Genevieve M. Beach |
2/24/1913 ~ 6/13/2012
Genevieve Beach was born in Seattle, the first child of Paul Beach and Carrie Shahan Beach. Brother William (Bill) was born three years later. Gen graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1931 and from the University of Washington in 1935. She was a consummate sports woman and lettered in marksmanship at the UW. Gen loved fishing and canoeing, was an avid golfer, and a dedicated Mariners fan. She also loved opera and poetry, was always reading, and was an accomplished artist, particularly in her earlier years. Always open to new challenges, Gen took violin lessons when she was in her 90s! She was a quintessential cat lover and wrote a blog on behalf of her feline friends called Kitty Superior! Toby was Gen's most beloved feline companion.
From the 40s thru the 60s Gen lived in the San Francisco Bay area. She was one of a small group of scientists in Berkeley who worked on the Manhattan Project in WWII. Her brother Bill was killed in that war. After the war Genevieve began a new career in health care. She initially worked in nuclear medicine research and later graduated from the School of Public Health at the University of California with a MPH. Gen began her professional service in public health, first in Monterey and Contra Costa Counties,CA, and later in Seattle and King County. She returned to Seattle in the 1960s to help her mother. Carrie eventually moved into a nursing home, where Gen visited her daily for over seven years. After her mother's death in 1986, Gen remained in the family home in the Cowan Park/Roosevelt neighborhood.
The death of her brother in WWII, the dropping of the Atomic Bombs on Japan, and the death of her mother profoundly impacted Gen. She committed her life toward working for a more peaceful and just world. Gen combined her compassion with her curiosity and became an active supporter of several progressive organizations inclu-ding: Grey Panthers; Citizens for the Improvement of Nursing Homes; Unitarian and UCC churches; and Hamilton House, to name a few. Gen was also an active member of several senior writing programs and particularly enjoyed the writing and drama classes at Shoreline Community College. She was known for her "bon mots".
Gen was faithful and generous to her friends and family. She is survived by her nephew Steven Beach (Jeanne), and two great nephews; by her network of cousins, Ray Shahan, Lolita Gray, Betty Baker, Kathy Veit, Judy Veit, Bruce Veit, Jim Veit, and Morgan Griffiths; and by her friends, especially Chris Morton and Megan Crouse.
Gen died after a long illness. Those closest to Gen are grateful for the patience and support given to her by the caring staff at Anderson House. Memorial donations may be given to Pike Market Senior Center, and to Group Health Hospice Foundation.
With her wry wit, compassionate heart, and love for chocolate, Genevieve helped to alleviate the sufferings of others.
May we continue her life's work with kindness and humor.
This is our memorial to her.
Published in The Seattle Times from Nov. 3 to Nov. 4, 2012