Beverly Elysee Jones (1924 - 2015)

Obituary
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Beverly Elysee Jones
September 11, 1924 – January 23, 2015

"Long-time Juneau resident and full-time Douglas personality Beverly Elysee Jones (Tilson) passed gently (with friends in attendance) from this life on January 23, 2015 at Bartlett Memorial Hospital in Juneau, Alaska.
It is now safe for all friends and family to openly discuss and admit that she was 90 at the time she departed.
"Darling! Ladies do not discuss their age!"

Beverly Elysee Botagov was born at Minor Hospital in Seattle Washington on September 11, 1924. Beverly was the daughter of well-known and long-time Juneau and Douglas tavern owner Chris Eyles "Russian Chris" Botagov. Beverly's mother, Elizabeth Hubbard, was of San Diego Hubbards, a family active in the Copper River mining claims (Hubbard Elliott Mines) of last century.
As a young girl, Beverly was raised as a Southern California kid by her mother and began her formal education in 1931 at the prestigious girls' "Academy of Our Lady of Peace" boarding school overlooking Mission Valley in San Diego. During the depression her mother worked as a live-in nurse for wealthy California families and Beverly was raised about half the year by the kind and loving nuns of the order that ran the school. This afforded Beverly the opportunity to develop wanderlust early on, which she put to good use when she traveled for the first time to see her father in Juneau in 1939. At this point Chris was running the Occidental Saloon on South Franklin Street and Beverly was smitten with Alaska and all of the "interesting" (her words) people that were part of her father's life. She ended up moving for the first time to Juneau in 1941, just prior to the start of World War II. As the war effort picked up and Alaska became a formal war zone the army and the territorial government "encouraged" nonessential family members (when possible) to head to the Lower 48. Beverly decided to become "essential", as she wanted to remain with her father during this "crazy time" (her words) in Juneau. At 18 years old she took a job in Juneau as a recorder and operator for the US Army Signal Corps' Alaska Communications System (ACS).

After the War Beverly headed south to live with her mother and while on a family visit to Los Angeles she met and began dating her first husband, pro golfer Arnold Carl Werner. Beverly was 22 years old when she and Arnold married in 1946 and a year later they were blessed with a son, Christopher Martin Werner. Beverly and Arnold separated shortly after, and she spent the next few years in Los Angeles working as a secretary. Beverly again felt Alaska calling, and departed for Juneau, arriving in 1950. Beverly had many girlfriends here in Juneau over this period and she very much enjoyed going fishing with them and her father, as well as the "night life", dancing and social life that Juneau in the pre-television days of the 1950s afforded.
One Saturday evening of dancing at the "Gold Room" of the Baranof Hotel, during a pause she noticed a tall handsom fellow in an Ellis Airlines pilot's uniform checking in after a flight from Ketchikan. Lloyd A. Tilson definitely noticed the dark haired girl noticing him and the dating started shortly after.

After two years of dating an airline pilot during "overnights" in Juneau the two decided to make it a full-time situation and were married in 1956. Beverly and Lloyd set up house in Ketchikan and began enjoying an active life of boating, bowling, dancing, and hunting. Christopher joined the Alaskan family in 1957 from California and in late 1958 the happy couple had a baby boy, Thomas Franklin Tilson. Some of Beverly's best memories of this period are of "The Girls" taking the Ellis Airlines employee boat, the Zoomie out on overnight fishing trips with friends with all the collective kids on board. Beverly also turned out to be a very active team bowler during this period in Ketchikan and met many of her friends whom she stayed in contact with through her life.
In the mid 1960s with the upcoming merger of Alaska Airlines and Alaska Coastal Ellis Airlines, Lloyd and Beverly left Ketchikan for Seattle and eventually Wisconsin. In 1967, Beverly and her sons lost "The Love of My Life", Lloyd Tilson, to an aircraft accident.
About a year later Beverly began courting a young Texan and engineering project manager working on the construction of a new power plant near her home in Lacrosse Wisconsin. Billy P. Jones and Beverly were married in 1968 and shortly there after moved to Chicago while Billy was working on another project for Honeywell Corp. In 1970 Beverly's father Chris developed terminal cancer in Juneau and passed away. The family spent the summer in Juneau putting Chris's affairs in order and in 1971 Billy and Beverly purchased a new VW bus and put "Jacques", the poodle, and son Tommy behind all the boxes and drove cross country to Prince Rupert. A short ferry trip later the family settled for good in Juneau.
During the next 36 years Billy and Beverly lived a good Alaskan life with adventures of travel, bowling, boating and parties with friends and family. After losing Billy in 2009, Beverly began a full and active life as a volunteer for the Juneau Visitors and Convention Bureau. In her final few years Beverly enjoyed an active and healthy life and her most enjoyable times were spent with local friends and her many neighbors near the "Douglas Duplex". Beverly also enjoyed her travels to Seattle and California to visit her sons. Beverly claimed she was the founding member of the "Douglas Cougars" something all her girlfriends will understand. Beverly was also a long-time member of the Pioneers of Alaska Women's Igloo No. 6.
She will be missed by all who knew her: for her strong personality, opinions and always wry humor; and her love of animals, most of all the "Dogs (and cats) of Douglas".

Beverly is survived by her sons, Christopher Martin Werner of Anaheim, Calif., and Thomas Franklin Tilson of Ketchikan, Alaska, and by her two grandsons, Jonathan and Seth Werner of Anaheim, Calif.
Beverly's Celebration of Life (Party!) will be held at Louie's Douglas Inn Saturday, June 27 from 3:00 to 6:00 pm. All local friends and "extended family friends" are invited to stop by and tell a "Beverly Story". For ANY more information please feel free to call Leanna Stern at 907-209-6652. Donations in Beverly's memory may be made with the Gastineau Humane Society (https://www.facebook.com/GHS.pets) of Juneau, Alaska.
Published in The Juneau Empire from June 21 to July 21, 2015
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