Beverly lived her life of 88 years with passion and grace. She had a revolutionary, energetic sprit, always willing and ready to get up and go. She was fiercely independent and feisty. Her stature was small, standing at only 5 foot 2…and her eyes were a beautiful blue, like the ocean.
Born in the summer of 1932, she grew up in South Dakota on a farm with her parents and two younger siblings. It was a small community where people cared about their neighbors and help was a call away. This shaped her strong family values and work ethic.
She married a local South Dakota boy in her 19th year. Her husband was drafted into the Army during the Korean War shortly after the wedding. After he returned from his military duties, the couple moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota so he could go to trade school. She helped support them by working as a government employee. He was offered a position in the Four Corners Region of New Mexico and the couple ventured out to see some new country. It was a big surprise to her to find that the dirt was Red and not Brown! Being a South Dakota farm girl, she could not understand how anything could grow in red dirt and didn’t know what good it could be.
She settled into her new life and became a homemaker while her husband began his new position. They began a family and had three girls together.
Beverly always wanted to be a mother and was very proud of her three girls. She spent her life doing her best to take care of them even later in life when they were adults.
Her passion for life was limitless. She was always willing to try new things and push the envelope. She was happy being a Mother and homemaker, however, she wanted more. She had a brilliant mind and a fantastic memory. She wanted to use her skills to keep growing and learning new things. Her love of family shined through as she worked hard to keep the home fires burning as she forged new trails for herself.
She started working for a bank and then was awarded a position with the New Mexico State Department of Labor. Beverly had a long successful career with the State Employment Division. One of her last achievements while working was automating the claims submittal process.
During her tenure, she served as the State President for the International Association of Personnel Employment (IAPES). She was a powerful force and worked diligently at making things better. She also served as District Representative for a few years subsequently. This association had annual conventions that were held in alternate cities across America. She traveled all over the United States enjoying the company of her colleagues and conducting business for New Mexico.
She retired from the State of New Mexico after 25 years of service and moved back to South Dakota to live on a farm again. She loved driving tractors and taking care of the cattle. She was in her late 60s actively pursuing her next chapter.
Beverly loved to get up and go. Traveling was a big part of her life. She toured Europe, cruised to exotic places, and took road trips. She went many places personally and professionally. By Boat, Car, Train, Horseback, anyway she could go…she would go!
She never met a stranger. She was affable and fun loving. Her sense of humor and wit were not easily surpassed.
She would joke about her lack of patience. She would say, “When God was handing out patience, I didn’t have time to stand in that line!”. And when she spoke of a time of intense change in her life, she would say “If my feet hit the ground once during that time, it was purely by accident!”. She was positive and life affirming, alway trying to look at the glass half full and encouraging others to do the same.
Beverly returned to Albuquerque, New Mexico after 10 years living and loving on the South Dakota Farm. Her friends and family missed her and she missed them. When she returned, she joined and organized social and charitable groups. She was an active member of the American Auxiliary Legion Unit 72. And helped organize a Red Hat Society Ladies Group for her and her friends. She also enjoyed going to various racing events across the State with her best friend. She loved dancing and enjoyed musical theatre. She was quite diverse in her interests for life.
She loved to read and was often found with a book in her hands. One of her most devastating losses was the loss of her eyesight due to macular degeneration. She never gave up though, she would use magnifying glasses, wear contacts and glasses and recently started using a reader machine. She was tenacious to the end.
She was a charitable woman. She gave generously to many different charities. Her home is filled with blank greeting cards, calculators, pens, blankets, notepads, address labels, all thank you gifts for donations. One of her favorite charities was the Cheyenne Native American Council located in South Dakota. Her empathy for the less fortunate was demonstrated by her actions.
Beverly was always on the go until she wasn’t able to get up and go. She wanted to desperately. She wanted to get up and walk back to her apartment. She wanted to be independent again, Her physical capabilities were severely incapacitated after two major intestinal surgeries then a heartbreaking diagnosis as she was recuperating and getting stronger was a non malignant brain tumor which was deemed inoperable due to her delicate condition. Her spirit was strong and sweet, her body and mind were being taken from her. Even then, she would say “mind over matter”.
She passed away peacefully at her daughters home on November 29, 2020 while being treated on Hospice Care.
Beverly is survived by her daughters, Diane Stoner and Roxanne Johnson and her husband Hal Johnson, her grandsons Jared Smith and his wife Hayley, John Mark Cain and his wife Ashley and Daniel Cain.
Beverly is predeceased by her daughter Sherri Stoner, her grandson, Matthew Smith and a little white dog named Juneau.
Her stamina and passion will be remembered by all who knew her well.
In lieu of gifts, flowers and cards, please contribute to another one of Beverly’s favorite charities, Big Brothers, Big Sisters. She had personal experience with this organization.
Services are postponed due to the restrictions on public gatherings. Friends and relatives will be notified when a celebration of life can be scheduled.
A poem found in Beverly’s personal items:
When I Must Leave You For My Sake,
And In My Name
Live On and Do
All Things The Same.
When I Must Leave You
For A Little While
Please Go On Bravely
With a Gallant Smile
And For My Sake
And In My Name,
Live On and Do
All Things The Same-
Spend Not Your Life
In Empty Days,
But Fill Each Waking Hour
In Useful Ways-
Reach Out Your Hand
In Comfort and In Cheer,
And I In Turn Will Comfort You
And Hold You Near.
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