Date of birth: October 12 1931
Date of death: September 19 2017
As a five year old, Beth often tied a wagon to her tricycle and filled it with dolls, small tables and chairs, and even her toddler brother. She pedaled across the large front porch of her farm home, unloaded, and set up house. A few days later — over and over — she reversed the process.
Beth was an organizer. In work, play and family, she could be counted on to make things happen.
Born in 1931 in Spokane, Beth’s earliest years were shaped by the joys and hard work of her parents on a wheat ranch near Ritzville, Washington. When she was four, her family moved to McMinnville, Oregon.
Beth always felt constrained by the isolation of the small dairy farm where her family lived. She itched for a social life of people and activity — which she found eventually in Alpha Xi Delta sorority at the University of Oregon, in her study at Emanuel Hospital School of Nursing, and in a vast array of activities in support of her children Kathy and Rick as they grew up.
Living in the Seattle area from 1961 to 2003, she blossomed professionally when she returned to nursing, eventually assuming responsibility for the Emergency Department of Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue. An album presented at her retirement makes clear the enormous respect and affection that her co-workers felt for her.
Following a series of dramatic health challenges, in 2003 Beth knew it was time to move where family, care and community were close at hand. After a week visiting retirement residences throughout the Portland area, it was clear that Terwilliger Plaza was the ideal place to grow old.
During the 14 years since, Beth served on numerous boards and committees of Terwilliger. She was enormously proud and pleased to be part of this community. Like the little girl riding her tricycle and playing house on the porch, Beth brought talent, commitment and a strong sense of teamwork to help make life in the Plaza rich and joyful.
On Thursday, September 14, Beth suffered a cerebral stroke. She spent several days in the Intensive Care Unit at OHSU before it became clear that dignity of life was no longer possible for her. On the following Tuesday within eight short hours of her return to Terwilliger, she died peacefully.
Beth’s family — brother Lloyd (Debbie), sister Ruth Anne (Tony); daughter Kathy (Jim), son Rick (Kristin); grandchildren Jacquelyn (Steven), Jacob (Rachelle), Jesse (Brittany), Steven, David (Rachel), Christopher, Sam, and Katia; and great-grandchildren Ryan, Justin, Dustin, Hunter, and Paisley plus numerous nieces and nephews — will miss Beth deeply. Laughter, Christmas cookies, and the webs of family and friendship are now ours to carry forward in the memories we hold of her.
Her family is grateful for all that each and every one of you has given to Beth in your years of mutual friendship.
2 tribute candles have been lit
Candle lit by Staff at Crown Memorial Center Our sincere condolences.
Candle lit by Susan Elliott Overlake Hospital Emergency Heaven is going to be a lot more organized with our Beth. Be at Peace our friend and mentor.