Beatrice T. Moore lived a well-read and well-traveled life, baking cookies for Marine guards at American embassies abroad and soothing sick children in a Serbian hospital.

A longtime resident of Sonoma County, Moore, known as Bee, died Christmas evening. She was two months shy of her 105th birthday.

Born in 1908 in New Zealand, Moore earned a nursing degree with a specialty in midwifery at Christchurch Hospital.

She met her future husband, Dr. Ferrall H. Moore, on the island of Fiji, said her daughter, Pam Moore of Santa Rosa.

She was traveling on a ship and, although she didn't know it, Ferrall Moore was the ship's doctor.

"Both of them went to the local hospital to look up different people, and they ended up having afternoon tea together," Pam Moore said.

Ferrall Moore was wearing civilian clothes and didn't let on he was serving on the ship.

"That night, he showed up at her table wearing his ship's white tropical uniform. It was very romantic," Pam Moore said.

They were married in 1936 in Rochester, Minn., where Ferrall Moore was a fellow in medicine at the Mayo Clinic. He later went into private practice on the San Francisco peninsula, but joined the Navy right after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and was soon serving with the Marines in Guadalcanal.

At home, Bee Moore raised their three children and took great pride in a Victory Garden that provided vegetables for her family and neighbors.

After the war, her husband joined the Redwood City Clinic as its first internist. She was chairwoman of the Altar Guild at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Redwood City.

When Ferrall Moore retired, the couple moved to Ukiah in the early 1970s and then to Cloverdale in about 1979. Ferrall Moore died in 1981.

"She loved to garden. Vegetables, flowers, everything," her daughter said. "Her father was a very good gardener, she got that from him. We always had a spectacular garden."

When they were living in Ukiah, the house was featured on a garden tour one year.

A few years after her husband died, Bee Moore joined her daughter, who was serving in the State Department's Foreign Service. They lived together in Indonesia, Austria, Malaysia, Pakistan and Germany.

"She was always very popular in the embassies," her daughter said. She made cookies for the U.S. Marine Security Guards, who guarded the overseas embassies.

"They were all young and she was grandmotherly," she said.

In a hospital in Belgrade, Serbia, Moore volunteered at the local hospital in the children's ward.

"She loved little children," her daughter said. "All the little children around the world would gather around her."

In the hospital, Moore was able to bond with the children even though she didn't know the language.

"She was thinking of something to share with them," her daughter said, and she settled on pictures of cats from a calendar they had. "She'd take them in, and they'd just love them."

Bee Moore and her daughter retired to Santa Rosa in 1998, sharing a home in Oakmont.

Known as a charming, fun, loving woman, Moore loved classical music and Broadway musicals and was an accomplished pianist. She was also a voracious reader, talented dressmaker and a noted cook -- her shortbread was legendary, her family said.

In addition to her daughter, Moore is survived by two other children, daughter BeBe Trinkner of Hillsborough and Michael Moore of Long Beach, four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

A memorial will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, 9000 Sonoma Highway in Kenwood. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the church or a charity of your choice.

-- Lori A. Carter