Beau James was born Jim C. Locke on May 30, 1936 in Wharton, Texas. He was the
son of Geraldine Fitzgerald and Jim Locke. He was brother to Jerry Gray. He is
survived by his niece Kathy Palma and her husband Doug Hepler. His niece Toy
Horsfel and her children. His great niece Diana Savage and her children. His great,
great nephew, Tristan, his sister Harriet Wolda and his partner Robert Ratigan.
After graduating Northwestern University Beau moved to New York to attend The
Actors Studio. He then proceeded to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film. It was
there he joined May Company as buyer for the children’s clothing department. He was
successful in the retail business winning the prestigious Bessie Award for outstanding
leadership. This propelled him to opening one of the first designer shops in Palm
Desert, California named The Beau James Center. He also co-hosted a daytime talk
show with Gloria Greer named The Beau James Show. He became a celebrity in that
area of the country to which his name is still known today. After his success with his
store in the desert and trail blazing the way for many other like stores to open he
sought change by joining Bonwit Teller in New York as Executive Director of the
Personal Shopping Club. The “club” hosted luncheons which honored woman who
made major contributions to various social causes. Such notable honorees included
Mrs. William Randolf Hearst (Rosalie) and Ivana Trump. Beau would eventually end up
at Saks Fifth Avenue where he flourished as a personal stylist and buyer for the Salon Z
category. His clients included some of our local residents. He retired from Saks Fifth
Avenue in 2010. He and his partner, Robert settled in Summit, NJ. Beau became a
member of Calvary Episcopal Church. He was an active member almost up to the time
of his death.
He is beloved and missed by all who have had the pleasure of knowing him.
A Celebration of Beau’s life will be held at Calvary Episcopal Church, 31 Woodland Ave in Summit on Saturday, March 19th at 11:00am. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Calvary Episcopal Church towards a sumptuous vestment set in honor of Beau’s faith and ever-present Texas hospitality.
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