Beatrice Elder
1920 - 2020
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Beatrice Elder Beatrice (Bea) Elder (nee Otterson), was born January 23, 1920 in Audubon, Minnesota to Olaf E. Otterson and Julia Dahlberg Otterson. She celebrated her 100th birthday on January 23, 2020. Bea died on March 14, 2020 in Graham, Washington. After graduating from Concordia College in 1942 she became a teacher and taught in Minnesota before joining the Coast Guard in August 1943, where she served until the end of WWII. In the service, she met and married George Elder in 1945. His home was Washington State and the couple got a job at Ohanapecosh Springs near Mt. Rainier. While working there, she was offered a teaching job in Eatonville. She taught English and P.E. for two years. After that she taught for 30 years in the Franklin Pierce School District, mainly at Franklin Pierce High School. She retired in 1984 after 35 years in education. Bea attended the Eatonville Methodist Church and was a member of both the League of Women Voters and the Eatonville Lady Lions. She also made generous donations to local causes. Among the most unique was the donation of an "empathy belly" to the high school for use in the Home Life classes. Another are of service was that of hospice care. She worked for several years after retiring in the hospice program of Good Samaritan Hospital. Bea was predeceased by her parents, her husband, her two sisters Mildred Bates and Lois Gilbertson and her bother Leonard Otterson. She is survived by several nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends, including former students who remained in touch with Bea. The family would like to thank the owner and staff of Heavenly Acres Adult Care in Graham for taking such good care of Bea these last years. Donations may be made to the charity of your choice in honor of Bea. A memorial for Bea will be set for this summer.

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Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on Apr. 26, 2020.
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April 26, 2020
Mrs.Elder taught Home and Family Life at FPHS, and I was a student in her class in 1966-67. She empowered us senior girls to research important questions that mattered to us, and then to communicate our findings to our classmates. Open-minded and intellectually honest, she moved me to think for myself. I regret not finding her and thanking her during her lifetime. What a wonderful teacher!
Margaret Nugent
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