Aubrey Nicole Bean

Aubrey Nicole Bean

Aubrey Nicole Bean, a former fundraiser for KEXP 90.3 FM and Taproot Theatre, died June 17, 2013 of cancer at her home in Seattle. She was 31.

Aubrey lived surrounded by poets, actors, musicians, and painters. She spent many evenings at the Youngstown Cultural Center in West Seattle, enjoying the company of the artists who live there and who helped to care for her as her cancer progressed. She believed that art represents the best of humanity, provides healing and inspiration, and supports social justice.

Aubrey battled colon cancer for seven years but did not let it diminish her quality of life. She was training for the Rock 'N' Roll half marathon in Seattle during the summer of 2008 when a large tumor in her pelvis left her unable to walk without assistance. She vowed to finish the race even if it took years. In 2012, she completed the 13.1 mile course in a wheelchair. During more than four years of intensive chemotherapy, multiple surgeries, and several courses of radiation, Aubrey constantly challenged her doctors to push the limits of treatment.

Aubrey worked several years for Seattle's Taproot Theatre. She performed in Taproot productions, including As You Like It (2008) and Smoke on the Mountain (2006). She managed the theater's development department and helped with the early stages of an ongoing capital campaign to build a new performance hall. After leaving Taproot, Aubrey joined the staff at KEXP 90.3 FM, where she managed the membership program, supervised on-air pledge drives, and helped to launch the station's new Amplifiers Club. Aubrey was a regular at KEXP events until her cancer forced her to end her career.

Aubrey loved to travel. She toured throughout Europe while in college and returned to Tuscany in 2011, braving the steep cobblestone streets in a bright orange wheelchair. She and her husband traveled to Guatemala, Ecuador and the Galapagos, and up and down the West Coast. Despite her love for new places, she most of all relished the mountains of the Northwest, especially Mount Rainier.

She ardently believed in marriage equality and gay rights. She was an avid reader and loved books about food. She always enjoyed the company of others and meeting new people. Friends often commented on her bright smile and contagious sense of joy. Even when in great pain, she could muster a mischievous grin and fill a room with laughter.

Aubrey was born February 12, 1982 in Oberlin, Ohio. She grew up in Puyallup, Wa., where she was a member of Light of the Hill United Methodist Church. She was a graduate of Puyallup High School and active in theater. She received a degree in theater from Seattle Pacific University.

She is survived by her husband Chris Thompson, of Seattle; her father Timothy Bean, step-mother Barbara Bauml, and sister Ilea Bauml; her mother Janet Todd and step-father Mark Todd; and her brothers Michael and Stephen Bean. A memorial service will be held at Town Hall, 1119 8th Ave., Seattle, on Sunday, July 21 at 3 p.m. The family asks that any gifts be directed to Taproot Theatre (, 206.529.3672), KEXP (, 206.543.5843), and the Health Care Rights Initiative ( indicate your gift is in Aubrey's memory.

Published in The Seattle Times on July 1, 2013