Monday, November 15, 2010

I REMEMBER MAMA : Lois Beebe’s Eulogy


First of all we want you to know our Mom had a beautiful transition from mortality to the other side of the veil. She was in the hospital for a few days, and sent home on hospice. A short 75 hours later she had transitioned out of mortality. We find comfort-in-knowing that 30 minutes prior to her passing, our youngest sister, Debbie crawled into Mom’s bed with her and held our Mom in her arms as she said her good-byes. Debbie was the last one of us four girls to say our good-byes that day. Fifteen minutes later, when it became apparent that we all needed to be by her bedside, we ALL gathered around her bed. We all held her, we spoke softly to her, we sang to her, and tears were shed. Death was sweet unto her. We were singing the second verse of “God Be With You Till We Meet Again” when she gently slipped out of our arms and into the loving arms of our Dad and the Savior, Jesus Christ! It was a gift to us all to be there WITH her to support HER though this new transition called death. We are sure that when she passed through the veil she was told “Well, done, thou good & faithful servant…enter thou into the JOY of the Lord” (Matthew 25:21) We BELIEVE this, because Mom was good, she was faithful, and she lived her life with LOVE and SERVICE to others.

This is a new chapter for us. Life as we knew it: changed last Friday….our Mom, Mom-in-Law, Sister, Grandma, Great-Grandma, Aunt & Friend has now GRADUATED from mortality to her eternal reward.


As Lois’ four daughters, and because of the deep LOVE each one of us have for her, WE ALL wanted to have the privilege of compiling memories of her to create this Eulogy. We have all been staying @ Mom & Joyce’s house for the last week and a half. We have shared story after story about our Mom. It has been good for us. This Eulogy is a group effort, we have all written it, TOGETHER. Since only one person can present this, you see me at the pulpit…BUT please remember these words are Joyce, Linda, Claudia & Debbie’s words.

Our Mom, was the firstborn child of Benjamin Franklin Borup and Elsie Elinor Hedden. They named their sweet baby girl: Lois Elsie. She was born in Rupert, ID on July 15, 1920. She was told it was a very HOT summer day. Her dear sister, Norma Caroline, was born less than 2 years later. They were ‘best buddies’! Their Dad was a turkey farmer in Idaho. One summer day as her Dad worked the ranch and their Mom was busy in the kitchen, the two young girls got into some mischief.

Let me quote this in her own words, from her autobiography:

“One day Norma & I were playing with matches, out by our Landlords haystacks…when we accidentally dropped one of the lit matches. Yes, it started the whole thing on FIRE! BOTH of his haystacks went up in smoke! The Landlord said that “Norma & I were the orneriest kids in the county”! End Quote

Some years later, when Mom was 8 years old, the family moved to California for a warmer climate for their Dad’s health. When they arrived in CA her parents opened “Perfection Poultry” in Huntington Park. They all helped out at the family business. People came from all around the LA Basin to pick-up their chicken pot pies, bar-b-qued ribs, fresh eggs, and delish sausage. The business was a success, as we all have memories of that store from OUR childhood too. Mom & her family liked to camp, fish, and enjoy Heavenly Father’s beautiful creations together.

It was in CA that the family expanded to include a brother, Bob Franklin and finally their little sister, Barbara Louise…who is with us here today from Richland, Washington. Aunt Barbara is the sole survivor of this sweet original family. And this fact is, of course, very difficult for her. We love you, Aunt Barbara!

Our Mom was raised during the Depression, but because their Dad received a military pension of $100 a month, they did not experience the difficulties of that Era. In fact, it was during the Depression that the family built a brand new home in Huntington Park, just blocks from Perfection Poultry.

Mom writes: “After I graduated from Huntington Park High School, I drove to Los Angeles to attend the Empire Beauty School…where I became a beautician. I WON a trophy and was just 1 point off from being 1st place. After beauty school I worked in the beauty shop at the May Company store, in Los Angeles.” End Quote (by the way: we her trophy out on display in the foyer)

As you can imagine, with four girls Mom did ALL our hair and haircuts. Every Saturday night she would sit down on the couch and have us sit on the floor to put our hair up in ‘rag curls’ for Sunday. Can you believe we did not have curlers until we were teens? We would take turns, Mom curled all four of us each Sat. night. She had an archaic curling iron for touch ups. And IT WAS made from IRON! She set that device onto the stove top burner to ‘heat up’. We had to stand in the kitchen for THIS ‘beauty experience’. She would test it with her own fingers to make sure it was not too hot…yet we still got a few burns on our ears, when WE just couldn’t STAND STILL.

Anyway, back to Mom’s life B4 motherhood: Her sister, Norma once told us that she & our Mom almost ALWAYS double dated in their young adult years. But it was at an M-Men & Gleanor Fireside that a young returned missionary was smitten by her. His name was Frank Beebe, and he was an identical twin. The twins were showing slides of their Hawaiian Mission. Dad asked the gal Uncle Fred was talking to (our Aunt Kathleene) if she could introduce him to that beautiful gal sitting in the red chair (our Mom). Well, it was meant to be, because 4 months later the four of them were married in a double ceremony in the St. George, Utah Temple on June 19, 1942. They even went on a joint honeymoon! (separate cabins)

A little over a year later, Joyce Vian made them parents! Dad was drafted into the Army, and just one short year after Joyce was born, his military assignment temporarily split up this sweet young family. He went to the ‘fox holes of Okinawa’ while Mom & Baby Joyce went to her parents’ home to live, until Dad returned from the war.

A doctor told Mom that she would not have any more children after Joyce, but four years later they found themselves welcoming the birth of Linda Marie…followed by Claudia Jean three years later, and Debra Ann (the baby of the family) three years after that. They were blessed with the family they always dreamed of! And let us tell you this: They WERE GREAT PARENTS!

We feel Mom had a special gift of knowing how to raise-children-right, without any book knowledge of such things. I believe it was one of her God-Given-Gifts! She helped us to know how to dress modestly. She made sure we attended all of our church meetings. She helped us earn our Individual Awards (like Personal Progress Awards). In plain speech: Mom lived the gospel and she practiced what she preached. Mom was SMART.

We ALL feel that our Mom took the message found in our opening song to heart, as this is how she raised her four girls…with, LOVE @ HOME. SHE created an atmosphere of LOVE! We remember this being her favorite song, “Love at Home”. She used to sing it to us when we were children “to gently guide us” past our childhood squabbles: It worked… well…..“some of the times”. But that is an example of her ‘gentle teaching moments’. Mom was LOVE!

In a way we always thought she was a ‘school teacher waiting to happen’. She was a wealth of knowledge and always tried to stimulate our thinking. At the dinner table, which we always had together, if a question came up on a topic…Mom would go get the encyclopedia off the book shelf and read us the ‘answer’. Today she would have been a great googler! She was a SUPER SPELLER, and was right there to help her children speak with good grammar. She loved to find an error in a book…she would circle it in, you guessed it “red pencil” Even some of our college letters would get the ‘red pencil’ treatment. We know it was done in a spirit of teaching and love…nothing else. She would have been an EXCELLENT school teacher. But we four girls got her ALL to ourselves! Mom was OUR TEACHER!

Mom made teaching moments out of everyday things. One small example is when her grandchildren were little, she did not just make cookies WITH THEM, she TAUGHT them by letting them taste each ingredient individually (shortening, flour, vanilla, salt, etc.) of course, they cringed and spit some of the ingredients out..thinking they tasted ‘nasty’. But then she told them “But, when you blend them all together, it makes something delicious: COOKIES! They pondered: how that could happen?... and they were amazed! Mom TAUGHT OTHERS.

Mom taught us by her example in all things. She taught us all how to sew. She would sew our Easter dresses and we’d help pin on the pattern or something easy. As we matured, we’d sew things ourselves and she’d be right there if we had any questions or needed help with what we were making. Many a times after we had given up on a sewing project we came home from school to find she had ‘fixed it’ and we could move forward once again. Mom was a GOOD EXAMPLE:

She taught us how to can some of our foods. It sure was fun doing it all together! I remember one of my favorite parts was when it was all done & put on the garage shelves….It looked so pretty with the window off to the side, letting a little light in and showing all the beautiful colors through the glass jars. It was exciting to go out there & proudly get the food we canned, to use for our meals. She made fruit leather and dried corn that was DE-licious! Mom was THRIFTY.

Mom tried to instill knowledge & culture in us when we were young by taking us to stage plays, musicals, and even a ballet (that was a hard sell and we kids opted to play with cousins that season, while the parents went). Mom was HOPEFUL.

Mom geared our house to the kids…when we were young kids she had Dad build a playroom, with school desks and a wall mounted chalkboard, piano etc. She even had Dad paint a hopscotch on the wooden floor in our playroom (for rainy days). One time after Christmas, Mom collected all the discarded Christmas trees in the neighborhood to set them up in our backyard…so we kids could have a forest to play in! She thought it would be fun for us kids (we lived in the city). We played in our own personal forest for about a month. Our house was the neighborhood place-to-be. Mom was PATIENT.

Mom was ALWAYS there for us girls! We felt secure because of HER! She was involved in our activities: She was our Bluebird and Campfire Girls Leader when we were in elementary school. And as we became teens….Who was always our Girls Camp Leader???? OUR MOM, of course! We LOVED to be in HER cabin, because she had a way about letting us all be our silly-teenage-selves, while at the same time she let us know she expected us to follow the rules! It was a good balance of freedom to express ourselves and keeping us in line. She taught us to follow the rules and within that, allowed us to be kids and be silly! We, and our friends ALL loved that! Mom was ACCEPTING of OTHERS!

The saying “Behind every good man is a good woman” is SO TRUE in her case. Mom encouraged us to try new things. She signed us up for tumbling, ballet, tap, piano, swimming lessons, etc. She wanted us to be the best we could be! Mom was SUPPORTIVE.

Earlier this year, Mom received notes from over 100 people who told her how SHE made a difference in their lives. People that Mom & Dad taught on their Hawaiian Mission in 1986 wrote to tell her how she & Dad changed their lives for the better, because of their choice to serve a mission. Mom was well out of her comfort zone serving a mission, but she rose to the occasion and she did it. The Stake President told Mom & Dad they were the first “couple missionaries” from the Santa Barbara Stake. Mom was on the reserved side, and so a mission for her took a lot of gumption. She wanted to serve the Lord. Mom had FAITH & COURAGE.

JUST LIKE A DIAMOND, our Mom was multi-faceted:

She was VERY creative! From helping us expand our viewpoint by making animals out of the cloud formations, to always sharing with us her ‘inventions’.. She would explain in detail how ‘someone should invent “thus & so”. Now, 50 years later some of ‘her inventions’ were actually created by other creative people and are in use today. (but WE know who thought of it FIRST) J

We enjoyed her talent & creativity when she made us costumes! They turned out professional looking: Huck Finn, a Seniorita, and Bozo the Clown, to name a few.

Mom was a terrific cook. She loved cooking and reading new recipes. She would make fancy pancakes the young ones: ballerina’s, airplane’s, gingerbread men.

Mom taught all of her granddaughters how to crochet. Many of them have made their own afghans now…just like Grandma.

She was very artistic and expressed that through many mediums. For generations we will enjoy her pastel Santa Claus painting, her porcelain plates, her ceramics, the multiple Afghans she crocheted for each of her kids and grandkids, her award winning Spanish Dancer Needlepoint, but most of all her descendants will enjoy her many beautiful oil paintings! Thank you, Mom!

Mom created many holiday traditions for us through the years. On Valentine’s Day: We had cards & treats on our dinner plates. On St. Patrick’s Day: we knew dinner would consist of, corned beef and cabbage, green kool-aid, green jello and even green mashed potatoes. And every other holiday: Mom made it special for us! Our Christmas celebrations were full of special traditions of family fun, laughter and wonderful memories. Times we will always treasure. Mom was DEVOTED to her FAMILY.

While others saw her ‘classy-side’ (nicely dressed, hair always spiffy, nails done..with a flower & gemstone on her big toes) WELL, WE might sometimes refer to her as “A Character”…and, while that is very true, as we four girls reminisced, we determined it is equally true that she WAS FULL OF Character!

Her greatest JOY was to be with her family! She loved being a Grandma and Great-Grandma…or Gigi, as we called her. She made it a point to be there for every special occasion: birth of grandchildren, blessings, baptisms, eagle scout awards, weddings etc. She would ‘light up’ every time one of her grandchildren or great-grandchildren came to visit her. Mom CARED.

A few years ago, Mom’s daughters & granddaughters took turns coming to care for her a week at a time, while Joyce was at work. These have become cherished moments in all our hearts. Serving Mom/Grandma and attending to her needs was a special time for us. Her granddaughter’s bonded with her in a new way. One of her granddaughters was taking her for a stroll (in the transport chair) around the neighborhood one afternoon. Mom’s love of nature came forth, as they walked by the various yards, Grandma told her the name of each flower and if she pushed her by a yard too fast, Grandma would request she go back, so she could see that interesting flower and see what it is. Because of Mom, we all know the names of various local plants & trees. Mom LOVED NATURE.


When we girls stopped and thought about it, Mom was like our own “Personal Guide in Life”…right there by our sides…to teach us, lead us, and steer us in the right direction. And how comforting is that to a person of any age? We will truly miss “our guide”.

To you grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Gigi has left you a legacy of LOVE and JOY….




She was BRAVE (she caught a snake in the house, when she was in her 70’s)






She was DEDICATED to the LORD

We know you will remember her spunkiness, humor, and wit. But we hope you remember just as much your G’ma’s Courage & Strength and Testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You come from good stock! She has always been able to rise to the occasion. She showed tremendous courage & strength when Grandpa passed away. She has shown an equal amount of courage & strength these last 10 years with her aging body. Remember, SHE NEVER GAVE UP! Not once…she ALWAYS pressed forward and took what she had, then made the most of it. She enjoyed her life with her family!

We want you to remember these things, as you journey though your lives…we hope you try to emulate your Grandma Beebe, your Gigi. She is waiting in Heaven for all of us to return to her and we CAN, IF we chose to live the gospel of Jesus Christ here on earth. Make that YOUR GOAL, to one day meet again with Grandma Beebe (in the Celestial Kingdom) and get one of her famous BEAR HUGS! You will never regret a life lived in that manner. Let’s all reaffirm in our hearts today that we will strive to be like her. She had fun while she would Choose The Right!

(Look at casket) And directly to you, Mom we, your daughters would like to say: While we will miss YOU greatly, we are happy for you to be whole again. You have been bound by your aging body for so long. We are happy you are reunited with Dad, 21 years is a long time to be apart. We know you have been yearning to be with Dad, your parents, your sister and your brother. Your desire has been fulfilled, and in light of that sweet fact: we are happy for you, Mom. We have been so lucky to have you with us for so many years. Your strength, your love, your humor and wit is a part of all of us. We are happy to have your example embedded in our hearts & souls. Simply put: YOU WILL BE MISSED and we not only LOVE YOU, but we ADORE YOU!

These thoughts & memories have been said in a Spirit-of-The-Love-of-Our-Savior, Jesus Christ. AMEN

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