Audry May Carpenter Beeson
May 6, 1937 – October 22, 2020
On Thursday, October 22, 2020 our beloved mother left this Earth for eternal life with our Lord Jesus Christ. Audry May Carpenter Beeson passed away in Eureka at the age of 83. She lived her life as a strong, robust and healthy woman; she succumbed unexpectedly of natural causes.
Audry was the first born to Walter Gustafus Carpenter and Mary Agusta Leonardo Carpenter. She was born at the Old Indian Hospital in Hoopa on May 6, 1937. A few years later her sister Bobby arrived, and a few years later her brother Gary completed their family.
They all lived and grew up on the Carpenter Ranch, 12 miles up South Fork Road in Trinity County. It was a meager lifestyle, living off the land with the entire South Fork Mountain and River as their playground. In her youth many miles were climbed, hiked, hunted, and swam. It was their paradise.
Audry’s adult life started early with the sudden passing of her mother Mary at age 38; Audry was just 15 years old. They never celebrated the planned Sweet 16th birthday. Rather, Audry began her July of 1952 cooking and cleaning and trying her best to help run the household. To her younger siblings she was “Sissy,” and now she was the only motherly love they would know.
Audry moved herself to Hoopa to attended Hoopa High School. Audry enjoyed her high school years. She was very active in CSF, Student Council, Girl’s League athletics, “Warrior” School Paper, “Echo” Yearbook, Student Body President, and Valedictorian. Joe was Salutatorian.
It was at HHS that she would again meet her husband and love of her life Joe Beeson. As the relationship developed, so did the details of their birth. The year was 1937, the month was May. Mary entered the hospital to deliver her premature daughter Audry. Nine days later Marilouise entered the hospital to deliver her first born Joseph. The story goes the romantic sparks began to fly in the Nursery and continued throughout their lives.
Shortly after graduation from Hoopa High School, Ernie and Marilouise Beeson drove Joe and Audry to Reno, Nevada where they were married August 4, 1956. True to their moniker, two Taurus’ joined together, they forged forward with determination, ambition, and a strong strain of stubbornness. You can imagine the Hupa Indian and Portuguese descendants flowing conversations, hands a flailing.
Marilouise welcomed Audry as a daughter and gave her a new motherly love Audry cherished dearly. Audry’s future was bright, with the love and encouragement of Joe’s large family.
That fall Audry attend Humboldt State College with Joe. She worked as a Car Hop and waitress to pay for her education. She continued her ambitions as Freshman Class Officer; however Life would redirect her path. When Audry became pregnant, she left Humboldt to care for daughter Julie. The family would live in a small travel trailer at Oak’s Trailer Park. Thereafter, Audry worked many jobs to assure Joe graduated from Humboldt State College. She was proud of her work pulling plywood on the Green Chain at the Carolina-Cal Mill in Salyer. She worked as hard and efficient as any man there. She carries to her grave a large sliver of plywood that lodged itself inside her ankle.
Audry was hired as the Hoopa High School Principal’s Secretary. She loved that job. The challenge of working in administration, and the never ending surprises of working with high school students. She made many lifelong friendships and always spoke highly of her many years working there.
After Patricia was born in 1963, Audry and Joe purchased property on Tish Tang Road, and bought a larger 27’ trailer to accommodate their expending family. In 1969, Joe Joe was the last addition to the family. Ironically and unplanned, all their children were born 6 years apart – they laughed at the thought “put one in school, have another”. With the family totally outgrowing their small trailer, Audry and Joe endeavored on building the family home. After four years of working nights and weekends, the family moved into the expansive new house.
Audry worked tirelessly canning from their garden and orchard, as Joe supplied the deer, salmon, eels and abalone for the freezer. The house became home to a family tradition of Christmas Eve Crab Cioppino dinner, and many more celebrations.
In the early 1970’s, Audry and Joe purchased and opened Audry’s Department Store on highway 96 in Hoopa. A challenge she was excited to succeed at. The store served the bustling logging community for many years. Her employees were more like friends; always laughing and carrying on.
Audry was very active in the Hoopa Chamber of Commerce – working to secure and maintain a broadcast translator for the Hoopa Valley to enjoy radio and television reception.
In 1996, with the demise of the logging industry, they closed the Department Store and opened Joe’s Deli, and later expended to add Cup of Joe. For the next 21 years, the business was a local favorite for breakfast and lunch. Biscuits & Gravy, Nacho’s, Sandwiches and Espresso – these offerings are now very much missed in the valley. Audry’s last “job” that she reluctantly retired from in 2017, commenting “I’m really going to miss the people.”
Audry worked hard her entire life, she knew nothing different. Always knowing her goal, she seamlessly transitioned from work to play, to downright comedian. She had a playful spirit that brought joy and delight. She often quoted: Laughter is the best medicine. Audry and Joe fed one another’s silliness, and routinely the air of the home would burst with laughter. She was compassionate about all aspects of her life. In her early married life, she returned to her love of our Lord Jesus Christ. She pressed on and on, and eventually led her husband and three children to enjoy that same love for the Lord. As she wove in and out of people’s lives, she gently spoke truth and light, leading many others to a belief and faith in Lord Jesus Christ. To compliment her high spirit, she had a very gentle, loving side; longing to nurture, encourage, and care for those less fortunate.
Audry is reunited with her husband Joe Beeson Sr.; her parents Walt & Mary Carpenter; her sister Barbara Jean (Bobby) and Lyle Gregg; and her brother Walter Gary and Joey Carpenter; her in-laws Ernie & Marilouise Beeson; and numerous other relatives and friends. Audry was the last of her family’s generation. There is a celebration, and there is joy in Heaven.
Audry is survived by her daughter Julie and husband Rick Stewart of Willow Creek, daughter Patricia St. Denis of Hoopa, and son Joe Joe Beeson Jr. and Sunny Emelia of Grants Pass, Oregon. She leaves her grandchildren: Trisha and husband Luis Cisneros, Joel Beeson, Joey Beeson, and Richie Stewart; and her great grandchildren: Jocelyn and Audriana Cisneros, and Jacob and Nathan Beeson. Also her special loves Vicki Garcia, Ali Dressler, and Jacobi and Malachi Bray.
A visitation will be held on Thursday, October 29th from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Salyer Wayside Chapel; refreshments will be provided. At 2:45 the hearse will lead a procession to the Hoopa Tribal Cemetery. At 3:30 p.m. Pastor Toni Burchard will officiate a graveside service with burial to follow. Due to COVID, social distancing will be practiced.
Pall Bearers are: Joe Beeson III, Rich Stewart III, Roger Sanderson, Luis Cisneros, Gary Harris, and Jason Peeples. Honorary Pall Bearers are: Rick Stewart, Joel Beeson, Ricky Sanderson, Harold Reed Jr., Ed Masten, Joey Wilson, Billy Herrera, David Herrera, David Casebier, Jason Henderson, Mike Roberts, Russell Beeson, Mark Sieben, Mitch Burchard, David Maloney, Billy Chase, Tom Redding, Smokey Leitz, Bud Gray, Junky Gray, Wayne Grant, Lucky Reed, Don Perkins, and Clyde Moon.
The family would like to extend sincere appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Michael Kent at St. Joseph’s Hospital for being The Rock we needed during this very difficult time. Special thanks to the Hoopa Valley Tribe for their compassion and assistance; to the Salyer Wayside Chapel for their love and support; and to the overwhelming outpouring of love and condolences from so many, many people whose life paths crossed with Mom. We are not alone in feeling Heaven has received a truly beautiful woman. Rest in peace, Momma.
The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Audry Beeson’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.