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Ellen Beede

July 23, 1924 - July 31, 2009 | | August 29, 2009 23:30 The long, purposeful and loving earthly life of Ellen Valkyrie Beede has come peacefully to an end in Davis, her home for more than half a century. She was surrounded by the love of her family and closest friends, many of whom visited her in her last hours or phoned from distances, near and far.

Of particular support were her lifelong friends Mary Jennings, Kathleen Damm, Marge Kenney, Helen Cole and Michael Coyle. She was 85. Our family has lost a loving mother and grandmother, our community one of its great supporters in faith and in community.

Born Ellen Valkyrie Reed in Lovelock, Nev., she was raised in this small, farming community and in the sister town of Fallon, where her mother Mary Reed was born into Fallon's pioneer family, the Oats. Her father was a World War I hero and the Silver State's agricultural commissioner. Her mother was a graduate of the Oakland music conservatory and a lifelong piano teacher in Lovelock and Fallon.

Ellen graduated from high school and attended the University of Nevada before going to San Francisco to support the World War II cause, working for the Southern Pacific.

It was while in high school that her beauty and personality caught the eye of a dashing local sports star, John Beede, who went on to be a war hero, a navigator on a bomber in the South Pacific in the war that saved America and the world. Upon his return to San Francisco they married and settled on Seal Rock Drive near the ocean, bringing into the world their daughter and son, Jane and Rodney. She is survived by them, by her grandchildren, nieces, nephews and innumerable friends.

In 1956, the family relocated to home in downtown Davis given to our grandfather by the pioneer Haussler family, who adopted him from the San Francisco earthquake. John began his law practice there, a legal tradition continued by their son, daughter-in-law Christina and granddaughter Sara. In 1984, we began another local business now managed by grandson Ryan. She has welcomed another granddaughter, Tessa, to her daughter and son-in-law Jeffrey.

She will be remembered for her charter membership in STEAC, Davis' program for those who need emergency relief; for her role as the rock of Episcopalian faith at St. Martin's, where she attended and gave her time for more than 50 years; and for her lifetime support of recycling, suicide prevention and innumerable charitable causes in her beloved Davis.

She will most want to be remembered as a supportive wife, mother and grandmother, and an always-patient ear for countless retelling of courtroom lore, simple school days and sports accomplishments. She avoided attention, always the enthusiastic fan.

A service at the Episcopal Church of St. Martin, 640 Hawthorn Lane, in her memory will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, with a reception following at Seasons restaurant. If you wish, please donate in her name to STEAC.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ellen Beede, please visit our flower store.


Dear Family Beede, I am sad for your loss and for the loss of a substantial Davis resident. YOur Mother was beloved by many, I am certain, and her passing will leave a large hole in the fabric of her community. May you find strength and love during this very painful time.

Clinton C Nash Dec 31 2009 12:00 AM

Sympathy and memories to Ellen and her family. You have filled a great part of my life as a great family. I miss John and I will miss Ellen greatly. We had wonderful times together. With Love, Stan

Stanley Wells Sep 12 2009 12:00 AM

Dear Jane, Rod and Family, Words cannot express how Ellen will be missed. I have many wonderful memories of Ellen and our discussions at the "back fence". Ellen was there for many of the important times of my life. Sharing thoughts, feelings and prayers with Ellen was easy. She was an important part of my life as is the Beede Family. Time will ease the pain, but Ellenaas memory will be in our hearts forever. Thank you for allowing me to be part of the Beede Family. With Love, Alma E. Contreras

Alma E. Contreras Aug 31 2009 12:00 AM

Dear Rod and Janie, My thoughts are with you. I have good memories of your Mom, you and life on G Street. Love, Bea

Bea Smith Aug 31 2009 12:00 AM

Dear Janie, Rod, and families, I was so saddened to hear about the passing of your mother. I have such wonderful memories of her. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. With love, Janet Smith McCullough

Janet Smith McCullough Aug 31 2009 12:00 AM