Cynthia Louise Beal
On June 15th at the age of 64, my mother, Cynthia Louise Beale passed away. She died at home, in her own bed, with her family present, in the manner which she would have chosen. She was young by many standards, but she had managed to truly live a life in that time. She was born in Washington DC on September 7th, 1948, but spent her childhood living in Trinidad and the Bahamas and eventually attending boarding school in Scotland. She began her college education at the University of Miami when she was 16 and finished her degree in History at UCSD. She then joined the Peace Corps, where she taught chemistry and geography in Liberia. In 1973 she and her husband, along with her mother and two brothers moved to Laytonville in order to escape city life and, though none of them had had any experience in doing so, built a beautiful house there. In 1975 my mother took a job at the Post Office in Fort Bragg where she worked until she retired in 2003. Throughout those years she took several trips, visiting nearly every country in Europe as well as some more in Africa. In 2003 she returned to the family home in Laytonville for a short time until deciding to move to Redwood Meadows in Willits. There she found many friends and spent a good deal of time with her family. My mother was the most important person in my life, and touched so many lives around her. Though she developed many physical difficulties during the last 20 years of her life, she never became bitter, was never one to feel sorry for herself. Instead she was cheerful and funny and kind, always taking time to learn about the lives and difficulties of those around her. She was a woman who was fastidious and organized but never complained when I would visit and leave my clothes strewn about. She loved to feed people. She fried chicken to perfection, made the best wonton soup I've ever had and taught me the art of making cheese sauce that's never grainy. She was quick to laugh and slow to anger. She never shirked from hard work and rarely asked for assistance from others. Even when confined to a wheelchair she could often be seen sweeping the leaves from her patio. She was incredibly generous with everything she had. She always did the New York Times Sunday Crossword in ink, and was forever looking things up in her encyclopedias, enjoying the journey as one answer would lead to another question. She was strong and brave, and always knew what to say to someone in pain and when to just hold you and let you cry if that was what you needed. She spent many sleepless nights rocking me and singing to me when I was sick, and I am fortunate enough to have been able to do the same for her the night she left us. But though her body is gone, I know that she has not truly left any of us who loved her, for her love was infinite and unconditional. She is survived and will be sorely missed by her daughter, Andria Stone, her brother Jim Beale and Brother-in-Law, Daniel Rubin of Willits and her brother Skip Beale and Brother-in-Law, Kort Pettersen of Laytonville, along with many friends in Willits, Laytonville and Fort Bragg, all of whom she loved very much. She wished to be cremated and did not want a memorial. In lieu of flowers or donations in her name, I would ask only that you be kind and loving to one another. In this way the spirit of my mother will live on through all of us.