twenty-nine years and on April 8th we will all join her in celebrating her 100th birthday!