To the editor:
Thank you for including Mrs. Beatrice Elliott Smith (Bea or Babe) in the proposed Excelsior Springs Panorama Mural of Historic People and Places.
Bebe Elliott was an attractive, vivacious person with a beautiful lyric soprano voice. She also had the ability to dance. In the 1930s Bea organized a small band of musicians and singers to perform for events around Excelsior.
The Elm Hotel Dance Troupe was composed of the hotel wait and other staff members. The group performed in many entertaining, polished and well costumed floor shows.
About 1943 Beatrice Elliott moved to Kansas City, Missouri, as a singing entertainer. In 1944 through help from an agent Bebe began singing in San Diego, California. In 1950 Beatrice married a U.S. Navy Sailor, James H. Smith. They were stationed at many locations as James (Jim) pursued his naval career. Four girls were born to them: Theresa Ann, M. Kimberly, Karen Elaine and Susan Elizabeth. Theresa and Susan are deceased.
Lt. Commander J. H. Smith and Mrs. Beatrice Smith retired in San Diego California. They are now deceased. Mrs. Beatrice Elliott Smith died in 1995.
I am Beatrice’s oldest daughter, Mrs. Evelyn Elliott Steppe. Hopefully the proposed mural will help convey The spirit of The Elms Hotel and Excelsior Springs. My sister, M. Kimberly Smith Lowe of Hawaii, said that “she hopes there will be other equivalent contributions (such as this message) by other families with loved ones in the mural. A suggestion that perhaps there could be a mural memories page or book. It could make a rich book.”
Thank you for honoring our mother. Lt. Commander Smith said Beatrice “sparkled!”
Mrs. Evelyn Elliott Steppe
San Diego, Calif.