By  on May 16, 2007

Beatrice Anderson Voorheis, a longtime lingerie retailer and wholesaler, died Wednesday at her home in Claverack, N.Y. She was 66.

The cause of death was multiple myeloma, according to the Carole Hochman Design Group, where she was vice president of operations.

Voorheis started her career at Lazarus stores in Columbus, Ohio, in a buyer's training program, and moved to Bloomingdale's in New York as an assistant buyer of intimate apparel in the late Sixties. By 1972, she was promoted to buyer and was transferred to the Stamford, Conn., unit, where she served as intimate apparel department manager. She returned to New York a year later as buyer of better intimate apparel, utilizing her keen eye for style to build the a sleepwear department.

She switched industries in 1983 and joined the Carole Hochman Design Group as the merchandiser of the licensed line of Christian Dior sleepwear, and was later named a vice president. She shifted her talents to the licensed Oscar de la Renta sleepwear division in 1998, and in 1999 was named vice president of operations for the Hochman company.

A graduate of Michigan State University, Voorheis had a fondness for photography, cooking and tending to her gardens.

Carole Hochman, chairman and design director of the Hochman firm, said, "I've suffered a heartbreaking loss of both a valued co-worker and a very dear friend."

Peter Gabbe, the company's chief operating officer, noted that Voorheis had a "passion" for the intimate apparel industry.

"Bea lived and loved this industry, and was passionate in everything she did," Gabbe said. "She was a partner and a dear friend for 30 years and will be sorely missed."

Voorheis is survived by a sister, Katherine Cotton.

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