In Memory

Bobbie Greig (Beane)

Bobbie Greig (Beane)

from Velda Egan 8/15/2014

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08/04/14 08:17 PM #1    

Catharine Hooper (-)



08/04/14 08:21 PM #2    

Catharine Hooper (-)

Bobbie and I were both born under the “Cancer” sign, within 8 days of one another. Our parents were long time and very close friends, and as Bobbie and I grew up within one block of one another, Bobbie on Pala, I on Waldo, we saw a lot of one another . . . from preschool at Havens through 6th grade graduation and on to Piedmont High School.

Bobbie Mims-Beane was an intellectual, a spiritual seeker, a deeply loving friend with a wicked sense of humor and seemingly unlimited compassion, a lover of tea, dogs, knitting, books, cooking and life. She was also an amazing mother and wife, not to mention one of the best geriatric and hospice social workers in the greater Portland area. She started her career at the Robison Jewish Home, which later led to her work with Jewish Family and Child Services, where she earned an MSW at 44.  She also spent several years at the Maryville Nursing Home, working among a Catholic order of nuns. In the mid-80s, she found a true calling in hospice work, caring for some of the first AIDS patients on hospice in the state, and after working at several other organizations along the way, ended her career at Washington County Hospice.

In addition to her 30-plus years in social service, she considered her most important work in life to be raising her two daughters, Abby and Kari, with a rare kind of unconditional love and acceptance, along with tireless work on herself. Bobbie was always striving to “be here now”, while moving towards a greater understanding of the universe and the meaning of life, which often meant providing comfort and understanding to others in the hopes of easing their suffering. Her spiritual journey began early, manifesting in a scandalous conversion to the Episcopal church from her parents’ Protestant congregation at 15; this seeking eventually led to the practice of yoga and meditation in the early 70s, exploration of astrology, crystals and the I Ching and prodigious readings of Carl Jung, Thomas Merton, C.S. Lewis, Anais Nin, Christopher Isherwood and Krisnamurti, to name but a few. She spent much of her time studying the Eastern religions and adopted beliefs in reincarnation and karma, and for the last several years, was a practicing Hindu, following the teachings of Ram Dass and his guru, Neem Karoli Baba.

A single mother for nearly a decade, she met the love of her life, Jim Beane, through friends in 1988, when she infamously backed her car into a support beam of her house and needed a good contractor to fix it. By all accounts, they fell in love on their first date, and were married just a few months later. Her daughters were not amused at the time, but they have to admit now that she knew exactly what she was doing. They shared a love of the movies, good friends, laughing, camping, hiking, long walks in the neighborhood and the joy of day-to-day life with one another. They often took trips to the Southwest and Southern California to escape the Northwest rain, and in the fall of 2008, just six months before her brain cancer diagnosis, they travelled to India together, which for Bobbie, was the culmination of a 40-year-long dream. She later said that being in India was like finding her true home.

Knowing of my own passion for India, Bobbie and I often spoke of her desire to see India, and of course, when she and Jim returned from their long awaited trip to India, we spoke of little else. Knowing how challenging Bobbie found traveling (one trip to Hawaii to a retreat with her daughter, she kvetched afterwards about what a pain it was to have to schlep her luggage  around!), I was so gratified and impressed that she was not in the least daunted by the challenges that traveling in India can present . . . and she savored every moment of their India Sojourn . .. sleeping on hard beds, washing with buckets of cold water, performing puja on cold marble floors . . . she was truly in her element!

Bobbie leaves behind not only her immediate family, but also an incredible circle of devoted friends and co-workers, many of whom she has known for decades. As one of them put it recently, “The world will be a different place without Bobbie in it.”  Her most wonderful husband, Jim Beane, along with her close friends, her sister Laurie,  and her co-workers at Washington County Hospice helped her family take exquisite care of her for the last four years, and without them, she would not have been able to remain at home throughout her illness, which was her wish. Bobbie died peacefully on April 5th, 2013 at 66, surrounded by those who loved her most and best.

I suppose we have reached that inevitable chapter in our lives when we must face the Reality of Life in losing our friends . . . Bobbie was truly one of my most cherished friends. And while I am not as spiritual as she was, I know she is still with me . . . we still “tawk” . . . and it is my wish that her faith in Karma will once again reunite us . . . perhaps in India, I wearing khaki and pearls drinking Pink Gins on a  shady verandah, and Bobbie performing puja on a marble floor!


Catharine Hooper

August 2014


08/16/14 12:30 PM #3    

Jim Dal Porto

Catherine, what a beautiful eulogy....we know that Bobbie will rest in peace

08/16/14 08:51 PM #4    

Kris Evans (Degen)

Catharine - Your tribute is gorgeous: it oozes love. Thanks. Bobbie's was indeed a special light.

08/17/14 12:35 PM #5    

Christy Farrell (Foster)

Hooper, you are 'spot on' with your memorial for Bobbie.  I can't believe we've become "our parents' age" and are now losing so many of our cherished friends.  Reading these wonderful tributes and posted comments from fellow classmates, just epitomizes how warm, inviting, inclusive and FABULOUS our PHS Class of '64 IS!  Can't wait to reconnect with everyone in a month.  yesheartlaugh

08/17/14 06:48 PM #6    

Dorinne Lee (Johnson)

Catherine-Thank you so much for writing a beautiful tribute and appreciate you sharing Bobbie's story with all of us. 

08/30/14 04:25 PM #7    

Marilynn (Muff) McCann (Darling)

I have just read Catherine's moving and beautiful tribute to Bobbie while searching for her name to add to my page. I am saddened to be so far out of the loop that I hadn't heard of her death. She was one of a close circle of friends I remember so fondly from our neighborhood. Thank you Catherine for letting me "catch up with her", but how I wish it could have been in person.

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