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A celebration of BeBe’s life is planned in the future.

Selma Kramer Petock, affectionately known to everyone as “BeBe,” Sunday, died April 12, 2020 at Manorhouse in Richmond. Born in 1931, BeBe was a life-long Newport News resident until she and her husband, Norman, moved to Manorhouse in 2018. She was married to and enjoyed her life with Norman for 68 years. A Newport News High School graduate, BeBe was an admired leader and community trailblazer serving a long and distinguished career in business, as well as community and public service.  She began her career at Kramer’s Market, the family’s grocery store business and then went on to Virginia Specialty Stores’ where she was the credit manager for 25-plus years. She loved Newport News and public service, serving as the legislative aide to late Virginia House of Delegates Del. Alan Diamonstein. She worked for the campaigns of former Newport News Mayor Joe Frank and late Virginia state Sen. John Miller.


Virginia Senate and House of Delegates Joint Resolution---No. 5015 was presented to BeBe “as an expression of the General Assembly’s admiration and gratitude for her commitment to public service” further stating that she was “a woman of integrity and fairness.” Her public service embraced the Hampton-Newport News Community Services Board, which in 2009 recognized BeBe by inducting her into its Hall of Fame, which “honors local people who support those affected by mental and intellectual disabilities.” She was chair of the Newport News Electoral Board. She received the First Congressional District Grassroots Award-2002 and was a 2006 honoree of the Virginia Chapter of the National Conference for Community and Justice honoring local humanitarians. BeBe reached out to both the general and the Jewish communities, participating in the Newport News Chapter of Hadassah, An Achievable Dream Foundation, American Red Cross, the American Cancer Society and Rodef Sholom Temple Sisterhood. Passionate, kind and caring, BeBe had an amazing amount of energy. If she called to ask for help with a project or campaign, BeBe would not take no for an answer. BeBe was renowned for her hospitality, sharing her home with family, friends and strangers alike and where no one ever left hungry.


BeBe is survived by her husband, Norman; sons, Marc Petock and Steven Petock both of Richmond, and their wives Connie Petock and Carol Petock; grandchildren, Matthew Petock and his fiancée, Arlena Armstrong, Rachel Mays and her husband, Devin and Brandon Petock; and great grandchildren Ethan Shutas and Luke Mays.


The family wishes to offer thanks to The Arbors at Port Warwick, Newport News; Manorhouse and Jewish Family Services both in Richmond; Ascend Hospice and special thanks to caregivers Bernadette Branch, Paige Klase, Shelia Smith and April Mallory.


Burial for the family only was private. A celebration of BeBe’s life is planned in the future. Norman asks that those wishing to donate in BeBe’s memory do so to Rodef Sholom Temple, 401 City Center Blvd., Newport News, VA 23606. Arrangements by Weymouth Funeral Home.

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