August 6, 1928 – July 22, 2020
Bev, mother, Nana and friend, was an energetic and outgoing woman whose family, friends and faith were the foundation of her long and complicated life. She passed away July 22, 2020 surrounded by her family, finally succumbing to cancer and age-related causes.
Beverly was born in Brawley, California to Orsie and Irene Burnette on a day so hot that an ice block and fan were used to help keep the newborn cool. With her younger siblings Derrell and Karen, Bev's childhood was a lark, and she could (and would) describe with great detail the happy life they led. That changed abruptly when her beloved Daddy died suddenly at the age of 35, when Beverly was just 10 years old. It was a pivotal event in her life and set her on a course that sought the harmony she had known as a child, a journey that led to choices and decisions she would question for the remainder of her life. Ultimately, that search ended when she met and fell in love with Gus Lutz in San Bernardino, California in 1957, a person she described as “the finest man I've ever known”. During their 53 years together, they made homes in San Bernardino and Highland, California and in Bandon, Cottage Grove and Albany, Oregon.
A woman of many words and stories, some factual and others not so, Bev was a talker who could also listen with interest to anyone she met. She enjoyed gardening and loved flowers, especially roses. She was a reluctant cook but took great pleasure and pride in her home, which she tended meticulously. She rejoiced in the successes of the San Francisco Giants and the failures of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Once she moved to the Northwest she gradually became a Mariners fan, but it was mostly because of Ichiro. Bev's home was filled with pictures of her outsized family, and they were always in her thoughts and prayers and a happy topic of conversation. She survived several bouts with cancer, a disease that tested her tenacity but not her spirit.
After Gus passed away in 2010, Bev continued to live by herself at Edgewood Estates, where she saw value in being helpful to neighbors and friends. She tended her garden, fed and watched birds from the deck she loved and did word puzzles daily. She always kept a bowl of candy to welcome anyone who came to visit - and there were many - a constant stream of neighbors, kids, friends and family. She worked out... in her own way, jogging in place, walking, but mostly by being endlessly in motion. She studied the Bible and was ever mindful of the gifts and opportunities that God had given her, always a faithful servant and steward of the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. God, Country, and family were ever present in her life.
It was an amazing accomplishment and testament to her strength and resilience that she embraced her move to Brookdale when she was 89 years old and went on to make a whole new group of loyal and loving friends, young and old. Right up until the final days of her life, in spite of failing vision and hearing but still in possession of a sharp mind, Bev went right on commenting on people, sports and politics in her forthright way.
Bev was clear-eyed about death, torn between leaving her children and their children and joining loved ones who had already passed on. She led a good life and had a peaceful death. And for the record, she did not lose her battle with cancer. When she died, the cancer died, so technically it was a tie. We will miss her smile, laughter, stubbornness, encouragement and especially her positive attitude, which was an inspiration to many.
With deep appreciation, our thanks go out to the entire Brookdale family and staff, whose compassion and outstanding care of our mother will never be forgotten. We also thank SERENITY HOSPICE for the gentle touch, comfort, and care they provided in those final days.
She lives on in the memory of her numerous friends, her brother Derrell, daughters Sherry, Ellen, Jody and Toni, sons Mike and Gayle and numerous nieces and nephews, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by husband Gus, sister Karen, children Beth and Greg, and grandson Matt.
“Well done good and faithful servant.” Matthew 25:23
A celebration of life will be held when a LARGE gathering can be held at Holy Cross Lutheran Church.
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