June Eileen Beamish

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BEAMISH _ June Eileen passed away January 16, 2006 at Richmond Hospital with her family at her side. She is survived by her sister Betty, daughter Wendy, son Jeff, daughter-in-law Judy and grandchildren Brianna and Matthew. Her husband Harold died in 1995. She enriched all their lives, and they're thankful for the time they spent with her, even if it seemed far too short. June's mother Marion Dent and father Alfred Bevege first met aboard a ship making the voyage from North America to New Zealand - proof, perhaps, that June's passion for traveling was truly in her blood. Born on June 15, 1927 in Brandon, Manitoba, she shifted her home back-and-forth between Canada and New Zealand several times over the next 40 years. Eventually her travels took her to almost every continent and included a stint as a resort worker in Bermuda beginning in 1949. While she loved to see the world, her favourite place always remained at home, with the ones she loved. June embraced the arts, volunteering at Richmond's Gateway Theatre, writing with the Richmond Senior's Literary Circle, painting in every medium, playing the piano tirelessly and entertaining seniors in local nursing homes with a Hawaiian dancing group. She loved to garden, transforming her homes into colourful places teeming with plants and flowers, sometimes slightly disorderly but always bright and alive. Her other passions included swimming, reading, dolls, crafts and walking, especially when surrounded by nature's beauty. June spent the last 10 years of life in a wheelchair after scleroderma debilitated her body. But the disease never touched her spirit, and she remained a supportive and loving figure in her small family, never once complaining about all she'd been forced to give up. The disease also never prevented her from doing the one thing she desired the most in her final years - being a grandparent. It was a role she performed exquisitely, helping instill in her two grandchildren so many great qualities, including love, kindness, perseverance and respect. Her family thanks the staff at Richmond Hospital, and all of June's doctors, for helping her gracefully battle an insidious disease for the past dozen years. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Scleroderma Association of B.C. Her modest yet amazing life will be celebrated at a memorial gathering from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., Monday, January 23 in the Richmond Funeral Home lounge.
Published in Vancouver Sun and The Province on Jan. 20, 2006
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