Elsie Beard Studer, age 92, passed away on June 26, 2014, from physical complications associated with her dementia. She was residing in the memory care unit of Chateau Pacific in Lynnwood, Wash., at the time. Elsie was born to Charles and Ragna Beard in Dallas Center, Iowa, on July 4, 1921, the youngest of their five children. She attended Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, as well as the University of Iowa and received both her nursing degree and B.S. degree through a joint program operated by these two institutions in 1944. In 1965 she received a M.S.N. from UCLA. Her professional career in the fields of nursing and hospital administration was long and distinguished. Initially she nursed in teaching hospitals in Illinois and Michigan before moving to Los Angeles, Calif. There she worked for the Veteran's Administration and other hospitals in the area before beginning her Master's program at UCLA. Following completion of that degree, she became director of nursing and eventually associate hospital director at UCLA. She went on to be an associate hospital administrator at the University of California Davis Medical Center before retiring in 1983. Elsie retained her nursing license for a number of years but limited her work to volunteering as an ombudsman for long term care facilities in Orange County, California. In 1979 Elsie married Francois (Bo) Studer, a pharmacist and pharmaceutical representative. They enjoyed traveling and attending medical conventions together, spending the last years of their married years in Mission Viejo, Calif. Bo died in 2006. Elsie was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Genevieve Emerson; and her brothers, Harold and Charles P. Beard. She is survived by her sister, Charlotte Sorenson who has been living at the same facility with Elsie for four years. In addition, Elsie is survived by four nieces and nephews, Judy Hewitt, Harold Beard, Jr., Alden Beard, and Charlotte Vincent. There are also two step-nephews, Frank Emerson, Jr., and John Emerson; her great nieces, April Anderson and Alison Wallace, were close to Elsie emotionally and physically as they lived near her in Southern California. Bright red hair, a sunny personality, and a sharp wit defined Elsie physically, and her generosity, compassion and intellect remain her hallmarks. She made the world a better place for all who came in contact with her, especially her family. She will be sorely missed by her family and friends. A celebration of Elsie's life was held on July 9, 2014 at Chateau Pacific, and her final resting place will be the Brethren Cemetery outside of Dallas Center, Iowa, her home town. She will be buried near her parents. Graveside services will be conducted there later this summer.
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Published in The Herald (Everett) on July 13, 2014