K S. S. Kresge's
3001 - 3005 Washington Avenue
Newport News, VA
1944 - Washington Avenue - Looking North      
Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64)
of VA - 08/22/03
Thanks, Dave!

..... That tall modernistic-looking white building on the left is Kresge's.  It was on the NW corner of 30th Street.  In 1941, some kid just freshly arrived from Phoebus was mercifully taken to lunch there by three of his new classmates.....

- Fred Field ('45) of CA - 04/01/06
Thanks, Fred!

..... More proof. Look here:

Hill's clearly shows S.S. Kresge located at 3001 - 3005 Washington Ave in 1945.

By 1965, this address had become Leggett's.

- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 05/06/08
Thanks, Dave!

Floda Helmick "Beatrice" Larmore
  HAYES - Floda 'Beatrice' Helmick Larmore, 79, went to be with the Lord on May 3, 2008.

Ms. Bea was born in Topping, Middlesex County, Va., to the late Byron and Blanch LeCompte Helmick, formerly of Newport News, and was the granddaughter of the late Jacob and Maude LeCompte. Ms. Bea started working when she was 15 years old. One of her first jobs was in downtown Newport News at Kresge's as a waitress, and she was one of the first women to work at Rich's Open Air Market. She worked at Hastings Raydist for 12 years as a Calibration Technologist, where she made many friendships that lasted her whole life. After leaving Hastings Raydist, she returned to the grocery business and was the Deli Manager opening several stores, Giant Open Air, Pantry Pride, Big Star and A & P. Ms. Bea also worked in the hotel industry as an Executive Housekeeper for The Chamberlin Hotel, Days Inn and Comfort Inn.

When the Gloucester Walmart opened, Ms. Bea applied to be a people greeter, working in Lawn and Garden, putting her love for people and flowers to work, always eager to share advice with her customers about flowers and gardening. This brought her great joy and she received numerous awards for her work and kind dedication to her customers. She was fondly known as 'Ms. Bea - the Flower Lady.' Ms. Bea has resided in Gloucester for the last 18 years and worked at Walmart until a year ago.

Besides her parents and grandparents, she was also preceded in death by her loving husband of 50 years, Melvin 'Cowboy' Levon Larmore.

Ms. Bea is survived and her memory will be cherished by two daughters, both residing in Gloucester, Vonnie Larmore Settle and Ester 'Faye' Larmore Garris and husband, Randy; five devoted grandchildren, Nicole Settle Wheeler and husband, Brett, Jason Wade Settle and fiancEe, Adrian Johnson, Nina Garris Hargrave and husband, David, Jacqueline Garris and Jake Garris and fiancEe, Sara Williams. She leaves eight great-grandchildren, Kylie, Blakelei, Collin, Preston, Dawson, Amory, Evan and Kaela. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were her joy and her love for life. She was their 'Meme' and she will be greatly missed by all of her loving family and friends.

Funeral services, officiated by the Rev. Timothy B. Kirby Sr. and the Rev. Dr. Richard Croxton, will be held 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 7, at Providence Baptist Church. Interment will follow in the church cemetery where she will be next to her beloved 'Cowboy.' The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 6, at Hogg Funeral Home, Gloucester Point.
View and post condolences on our online guestbook at dailypress.com/guestbooks .

Published in the Daily Press on 5/5/2008.
Guest Book


In the summer of 1959 while I was still eleven years old, I began participating in Mr. Wilson's summer band program for elementary and high school band students. This meant I had to take the Stuart Gardens bus across town each morning, and eat lunch downtown before returning home.  As often as not, I would elect to go to Kresge's luncheonette (with lots of time for shopping for silly doo-dads while I was there).  It was a fun and delightful place to grab a quick lunch, and it marked the first time I began to feel that I was not so much a child any more. I would invariably choose a chicken salad sandwich and some red punch drink which they served in real glasses with tiny square ice cubes.  I was pretty set in my ways, and the thin young dark-haired gal behind the counter soon knew what I wanted without my even having to ask.  One day (and I think it was still that particular summer, though I couldn't swear to that) when I walked in I could sense immediately that something was wrong - very, very wrong.

The regular gal was behind the counter as usual, slowly and meticulously drying a glass.  But there was only one person at the lunch counter, a large black woman sitting very still and waiting patiently.  She was waiting for service that wasn't going to be forthcoming that day, nor for many days to come.  The gal saw me coming and slowly and sadly shook her head "No", while her eyes almost imperceptibly moved to the large sign posted above the counter - "WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE TO SERVE ANYONE".  I was horrified at the injustice that wouldn't allow that woman to be served even so much as a glass of ice water on a hot summer day.  As much as we like to look back on them, not everything was so idyllic back in those days.

- Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 04/17/04

Until yesterday, my memories and recollections being as scrambled as they are, I had thought that the above scenario had taken place in Woolworth's (where it was originally attached). Seeing "Ms. Bea's" photograph attached to her obituary, I recognized her immediately, and realized that it had taken place in Kresge's, for she was indeed that very waitress.

When David (Spriggs - '64 - of VA) confirmed the location for me, it removed all doubt in my mind. Thank you so much, Captain!

- Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 05/06/08

(This page was created at last on 05/06/08.)

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