Beal, Imogene Berry

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Imogene Berry Beal (Mom) passed away in her Blacksburg, Va., home on Saturday, September 5, 2009, where her daughters, Diane and Kelly, as well as her devoted son-in-law, Shawn, cared for her during her fight with cancer.

Her husband, Thomas M. Beal; her parents, Harvey and Margaret Berry; her great-grandson Michael; her sister and brother-in-law, Marie and Sherman Griffith; and her beloved dog, Benji; preceded her in death.

She is survived by nine brothers and sisters, “Junior” Berry, Charlie and Cindy Berry, Teddy and Sally Berry, Terry and Diane Berry, Kitty Singleton, Lizzy Lindsey, Debbie and Eskil Ellis, Irene Nolan, and Sue and Don Brewster, all of Kentucky and Ohio; 12 great-grandchildren, Chelsea, Dylan, Miranda, Sierra, Riddick, Alexis, Ian, Austin, Kassie, Zakary, Kristin, and Kristian; seven grandchildren, Kenny, Chasity and Joey Richardson, Kristin and Gregory Ashelman, Bodhi Beal; and a very special granddaughter, Taylor Frasure. She loved you all so very much; a special stepson, Thomas Beal Jr., of Florida; and the loves of Mom’s life, her five wonderful children, Danny Coburn, of Blacksburg, Diane (Scott) Ashelman, of Blacksburg, David (Sally) Coburn, of Pulaski, Christopher Beal, of Port St. Lucie, Fla., and Kelly (Shawn) Aikey, of Christiansburg.

Our Mother used to say “I live my life for my kids” and that was true. She always tried her very best to put us above everything else, no matter how hard it made things for her. No salon trips or new clothes for mom one of us might want to go to the movies another might need gas money. All of our lives she was there for us, no matter what, no questions asked, never a single complaint if we needed her she would come. You could call her devoted but that doesn’t really even come close. Mom also gave of herself to dozens of other young people over the years, not only our friends but the children she babysat for in our home. When they were at our house they were family in Mom’s eyes. Tommy Custer, she loved you like her own. Tony and Jason Crawford, even after all these years she carried a special place in her heart for you both. In Mom’s entire life she never met a child who didn’t like her or a flower she couldn’t grow. In both cases where those around her saw a weed, Mom saw something special and beautiful, it just needed some extra care and attention. Mom’s later years were spent happily with her family and in her gardens doing what she loved. Annual, perennial, weed, it didn’t matter if it bloomed, Mom loved it. You could always find her outside every day, rain or shine, feeding her birds, raking the neighbors’ leaves, mulching her flowers or swinging on her porch swing. Mom could outwork anyone in the park on even her worst day and often reminded us of that. Even as her body began failing her, her strong spirit never wavered.

Mom faced her death the way she led her entire life with dignity, strength, hugs, kisses, laughter and the sweetest, purest smile you’ve ever seen. Rarely a complaint, always trying to make sure we were okay, still wanting to help do the dishes; she was truly amazing.

To all those who helped her along the way, at Amedysis Hospice, Troy, Gail, Roy, Kenneth, your talents and time made a difference when it counted. You are all such special people. Christie, you always made Mom smile even when she didn’t feel like it you are a treasure. Nurse Stephanie Smith, you gave compassion without end and showed Mom true tenderness. Your natural gifts touch hearts and lives in ways you just don’t realize. Thank you all so much. The amazingly talented Dr. Charles Dissell, how do we thank you for giving us what we wanted the most -TIME. Thank you for seeing beyond a little thing called Alzheimer’s and realizing that Mom had so many more good times ahead of her. These last six months were infinitely priceless and we were grateful to you each and every time we had Chinese. Finally to Taylor Jordan Frasure, you’ve done more than anyone your age should have to do. Mom’s days were better with you in them and she enjoyed the time she shared with you. Mom always knew you were special, always loved you in a special way. She is so proud of who you are. Thank you for all you have done.

Mom never wanted anyone she loved or cared for to be sad. So in accord with her wishes there will not be any kind of service for her. Instead, for those of you who knew this amazing, compassionate, loyal and charming lady, we simply ask this, buy the prettiest flower you can find, plant it, water it, care for it just a little bit, watch it bloom, and know this, it’s only real value, it’s only true purpose, is to make you smile and bring beauty to your world. That’s what our Mom did. Arrangements by McCoy Funeral Home, Blacksburg, Va.